RIP Don Cornelius; Philly bands on Soul Train

After hearing yesterday’s sad news regarding the passing of Don Cornelius, we thought we’d take this opportunity to take a look at some of the great Philly bands that were on Soul Train. The theme song for the show, “T.S.O.P,” recorded by MFSB with backing vocals by The Three Degrees was written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff; Gamble talked to NBC 10 Philadelphia about the impact of the show and the how the song “Love Train” came about:

I used to talk to Don two or three days a week and I used to tell him, ‘you need a theme song.’ We started playing around with some different melodies and that’s when we came up with “T.S.O.P.” (the Sound of Philadelphia), the Soul Train theme. Everybody knew that was a funky theme for him. It’s a track that’s known all over the world.

I wanted to name it the “Soul Train theme.” He said ‘I don’t want it to be named the “Soul Train Theme” because that’s my brand. I don’t want you guys to have my brand.’ I said ‘well, let’s call it “T.S.O.P.,” the Sound of Philadelphia and I’ll put down the subtitle “The Soul Train Theme.” So he agreed. Later on in life he said that was the dumbest move he’d ever made.{laughs} Because it really was the Soul Train theme.

When our artists played on “Soul Train” our sales shot through the roof. Every Saturday “Soul Train” was watched by millions and millions and millions of people. There was a time when you couldn’t get many rhythm and blues and African American artists on television. Of course “American Bandstand” was on every day. “American Bandstand” was a wonderful program here in Philadelphia but it didn’t really have a lot of emphasis on rhythm and blues and black artists. When Don Cornelius came along he specialized in exposing black artists that people had never seen before. I think that’s his legend. He contribute something to the American culture. Who could ever forget the Soul Train line? Who could ever forget Don Cornelius saying love peace and soul? He’s a legend. His contribution to American culture is unbelievable. It’s not just here in America, it’s all over the world…his legacy will go on and on for generations to come.

Definitely worth reading is this heartfelt tribute to Cornelius written by Questlove in which he says: “Soul Train to me is the GREATEST creation and inspiration of my life.”

Below, watch some classic sounds of Philly from Soul Train


DJ Apt One celebrating the release of Philadelphia International: The Re-Edits

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Philadelphia International Records, a new collection of Philly International songs is being released in the UK on Harmless Records called Philadelphia International: Re-Edits & Remixes. The collection, sanctioned by Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff features remixes and re-edits of some of Gamble & Huff’s classic songs from various producers around the world. The only Philly producer represented on the collection is DJ Apt One with his re-edit of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ “Wake Up Everybody” that you can listen to below. DJ Apt One is throwing a record release party that he’s calling The Ball on Friday, January 20th at Kung Fu Necktie. The Ball is billed as an evening featuring “the Philly Sound and the Disco and House Music it inspired” with special guest DEL and residents DJ Bruce and DJ Apt One. For more information about the event go here.

Wake Up Everybody (DJ Apt One Edit) by DJ Apt One

Track List
CD 1 Uptempo Good Time Philly
1. Satisfaction Guaranteed Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes 7.22 Morning Star Re-Edit
2. Only The Strong Survive Billy Paul 8.19 J*Ski Re-Edit
3. Save A Place The Trammps 6.37 J*Ski Re-Edit
4. Free Love Jean Carn 7.04 Victor Rosado Re-Edit
5. Do It Anyway You Wanna People’s Choice 6.35 Keep Schtum Re-Edit
6. Life On Mars Dexter Wansel 5.35 DJ Mila Re-Edit
Mysteries Of The World MFSB 6.00 J*Ski Re-Edit
7. Ain’t No Stopping Us Now McFadden & Whitehead 7.30 Noodleman Re-Edit
8. Dance Turned Into Romance The Jones Girls 6.55 DJ Friction Re-Edit
9. Be For Real Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes 7.43 Tim McAllister Re-Edit
10. Message In Our Music The O’Jays 9.16 Jimmy The Twin Re-Edit

CD2 Mellow Slinky Philly
1. If You Wanna Go Back Jean Carn 6.46 Morning Star Re-Edit
2. Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby The O’Jays 8.08 Deep&Disco Rework Re-Edit
3. You’re Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else The Jones Girls 8.36 Henry Greenwood Re-Edit
4. Strategy Archie Bell & The Drells 6.05 Touchsoul Re-Edit
5. Let The Dollar Circulate Billy Paul 6.41 scratchandsniff Re-Edit
6. Easy Money Dee Dee Sharp Gamble 6.56 Todd Terje Re-Edit
7. Was That All It Was Jean Carn 7.59 Morning Star Re-Edit
8. Nights Over Egypt The Jones Girls 6.59 Womack & TOT Re-Edit
9. Don’t Let Love Get You Down Archie Bell & The Drells 8.00 Ed Zone Re-Edit
10. Wake Up Everybody Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes 9.31 DJ Apt One Re-Edit


Questlove to host a Soul Train Dance Party and Gamble And Huff to be honored at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Washington, D.C., isn’t too far to travel to if you want to attend Questlove’s “Soul Train Dance Party” that is a part of this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival on Thursday, June 30th. According to the @SmithsonianFolk twitter account, Questo will be DJ’ing the event. Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff will also be honored in a special program on July 10th. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is happening June 30–July 4 and July 7–11. More information can be found here.


Gamble & Huff: Maybe The Expressway Should Be Named For For Them

Considering the enduring importance of the music and work of the legendary Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff, architects of the famed Sound Of Philadelphia the City of Philadelphia should have given them naming rights to the Schuykill Expressway. While I-76 is out of the question, Gamble & Huff are having a street named for them today by the City of Philadelphia. After today the 300 Block of South Broad Street will be known as Gamble & Huff Walk. The ceremony takes place today at 11AM in front of the historic Philadelphia International Records building along the Avenue of the Arts and will be hosted by The Geator With The Heater, The Boss With The Hot Sauce, My Man, Pots and Pans, Jerry Blavat.