Category Archives: Philadelphia Soul

THE MASQUERADERS-EVERYBODY WANNA LIVE ON.

THE MASQUERADERS-EVERYBODY WANNA LIVE ON. Although The Masqueraders’ roots can be traced back to 1958, they never released their debut album until 1975. That was the Isaac Hayes’ produced Everybody Wanna Live On, which was recently rereleased by Ace Records. Everybody Wanna Live On was the result of a long journey for the five Masqueraders. …

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DISCO RECHARGE-JOHN DAVIS AND THE MONSTER ORCHESTRA-NIGHT AND DAY AND UP JUMPED THE DEVIL.

DISCO RECHARGE-JOHN DAVIS AND THE MONSTER ORCHESTRA-NIGHT AND DAY AND UP JUMPED THE DEVIL.  One of the phenomenon’s of the disco era, was the arrival of the disco orchestra. Obviously, the best known and without doubt, best, and most successful was The Salsoul Orchestra. It was founded by Vince Montana Jr, in 1975 and played …

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PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL-THE COLLECTION 20 ORIGINAL ALBUMS.

PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL-THE COLLECTION 20 ORIGINAL ALBUMS. On February 13th 2014, Sony Music announced that it had acquired the worldwide rights to Philadelphia International Records’ post 1975 back-catalogue. At last, one label, Sony Music now had control of the rights to the entire Philadelphia International Records’ back-catalogue. This was progress. Maybe now, a proper reissue program …

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CAROL WILLIAMS-‘LECTRIC LADY.

CAROL WILLIAMS-‘LECTRIC LADY.  In late 1975, Carol Williams became the first Lady of of Salsoul. Carol, one of the original disco divas, became the first female singer to sign for Salsoul. At Salsoul Records, Carol worked with Vince Montana Jr, the man behind the rise and rise of The Salsoul Orchestra. With Vince at her side, Carol Williams disco …

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BLUE MAGIC-WELCOME BACK.

BLUE MAGIC-WELCOME BACK. In 1978, in an attempt to rejuvenate their career, Atco decided that Blue Magic should work with a new producer. So Skip Scarborough was brought onboard to produce Message From The Magic. Skip replaced Bobby “Electronic” Eli, who produced Mystic Dragons. However, a change of producer was just one of a number …

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BARBARA MASON-LOVE’S THE THING.

BARBARA MASON-LOVE’S THE THING. By 1975, Barbara Mason’s career was at a crossroads. Her previous album Transition, which was released in 1974, had failed to chart. Neither did the three singles World War Three, The Devil Is Busy and Half Sister, Half Brother. This was a long way from Babara’s debut for Buddah Records, Give …

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BLUE MAGIC-MESSAGE FROM THE MAGIC.

BLUE MAGIC-MESSAGE FROM THE MAGIC. By 1978, when Blue Magic released Message From The Magic, their career had stalled. Much had changed since they released Mystic Dragons in 1976. Two of Blue Magic’s original members had left. Vernon and Wendell Sawyers had left after Blue Magic’s fourth album, Mystic Dragons. It was the least successful …

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THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA-HOW HIGH.

THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA-HOW HIGH. The Salsoul Orchestra were formed in 1974 by members of Philadelphia International Records’ legendary studio band M.F.S.B. They left Philadelphia International Records after a dispute with Gamble and Huff over finances. Gamble and Huff’s loss would prove to be Salsoul’s gain. It’s fair to say that between their formation in 1974 …

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THE IMPRESSIONS-ABOUT TIME.

THE IMPRESSIONS-ABOUT TIME. For any group, losing their lead singer can derail their fortunes. In some cases, this can prove fatal. It’s a body blow that the group never recovers from. Especially when the lead singer happens to have written many of the group’s biggest hits. This was the case with The Impressions. Since 1960, …

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THE DETROIT SPINNERS-MIGHTY LOVE.

THE DETROIT SPINNERS-MIGHTY LOVE. When The Detroit Spinners signed for Atlantic Records and hooked up with producer Thom Bell there was a huge turnaround in their fortunes. Their first two albums, 1967s The Original Spinners and 2nd Time Around in 1970, hadn’t been commercial a success. Only 2nd Time Around had charted, reaching number 199 …

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MAJOR HARRIS-MY WAY.

MAJOR HARRIS-MY WAY. For a member of a successful group, it’s always a risk to leave and embark upon a solo career. Often, the success they’ve enjoyed becomes a distant memory. Conversely, the success they’ve enjoyed is often surpassed upon embarking on a solo career. Everyone will have examples when an artists decision to embark …

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WILSON PICKETT IN PHILADELPHIA.

WILSON PICKETT IN PHILADELPHIA. By 1970, when Wilson Pickett released Wilson Pickett In Philadelphia, his recording career was eight years old. He’d released his debut single If You Need Me in 1962, and since then, had enjoyed four number one US R&B singles. The first of these was his 1965 classic In The Midnight Hour, …

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THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA-UP THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD.

THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA-UP THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD. For Salsoul Records and The Salsoul Orchestra, Up The Yellow Brick Road would prove to be the end of an era.  Up The Yellow Brick Road proved to be last Salsoul Orchestra arranged, produced and featuring the sound of vibes virtuoso Vince Montana Jr. It also proved to …

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BARBARA MASON-TRANSITION.

BARBARA MASON-TRANSITION. When Barbara Mason signed to Buddah Records in 1973, she was already an experienced artist. Indeed, Philly born Barbara, released her debut single Trouble Child in 1964, on Crusader Records. Then in 1965, aged just eighteen, Barbara enjoyed the biggest single of her career, the classic, Yes, I’m Ready, which reached number five …

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LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY.

LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY. When Loleatta Holloway came to record her fifth album, and third for Gold Mind Records Loleatta Holloway, she encountered a very different company. Gone was Norman Harris who’d previously run Gold Mind and who’d been at Loleatta’s side every step of the way, during her Gold Mind career. Norman Harris wasn’t the …

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THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA-STREET SENSE.

THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA-STREET SENSE. 1978 was a landmark year for Salsoul Records.Vince Montana Jr, the man who created, conducted, arranged and produced many of The Salsoul Orchestra albums left the label. He’d been at The Salsoul Orchestra’s helm between their 1975 eponymous album and 1978s Up The Yellow Brick Road. When Vince left Salsoul, after a dispute with …

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ONCE IN A MILLION-THE SONGS OF SAM DEES.

ONCE IN A MILLION-THE SONGS OF SAM DEES. Sam Dees is described as: “a prolific songwriter and occasional performer.” That’s true. While Sam has written nearly four-hundred songs, he’s only released three albums. Clearly, Sam believes in quality over quantity. Anyone whose heard Sam’s 1975 debut album The Show Must Go On will be forced …

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MAJOR HARRIS-HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR LOVE.

MAJOR HARRIS-HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR LOVE. Two years after the release of his 1976 sophomore album Jealousy, Major Harris returned with How Do You Take Your Love, which was rereleased by Funkytown Grooves on 21st January 2014. How Do You Take Your Love found Major Harris’ career at a crossroads. His 1975 debut album …

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ECSTASY, PASSION AND PAIN-ECSTASY, PASSION AND PAIN.

ECSTASY, PASSION AND PAIN-ECSTASY, PASSION AND PAIN. The maxim that Good Things Don’t Last Forever proved to be true for Ecstasy, Passion and Pain. They released just one album, Ecstasy, Passion and Pain in 1974. Featuring just ten songs, Ecstasy, Passion and Pain was a tantalizing taste of what might have become for Barbara Roy’s …

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LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-QUEEN OF THE NIGHT.

LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-QUEEN OF THE NIGHT. Having signed Loleatta Holloway to Gold Mind Records in 1976, Loleatta’s producer and mentor Norman Harris set about giving Loleatta a makeover. He started transforming the Southern Soul singer in the a disco diva on her debut album Loleatta. After her Sasloul debut Loleatta was released, Loleatta Holloway’s makeover to …

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