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6abc.com (ABC Action News Philadelphia) reports legendary producing duo Gamble and Huff, who are the pioneers of the Philadelphia Sound have reached a historic deal — to sell their entire catalog to Sony. Let’s back up to the Philadelphia Sound (PS). For those that don’t know, the PS is a style of soul music that is characterized by funk, rich instrumental arrangements with “sweeping strings” and “piercing horns.” The music is more known than the many producers who helped create the sound; however Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff are two of the leading influential producers and writers.
The sound was popular in the 1970’s and influenced music up to 80’s and 9’0s, including artists such as Music Soulchild, Boyz to Men and Jill Scott.
The duo is now selling their catalog to Sony Music Entertainment. The catalog includes hits from Teddy Pendergrass to Lou Rawls and many R&B acts in between. The transaction amount has not been reported. Their recording studio in Philadelphia was damaged in a fire and will be demolished for a new hotel and condos.
The Sound of Philadelphia was so hot during the 1970’s that Philly was considered the capital of soul music; giving Motown a run for their money. The hits they arranged and wrote for the many acts is numerous and prolific. Discussing the music, Kenny Gamble said, “We wanted to take social themes and translate them to commercial recordings. Philadelphia International was about spreading love.”
The duo has many chart topping hits and won a Grammy in 1989 for the song “If you don’t know me by now,” the remake for Simply Red. They also received the Grammy’s Trustee award in 1999. In total, Gamble and Huff have 15 gold singles and 22 gold albums, with 8 reaching platinum status.
Their influence and music lived on in the 90’s through their offspring with hip hop and R&B acts.
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