Interview with Kenny Gamble, legendary producer-songwriter, and co-founder of Philadelphia International Records -and community developer – Universal Companies. We discuss the origin of June Black music month, the music industry, Michael Jackson, community development, and more.
They sat in the audience, politely smiling when the cameras focused on them. Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, songwriting and producing partners for over 30 years, had received the Lifetime Achievement Grammy from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and actor/rapper Will Smith acknowledged their award by shouting into the podium microphone, at the top of his lungs, a boisterous chant of “PHILLY IN THE HOUSE!!!”
Smith wasn’t just boasting about the duo’s home town. His chant acknowledged the musical style Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff have brought from Philadelphia to radios and record collections around the world, a balance of passionate soul ballads and funky dance tracks that became known as the “Philly Sound,” or more appropriately, a “Gamble and Huff song.” Their songs of peace, love, social conscience and turmoil sold millions of records, made superstars out of artists that had previously toiled in obscurity, and created the sweet, sexy, stirring, socially conscious “Sound of Philadelphia.”
Listen below. We take questions and comments from callers too.