Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Philly Soul Live in Atlantic City


The period 1972-75 represents some formative years for me musically, when I listened to WABC, WXLO, WKTU and WNBC -- Top 40 stations. The music of Gamble and Huff, Linda Creed and Thom Bell, John Whitehead and the label Philadelphia International Records dominated the landscape, with countless hits for artists such as The O'Jays, Delfonics, Stylistics, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes and The Spinners.

Check out how great the band re-creates MFSB:

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Amazingly, John Vernile and Larry Magid staged a concert last Saturday at The Borgata in Atlantic featuring all of the above as well as the Intruders, Bunny Sigler, The Three Degrees, Jean Carne and Jerry Butler! They were backed by a band that included 9 strings, 10 horns, guitar, bass, drums, percussion, two keyboards and three backup singers.

Don't despair, the show was taped for a PBS broadcast later this year.

A great highlight of the show was a surprise appearance by Teddy Pendergrass (above), who spoke a bit and sang "Close the Door" followed by "Turn Out the Lights." Talk about a universal message! His voice sounded strong.

As with the Three Degrees, it was bittersweet seeing the old pictures. Teddy was a rock star/sex symbol when it really mattered. The Three Degrees sang "When Will I See You Again" sweetly.

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It sounded so great! What a once in a lifetime experience. But thanks to 21st Century Technology, please see below for a bit of video.

All of this music surely falls into my genre Black Americana, especially if you consider that most every group was in uniforms, usually sequined. In the 70s, their big bowties and velvet suits were throwbacks to the 50s doo wop era that gave Rhythm and Blues its name. The next day we saw the mural by Pat's of Philadelphia Music featuring the Geator, who presided over the event and was also unbelievable w/his costume changes.

It was an incredible night!!!!

"Ain't No Stopping Us Now":

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G.C. Cameron from The Spinners sang "I'll Be There"

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This looks like a great nite ! Don't you have a little piece of The Three Degrees ? Pleazzze...