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My Year of Mixtapes Week 17, Part 1: Philly Soul

My Year of Mixtapes Week 17, Part 1: Philly Soul

Playing tracks by

The Delfonics, The o’jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes Feat. Teddy Pendergrass, Love Committee, The Stylistics and more.

So back in the 1960s you had Soul music—a terribly vague term encompassing a lot of things, but a designation that still gets used nonetheless. The industry was pretty fragmented during this pre-internet era, and pretty much every major city with a sizable African-American population—Detroit, Memphis, Chicago, New Orleans, etc.—had a distinct local scene and sound. Philadelphia was no exception.

The Philly sound, pioneered by songwriter/producers like Thom Bell, Norman Harris, Ron Baker, Gamble & Huff, and McFadden & Whitehead, really came into its own in the mid-late 1960s, and was a marked contrast to the Motown sound that had typified the previous decade. Philly soul was more mature, more lyrically complex, less saccharine, and a lot bigger: horn sections, string sections, and even full-on orchestras took a front-and-center role in the Philly sound.

Philly continued to dominate... (full text at


caribbean Prince

Late 60's, early70's R&B . Good Job Selector.