Philadelphia International Records, Philadelphia’s answer to Motown Records, has been responsible for some of R&B’s most-loved hits over the years, and has given a platform to a bevy of iconic R&B and soul artists.
On Wednesday, the iconic Sound Of Philadelphia building that housed Philadelphia International Records and Gamble-Huff Music is preparing for demolition with the removal of the iconic neon sign outside of the studios. The building, owned by pioneering songwriting trio Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell, has served as the corporate offices for the legendary label.
Within the structure, the studios have produced major hits for acts such as Teddy Pendergrass, Phyllis Hyman, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Billy Paul, The O’Jays, McFadden & Whitehead, Lou Rawls and others. Other acts have used the space for recording such as Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle and Chubby Checker, among others.
Aside from the hits created for the groups mentioned, the label’s signature song is MFSB’s “TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia),” which was later adopted as the theme song for Soul Train. In 2010, an arsonist torched the building, reportedly after a drinking binge, leaving it severely damaged. The building never recovered although the labels continued to thrive despite the absence of a corporate office.
Little Known Black History Fact: Philadelphia International Records Building To Be Demolished was originally published on blackamericaweb.com