Philadelphia International Records Celebrates 50 Years With the Help of Legacy Recordings and Warner Chappell Music

Illustration for article titled Philadelphia International Records Celebrates 50 Years With the Help of Legacy Recordings and Warner Chappell Music
Screenshot: YouTube/Philadelphia International Records

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic music label Philadelphia International Records.

In an effort to commemorate the momentous occasion, on Monday, legendary labels Legacy Recordings and Warner Chappell Music teamed up to announce a yearlong campaign to highlight the history and legacy of the iconic label. A press release sent to The Root noted the campaign will “spotlight milestone musical moments, artists and songs from the remarkable Philadelphia International Records and debut an exciting series of exclusive partnerships, product and content releases, artist initiatives and much more.” In addition to that, leading sound experience company Sonos along with Vinyl Me Please (VMP) and Snapper Music-United Souls will also help to celebrate the musical milestone.

More details per the press release:

Sonos will premiere a new station on Sonos Radio HD titled the Sound of Philadelphia, hosted and hand-curated by Kenny Gamble himself. In partnership with Warner Chappell Music, The Sound of Philadelphia will explore the label’s greatest hits from artists including The Jacksons, Patti LaBelle, the O’Jays, and more. The Sound of Philadelphia will take listeners behind-the-scenes with Gamble, who will share stories from his time writing, producing and working on 120 internationally-beloved albums and over 40 gold and platinum records. The station will feature special guests, as well unique programming for Black History Month, Women’s History Month and more. The Sound of Philadelphia will be available February 24 on Sonos Radio HD.

VMP (Vinyl Me, Please) in conjunction with Legacy Recordings will partner on VMP Anthology: The Story of Philadelphia International, an exclusive vinyl box set celebrating the renowned Philly Soul label coming in 2021. The Story of Philadelphia International reinvents the box set experience to take listeners on a sequential journey told across eight albums remastered from their original tapes and paired with liner notes and an exclusive podcast interview series in celebration of the label’s 50th anniversary.

Snapper Music-United Souls in conjunction with Legacy Recordings will release a volume series of limited edition 8-CD sets throughout the year celebrating the 50th Anniversary of PIR. Each set will contain a unique giant poster, exclusive 12” single, endorsed numbered certificate, a lavish 48-page hardcover book with a comprehensive archive of rare photographs compiled and curated in association with artists, engineers, and producers relevant to the label’s story. All discs will be mastered from original tapes bringing together the entire PIR studio album collection for the very first time.

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Founded in 1971 by producers and songwriters Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Philadelphia International Records was instrumental in the development of the iconic sound of Philly Soul. Their roster of artists spanned the genres of R&B, disco, soul and funk and included influential musicians like The O’Jays, Lou Rawls, Phyllis Hyman, Patti LaBelle, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes and Teddy Pendergrass.

“It’s a blessing to celebrate all of the writers, musicians, engineers, disc jockeys, and all the people that were on our team,” Philadelphia International Records co-founder Kenny Gamble said in a statement. “When I listen to this music now, I can close my eyes and the music brings us all back together again. Hearing this music reminds me of all the hard work and dedication our team went through to make such a long-lasting catalog, that has been embraced by the world and I’m thankful.”

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DISCUSSION

I’m so ready for this to happen. Philly Int’l was one of my favorite go-to labels back in the day. I wonder, however, if this will include the post-1984 recordings released by EMI.

And when will we see the Solar and Ichiban collections?