Leon Huff (left), Kenny Gamble (right) and Thom Bell at Philadelphia International in February 1973 | photo by Michael Ochs / Getty Images
New documentary set to tell the story of Philly Soul and legendary Philadelphia International Records
A historic chapter of Philadelphia’s music scene is coming to the silver screen: an upcoming documentary titled The Sound of Philadelphia will tell the story of Philadelphia International and the origins of Philly Soul. With a focus on songwriters Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell, the documentary will detail soul music production in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.
The legendary trio of Gamble, Huff, and Bell wrote some of the greatest hits of the era, including “Love Train” by The O’Jays and “TSOP” by MFSB and the Three Degrees, which became the theme song for Soul Train. About the documentary, the trio told Deadline that “Our longtime fans and new fans will get a unique look into the creation of the Sound of Philadelphia with the themes of empowerment and love, to ‘people all over the world’ as we’ve always had a ‘Message in our Music.’”
Also featured in The Sound of Philadelphia will be Philadelphia International’s work with the Jacksons, Patti LaBelle, Dusty Springfield, Elton John, and The Supremes, according to Deadline. Sam Pollard, of Mr. Soul! and MLK/FBI is set to direct, with executive producer Alex Gibney, who edited Sinatra: All or Nothing At All.
While there is no trailer or release date for the documentary yet, Warner Music Entertainment President Charlie Cohen told Deadline, “Kenny, Leon, and Thom’s lasting impact on music and our culture at large cannot be understated…And now with Alex Gibney and Sam Pollard signed on to lend their creative visions to the project, we’re excited to see this story come to life.”