Song:TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)
Album:Love Is The Message: The Best Of MFSB
TSOP is probably best known as the theme for Soul Train. And the song topped the charts in 1974. MFSB was the Philadelphia International (PI) house band. They backed up everyone that recorded at Sigma Studios in Philadelphia. The name MFSB was Mother Father Sister Brother reflecting the spiritual beliefs of PI owners Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. The album MFSB was released in 1972. It was mostly instrumental covers. A cover of Family Affair was released as a single but I don't think Gamble and Huff had any illusions about MFSB having a hit single. But then Don Cornelius approached Gamble about a new theme for Soul Train. And that was TSOP. You might wonder why there is no mention of Soul Train in the song. Cornelius later admitted that was his mistake and Soul Train was later added to the version that played on the show. The song was arranged and conducted by Bobby Martin who worked on many PI hits. The Three Degrees sing the vocals. Musicians are Leon Huff, Lenny Pakula, Eddie Green and Harold "Ivory" Williams on keyboards, Bobby Eli, Norman Harris, Reggie Lucas, Roland Chambers and TJ Tindall on guitar, Vincent Montana Jr. on vibes, Zach Zachary and Tony Williams on sax, Anthony Jackson and Ron Baker on bass, Earl Young, Karl Chambers and Norman Farrington on drums, Larry Washington on percussion and the Don Renaldo strings and horns. TSOP topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. MFSB never had another big hit but some songs charted. You can get them all on this budget comp. Several of the musicians led by Earl Young left PI over money and went to Salsoul Records where they became The Salsoul Orchestra. Gamble and Huff simply replaced them and MFSB continued to record until 1980. Philadelphia International faded until closing in 1987. Here's MFSB featuring The Three Degrees performing TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) on the 2008 PBS special The Sound Of Philadelphia Concert.