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When I first discussed writing a book with Weldon A McDougal III, he was adamant that the story of Philadelphia’s ascendancy, as a ‘soul town’ should be told as he called it, ‘properly’. I’d already written Weldon’s story as part of The Harthon Trio – A Dyno-Dynamic Tale and published that piece in Issue #4 of There’s That Beat a couple of years earlier, but Weldon kept badgering me to ‘get it all down Dave, the whole kit and caboodle!’. For those that know Weldon he was a larger than life character who always had a penchant for looking on the bright side of life and over the years his insistence on me writing a book about Philly Soul grew.
I started making a few notes and put together a list of topics that would need to be included but then tragedy struck. My mate Weldon passed away. I shelved the project and went back to real life for a while until I was contacted by a guy in Sweden who owned a publishing company and had worked at CBS when the Philadelphia International Records company went global. Wilhelm from Premium Publishing in Stockholm had bought ‘There’s That Beat!’ and wanted to know if I was interested in being commissioned to write a book about….. Philly Soul! Karma or what?
I toyed with the idea and eventually contacted Jason Thornton my friend and partner in There’s That Beat! and asked him if he thought we could pull it off. We were both, and always have been, conscious of the fact that projects we get involved in have to have production values that stand in quality next to the music we love and after a few weeks mulling it over we decided that because of our affiliation with so many Philadelphian music makers, we would accept the challenge. But we would do it our way, in full glossy colour, with as many pages as it took!
And so, began a near 6 year journey of research, interviews, hunting down people, artefacts, records and other memorabilia. When the call went out for assistance, it was met by an avalanche of goodwill from Record collectors and archivists all over the world, many soul-sourcers included. As the project developed I made a few trips to Philadelphia and to the people there that showed immense patience with this quirky ‘Brit’, trudging round their city, who wanted every single i dotted and t crossed, I will be forever grateful.
As I drafted the text of the chapters, Jason, whose graphic layout skills are well known to There’s That Beat! readers, pored over the material in order to present it as we wanted and the book began to take shape. Whilst writing the book quite a few influential Philly musical figures have passed away and I like to think that as time went on, despite the pressure to ‘publish and be damned’ a number of times, Jason and I held out, determined to present the stories as we planned.
And so now in September 2016 the first edition of THE PHILLY SOUND : It’s Roots and History. All 690 full colour, A4, glossy pages is available.
The new book is now available to pre-order for a cost of £45 + £6 Shipping within UK. It ain’t cheap, but then quality never is and this tombstone of a book weighs in at 3.5kgs!
If you would like to order a copy for delivery next week :
Email me at : email@example.com.
Drop me a message here on Soul-Source
Join the books facebook page at : https://www.facebook.com/groups/1585027708465960/ or search out The PHILLY SOUND book.
Payment is via Paypal to : firstname.lastname@example.org (Friends and Family please)
Bank Transfer (Details available from me)
They say a picture paints a thousand words and so I have created a video for folks to see the book before they decide to order one or not.
Although every single person who contributed to the project is acknowledged in the book, I’d just like to thank every ‘Soul-sourcer’ that stepped up, with a scan, a story, a lead, a phone number etc . The soul world at its best! Thank you.
The Book and the Harthon teams