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Hello to every one!

One thing that have obssesioned me along years is the fact that the Philly Soul stuff is reasonably known about the major labels productions (PIR and associated labels and WMOT in the 70's, the 60's stuff by Hartoon, Jammie-Guyden, Cameo, Gamble, Neptune,...) but there's a lot of OUTSIDE Philly Soul productions stuff by the regulars musicians / producers teams (G & H, Bell, Harris-baker-Young,...) for a lot of different labels. There's some admirable efforts as the "Spirit Of Philadelphia" 4 volumes collection, "Crème de la Crème" serie centered on Atlantic / Atco / Cotillion Philly Soul productions... but some times I found some things as Fania All-Stars produced by vincent Montana or Grady Tate produced by Norman Harris that made me think on how diverse and numerous can be those soul / funk / fusion stuff.

 

I know the obvious ones (Thom Bell's Stylistics, Delfonics, Showstoppers, Intrigues, Johnny Mathis, Dionne Warwick, Chuck Manguione,...; Harri's Grady Tate, Dells, Clyde McPhatter, the Gold Mind artists roster,...; G & H's Nancy Wilson, Laura Nyro, Dusty Springfield, laBelle, Sweet Inspirations,...; Bobby Eli's Jackie Moore, John Handy, Atlantic Star, Rose Royce,...; Bobby Martin's Manhatans, LTD, Ecstasy, Passion & Pain,...; Bunny Sigler's Curtis Mayfield, Mystique, Johnny Nash, The Pips,...)... appart from the simply ones who only have used the Sigma Sound Studios and / or the musicianship (MFSB) as David Bowie, B.B. King, Mighty Clouds Of Joy,...spanish pop-rock band Radio Futura recorded at Sigma Sound!!

I'm thankful for some info about rare outside Philly soul productions.

 

Cheers to all

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Richard "Richie" Rome gave the Ritchie Family its name, as it was originally a studio concept with the Sigma Sweethearts doing vocal duties for the "Brazil" LP in 1975. Eefore that he worked as arranger of the tracks recorded at Sigma Sound for Jimmy Ruffin's 1973 LP, this sounding more Memphis than Philly:

Rome went on to produce an album on CBS for the Three Degrees in 1977 and released a solo LP on Elektra which ended up producing the midtempo classic "Deep".

 

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Geraldine Hunt's son Freddie James recorded an LP partly at Alpha International studios in 1981, and although there's no credit you would put money on the solo belonging to Vincent Montana, Jr.

 

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Many thanks, Mickey!

In some web site or some musical blog I read that originally Ritchie Family were practically the same members of Honey & The Bees (Nadine Felder, sister of Alan Felder and some other). I forget to mention another Philly "production team" who have produced for artists on non - Philly labels: McFadden & Whitehead, specially with Melba Moore; or Teddy "T- Life" from the PIR group Spiritual Concept who apart from his solo career discovered and produced Eveling "Champagne" King. Also there's some popular "non Philly" acts who have recorded in Philly under different production teams: The Dells with Norman Harris and later, on 1991, by G & H on PIR; or The Temptations by G & H on Atlantic and by Thom Bell on Motown...

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The first Richie Family ( and there were a lot of them) was actually the Sweethearts of Sigma ( Barbara Ingram, Carla Benson, Yvette Benton). When they didn't want to tour to 

promote "Brazil", the producer formed a new group made up of Cassandra Wooten, Gwen Oliver (from Honey and the Bees) and another singer.

  Norman Harris also produced 2 albums for Eddie Kendricks on Tamla- "He's A Friend" and "Goin' Up In Smoke".

    Elton John worked with Thom Bell on the "Thom Bell Sessions" EP.

Edited by the yank
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I know the name of the group is the Atlanta Disco Band and that the album was recorded in Atlanta but........ the songs were remixed at Sigma Sound, Earl Young wrote and did some arrangements and the whole album sounds and feels like a Philly album. They do a decent version of "Bad Luck" and there's the much better "Buckhead". 

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34 minutes ago, the yank said:

I know the name of the group is the Atlanta Disco Band and that the album was recorded in Atlanta but........ the songs were remixed at Sigma Sound, Earl Young wrote and did some arrangements and the whole album sounds and feels like a Philly album. They do a decent version of "Bad Luck" and there's the much better "Buckhead". 

I have "Buckhead" track and really the strings sounds as the typical "Don Renaldo Strings". Earl Young jointly with Dave Crawford formed Night People from wich I have "Inflation" that sounds like The Trammps.

Many ones mentioned I knows but thank you very much anyway. For example, I have the two Norman Harri's produced Eddie Kendricks albums and the second contains my absolute favorite by him: "The Newness Is Gone". One thing that, IMHO, is worth for an independent thread is the stuff produced and / or arranged by Thom Bell & Bobby Martin in the late 60's - first 70's (Chocolate Syrup feat. L.J. Reynolds, Intrigues,...) and another can be the relation between Motown and Philly - Sigma Sound (from the A & R / Promotion man for both companies PIR and Motown Weldon McDougal, also owner of Hartoon and The Lark's founder member...) to the stars who were in the Detroitl label and after on the Philadelphia label (Carolyn Crawford, Bobby Taylor,...) and viceversa (Jean Carn)

Edited by josep manuel concernau robles
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Yeah, Mickey.. I knows... for those people who thinks Philly Soul is "only edulcorate and smooth soul", I always put this album by Wilson Pickett as the example of the versatility of the Philly producers: G & H, IMHO are "tailors" who made a perfect tuxedo specifically to the artist. The artist can be a "deep soul man" like Pickett , Anthony White, Bobby Bennett, Johnny Williams, Joe Simon or Freddie Scott; can be a crooner jazz - soul vocalist like Lou Rawls or a pop act like Laura Nyro...

Edited by josep manuel concernau robles
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2 hours ago, josep manuel concernau robles said:

 and another can be the relation between Motown and Philly - Sigma Sound (from the A & R / Promotion man for both companies PIR and Motown Weldon McDougal, also owner of Hartoon and The Lark's founder member...) to the stars who were in the Detroitl label and after on the Philadelphia label (Carolyn Crawford, Bobby Taylor,...) and viceversa (Jean Carn)

And then there's Jerry Butler who worked with Gamble and Huff in the 60's, signed to Motown in the mid 70's, and was back on Philly Int'l by the late 70's .

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2 hours ago, the yank said:

And then there's Jerry Butler who worked with Gamble and Huff in the 60's, signed to Motown in the mid 70's, and was back on Philly Int'l by the late 70's .

Good example. My favorite album by Butler is "Love Is On The Menu", Motown, 1976 with the fantastic track "Thank You Early Bird" (and I have practically ALL by him, solo, with The Impressions, with Betty Everett, with Brenda Lee Eager, Gene Chandler and Thelma Houston on Vee Jay, Fontana, Mercury, Motown, PIR and Ichiban).

Also Monk Montgomery recorded for Motown before his "Reallity" LP on PIR. And Phyllis Hyman recorded for the Motown subsidiary MoJazz before her contract with PIR.

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You left Eugene (Gene) Dozier off your list. He kept leaving & then returning to Philly. He initially worked on stuff for Swan, Cameo but then went to Detroit, then LA before returning to work on Neptune & Gamble stuff. He then worked as part of GH's team with the likes of the Sweet Inspirations, Wilson Pickett, Bobby Bennett, the Vibrations and more. Then he worked in DC before heading back to LA where he eventually ended up at SOLAR (where he had much success).

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7 hours ago, josep manuel concernau robles said:

Also Monk Montgomery recorded for Motown before his "Reallity" LP on PIR. And Phyllis Hyman recorded for the Motown subsidiary MoJazz before her contract with PIR.

Are you sure? Phyllis appeared on the title track of Norman Connors' "Remember who you are" album on MoJazz in 1993, after having already released 2 full albums on the reactivated PIR, with another to follow before she died and then the posthumous "Forever with you". MoJazz was launched in 1992 with guitarist Norman Brown's debut album, produced by Connors. Before PIR Phyllis was in an unhappy marriage with Arista, who eventually booted her to make way for some unknown called Whitney Houston.

 

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2 hours ago, Mickey Finn said:

Are you sure? Phyllis appeared on the title track of Norman Connors' "Remember who you are" album on MoJazz in 1993, after having already released 2 full albums on the reactivated PIR, with another to follow before she died and then the posthumous "Forever with you". MoJazz was launched in 1992 with guitarist Norman Brown's debut album, produced by Connors. Before PIR Phyllis was in an unhappy marriage with Arista, who eventually booted her to make way for some unknown called Whitney Houston.

 

I only knows about this for the "Los Grandes del Soul" collectable encyclopedia write by Luis LaPuente (Altaya, 1995) where he wrote that "(...) Phyllis recorded for MoJazz and PIR before her death (...)" (!!??). In fact I don't believe 100% of the things spanish criticals and writers says about Soul Music. This same author published a large article on the "Rock DeLuxe" review about Teddy Pendergrass when he published "Truly Blessed" LP on Elektra and made a complete vision of his career since his lead fronting The Blue Notes and says that this album "(...) is the FIRST [from T. P.] published in Spain (...)" when I have purchased ALL their PIR stuff published in Spain by CBS with the title track and the credits in spanish language in the labels and sleeves. Or "Gamble and Huff meet the one to the other as children at the primary school"...

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5 hours ago, Roburt said:

You left Eugene (Gene) Dozier off your list. He kept leaving & then returning to Philly. He initially worked on stuff for Swan, Cameo but then went to Detroit, then LA before returning to work on Neptune & Gamble stuff. He then worked as part of GH's team with the likes of the Sweet Inspirations, Wilson Pickett, Bobby Bennett, the Vibrations and more. Then he worked in DC before heading back to LA where he eventually ended up at SOLAR (where he had much success).

Yes, I know, in my first post I don't pretend to made an "exhaustive list", only an "introduction", of course there's some other musicians and producers that we can to remember and enumerate. There's also John Davis (from Monster Orchestra) who arranged and produced stuff on PIR (Elliot Hoffman) and outside productions as Arthur Prysock or William DeVaughn. And there's Dexter Wansel producing for people as Carl Carlton, Grover Washington, Jr. and I read there's a Wansel produced album unissued by Margie Joseph in the vaults of WMOT. and there's also Phil Hurtt solo stuff and producing some disco music for Village People and some rare grooves as "You'll Never Know" for Hi - Gloss on Prelude...

Eugene Dozier also appears in the credits of "I Salute You", the 1991 PIR album by The Dells.

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6 minutes ago, josep manuel concernau robles said:

Eugene Dozier also appears in the credits of "I Salute You", the 1991 PIR album by The Dells.

He also worked on some Bunny Sigler stuff for PIR.

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The MoJazz label of the 1990s started very strongly and then quickly fizzled out. Steve McKeever was a main mover behind it and was associated with various quality releases of the time, but it's quite likely that the move to "urban" styles, conveniently cheaper to make (until the name producers starting costing more than full orchestras) put paid to the Norman Connors type of productions that promised so much at the beginning. I think the second album by Impromp2 was the final release for the imprint.

Speaking of unreleased stuff, there's supposed to be a full album by Jean Carne in the PIR vaults. Tawatha Agee was signed to PIR at the time she did backing vocals for Jennifer Holliday's "I'm on your side" album in 1991.

Brenda and the Tabulations' "I keep coming back for more" LP from 1977 was recorded at Sigma Sound, produced by John Davis, Bobby Eli and Norman Harris...

 

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When I was a Soulful Detroit forum member there was a time when Bobby Eli, Weldon McDougal and Phil Hurtt were also regular members and explains many and very interesting things about the glorious years at Sigma Sound Studios and also about the countless stuff unissued in the vaults, PIR and outside productions material from Spinners, Sharon Paige, O'Jays, enough material for one or more albums by Johnny Williams, for a second album by Anthony White, Silk and other acts... I think there's also some unissued stuff like the album done by the sadly recently deceased Dennis Edwards (I read that the one by Dennis and the first by Teddy in 1976 were realised at the same time and G & H decided to publish the one by Dennis some time after and Dennis refused the decision... ??!!... can be a simple rumor as the "album by Raquel Welch" or "the stuff unissued by Darlene Love before Phil Spector bought her contract with PIR..." ??

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Gamble and Huff did an interview with Record World in 1973- one of the questions asked was "Have you signed any new groups?". They said they were thinking of signing 

Darlene Love (which they did and then Phil Spector bough out her contract), mentioned the Three Degrees and then said "We just signed Freddie Scott". (????)

  Does anyone know anything about this- were any tracks cut etc. or why this didn't work out?  This would have been a great combination if you listen how well they 

worked together on "You Got What I Need". 

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7 hours ago, josep manuel concernau robles said:

I only knows about this for the "Los Grandes del Soul" collectable encyclopedia write by Luis LaPuente (Altaya, 1995) where he wrote that "(...) Phyllis recorded for MoJazz and PIR before her death (...)" (!!??). In fact I don't believe 100% of the things spanish criticals and writers says about Soul Music. 

    If you don't have it already, I highly recommend Dave Moore and Jason Thornton's book  "The Philly Sound" which is everything you'd want to know about Philly Soul and then some. The book should still be available on Amazon. 

 

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34 minutes ago, the yank said:

Gamble and Huff did an interview with Record World in 1973- one of the questions asked was "Have you signed any new groups?". They said they were thinking of signing 

Darlene Love (which they did and then Phil Spector bough out her contract), mentioned the Three Degrees and then said "We just signed Freddie Scott". (????)

  Does anyone know anything about this- were any tracks cut etc. or why this didn't work out?  This would have been a great combination if you listen how well they 

worked together on "You Got What I Need". 

I only knows two things about the relation between G & H and Freddie Scott:

- The singles they produced for him on the Shout label (you have mentioned one)

- The comments on the back cover of an Epic spanish LP called "Azúcar Negro" ("Black Sugar") by VV. AA. in 1972 (O'Jays, Cane & Able, Sly & The Family Stone, Free Movemnet, Billy Paul,...) and the author of the comments, spanish music critical Diego A. Manrique (one of the most serious of the country) says (in spanish): "(...) O'Jays, Billy Paul,... all of them have interesting stories like also sure have interesting stories The Mellow Moods, Yellow Sunshine and FREDDIE SCOTT AND OTHER PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL artists who, like O'Jays and Billy Paul are waiting for receive the magic touch of Gamble & Huff (...)"

 

P.D.: I have a very good "screaming / shouting" song in a compilation called "Soulin, Vol. 1" by a german label, Moonshine credited to Freddie Scott and titled "Pow City". I remember to have explained this in the Soulfuldetroit forum and someone with high knowledge said that this is "another different Freddie Scott" (another case of different artists and groups with the same name)

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Some ones I remember by now not mentioned previously:

- The Richard Rome productions for The Tymes and The Chi-lites

- The album produceed by Norman Harris for The Manhattans ("After Midnight"; I only have the single "Shining Star" from this album and some other 45's as the one produced by Bobby Martin "Kiss And Say Goodbay")

- The album by The Futures on Buddah produced / arranged by Vincent Montana ("Castles In The Sky")

- Barbara Mason with stuff produced by Norman Harris and also by Bunny Sigler (their duet album on Curtom Records)

- The stuff published via Salsoul produced by Vincent Montana as Astrud Gilberto, Carol Williams and on Atlantic, Montana and Goody Goody or West End with Sounds Of Inner City ("Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman")... and Brown Sugar

- The album recorded at Sigma Sound by Stanley Turrentine with the Sweethearts and MFSB

- The Norman Harris production credits on Loleatta Holloway, Love Committeee, Double Exposure, Eddie Holman (on Salsoul) and The Four Tops (on ABC), Jermaine Jackson, The Dells, Carl Bean, The Whispers, The Green Sisters,...

- The production stuff by Bunny Sigler (RIP) by The TNJ's, Southshore Commision, Executive Suite and Gabor Szabo and Instant Funk and more recently for some Sugarhill Records acts.

- The Philly regular arrangers / producers / studio musicians credits on stuff as diverse as Modulations, Black Ivory, Philly Devotions, True Reflection, True Example, Ultra High Frequency, Moving Violation, Impact, Damon Harris, Aristocrats, Sons Of Robin Stone, Persuaders, Gentle Persuassion, Coup DeVilles, Broadway Express, Philly Groove Orchestra, Fat Larry's Band, Ingram - Philly Cream, Fusion Band, Sound Experience, Terri Wells, Brandy Wells, Eugene Wilde, Troy, Crusaders (vocal group, not the jazz - fusion band), Tapestry, Quickest Way Out, Finishing Touch, the Larry Gold involvement on The Philadelphia experiment project with Freddie Hubbard and their productn on some nu - soul Philly acts as Floetry, Nanda,...

- The brief experience of Monster Records by Bobby Martin with Jean Terrell, Drake Frye, Friends Of Distinction or their work with Etta James and Continental Four

- The OST of the film "The Fish That Saved Pittsburg" by Thom Bell, including country singer Loretta Lynn!!... and The Sylvers, Four Tops, Eubie Banks, Frankie Bleu, Spinners

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Here's a few more for the list- A Brother's Guiding Light- "Getting Together" - Mercury (early Montana production) 

Thom Bell's work with New York City on Chelsea.

The Temprees 3 album ( We Produce)  has tracks cut at Future Gold Studios in Philly and features such Philly names as Ron Baker,

Earl Young, Bobby Eli and Larry Washington

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Dexter Wansel appears on the credis on the People's Choice selftitled LP on Casablanca, 1980, produced by Thom Moulton.

Also Thom Moulton produced two albums by Grace Jones in Sigma, and another disco - diva, Gloria Gaynor recorded her first album under the guidance of Norman Harris.

Thom Bell brother Anthony produced the first album by Sister Sledge (the fantastic "Mama Never Told Me" belongs to this album).

Some other artists with Philly produced and / or arranged stuff I remember: The Joneses, Touch Of Class, Bell & James, The Invitations, Revelation, The Courtship, J. Kelly & The Premiers, Paul Anka & Odia Coates, Engelbert Umperdink, Keith Barrow, ex Blue Note's David Ebo, Joanna Gardner, Barbara Streisand, Peaches & Herb,...

One of my all time vocal groups favorites, The Dramatics have one album partially recorded / mixed in Philly with Philly names in the credits, "10 1/2" (MCA, 1980) and with a fantastic Gamble - Huff tune, a cover of The Future's "Love Is Here".

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Have we missed the Jacksons, who recorded 2 LPs at Sigma Sound? "Let me show you the way to go" was the big hit, and "Living together" got airplay. It formed the basis of a much-played bootleg covered up as Black Disco, "Real good time" that I remember Ian Dewhirst raving about at the time (maybe 8 years ago now). No wonder - it's brilliant:

There's also film footage of the Jacksons recording at Sigma Sound:

 

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Philippe Wynne of the Spinners released an LP in 1977 that was partly recorded at Sigma Sound, featuring the Sweethearts and was mostly mixed by Joe Tarsia. This song was written by Bruce Hawes, Charles Simmons and Joseph Jefferson:

 

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22 hours ago, Mickey Finn said:

 

Speaking of unreleased stuff, there's supposed to be a full album by Jean Carne in the PIR vaults.

 

Now that would be fantastic to hear :D

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Hi again, Mickey

I don't "forget" The Jacksons, simply, as we are talking about "outside productions stuff" I consider the two albums by them ("The Jacksons" and "Goin' Places") as PIR records, the Epic and PIR logos appears on the sleeve arts and on the labels. Also on my 45 copy of "Blame It On The Boogie" w / b "Do What You Wanna Do" says "Produced by Bobby Colomby / Executive producers: Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff".

A question that appears one time in the Soulfuldetroit forum (around the year 2003 - 2004, ?) was about The Manhattans and Stephanie Mill's contracts with PIR (a simple rumor ...??)

Some other artists I remember with records out of Sigma and with Philly cats on the credits: Ronnie Walker, Clyde Brown, David Morris, Jr., Charles Mann (I think he was also on the line-up of Anglo Saxon Brown - Ujima - Silk), Sharon McMahan, Holly Maxwell, Doris Troy, Nat Turner's Rebellion, Philly Four, Philadelphia Society, Electric Indian, Len Barry, Leslie Gore, Lenny Welch, Assembled Multitude, French Connection, Monday After, Charo, Soul Train Gang, Metropolis, B-H-Y, Moment Of Truth, Salsoul Strings, Salsoul Orchestra, Montana, France Jolie, Anvil Band (a Joe Bataan project but it seems with a Vincent Montana "touch",...?), Booker Newberry III, Sweet Thunder, Heaven & Earth, Eloise Laws, Tradewinds, Norma & The Heartaches, the Vincent Montana collaboration (as string arranger and vibes player) with La India, Mondo Grosso, Incognito and Masters At Work, the production work by Thom Bell with James Ingram, I - Three and The Wailers, the unissued stuff produced by Bunny Sigler for The Chambers Brothers in the first months of PIR (1971),...

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Although it was touched on- I wanted to make mention of the great work from the Young Professionals team  which was for the most part Taylor, Hurtt and Bell

(sometimes Bunny Sigler shows up in the credits) who are responsible for all of these -

Jackie Moore- "Both Ends Against The Middle", "Sweet Charlie Babe"

Bettye Swann- "Kiss My Love Goodbye", "When The Game Is Played On You"

Vivian Reed - "Save Your Love For Me"

Blue Magic - "Sideshow" etc.

Clyde Brown- "You Called Me Back"

 

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On ‎07‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 19:03, josep manuel concernau robles said:

P.D.: I have a very good "screaming / shouting" song in a compilation called "Soulin, Vol. 1" by a german label, Moonshine credited to Freddie Scott and titled "Pow City". I remember to have explained this in the Soulfuldetroit forum and someone with high knowledge said that this is "another different Freddie Scott" (another case of different artists and groups with the same name)

There was a Freddie Scott working in the Miami area from the mid 60's to early 70's (live work + recordings). Which the Miami / Philly links, it could well have been him. 

I guess the Terry Collins on Kwanza was just a Philly prod that the new label bought in to boost it's release rate.

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26 minutes ago, Roburt said:

There was a Freddie Scott working in the Miami area from the mid 60's to early 70's (live work + recordings). Which the Miami / Philly links, it could well have been him. 

I guess the Terry Collins on Kwanza was just a Philly prod that the new label bought in to boost it's release rate.

Who knows...? IMHO, the voice sounds "the same".

 

Here's another production by a Philly "regular" from the "second MFSB incarnation", the trumpeter player / arranger / producer John L. Usry and his project - band Stratavarious:

 

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