A House on Fire: The Rise and Fall of Philadelphia Soul

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9780195149722: A House on Fire: The Rise and Fall of Philadelphia Soul

"If You Don't Know Me By Now," "The Love I Lost," "The Soul Train Theme," "Then Came You," "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now"--the distinctive music that became known as Philly Soul dominated the pop music charts in the 1970s. In A House on Fire, John A. Jackson takes us inside the musical empire created by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell, the three men who put Philadelphia Soul on the map.
Here is the eye-opening story of three of the most influential and successful music producers of the seventies. Jackson shows how Gamble, Huff, and Bell developed a black recording empire second only to Berry Gordy's Motown, pumping out a string of chart-toppers from Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the Spinners, the O'Jays, the Stylistics, and many others. The author underscores the endemic racism of the music business at that time, revealing how the three men were blocked from the major record companies and outlets in Philadelphia because they were black, forcing them to create their own label, sign their own artists, and create their own sound. The sound they created--a sophisticated and glossy form of rhythm and blues, characterized by crisp, melodious harmonies backed by lush, string-laden orchestration and a hard-driving rhythm section--was a glorious success, producing at least twenty-eight gold or platinum albums and thirty-one gold or platinum singles. But after their meteoric rise and years of unstoppable success, their production company finally failed, brought down by payola, competition, a tough economy, and changing popular tastes.
Funky, groovy, soulful--Philly Soul was the classic seventies sound. A House on Fire tells the inside story of this remarkable musical phenomenon.

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About the Author:


John A. Jackson is the author of the award-winning books Big Beat Heat: Alan Freed and the Early Years of Rock and Roll and American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock and Roll Empire. He lives outside Tampa, Florida.

Review:


"A meticulously researched and engaging story.... There are lessons to be learned from the often forgotten Philadelphia International; before the triumph of the more mechanized sounds of disco and then hip-hop, it was a place where the human dynamics of musicians, songwriters and producers, all collaborating under one roof, were essential to success."--New York Times Book Review


"Jackson tells fascinating tale.... Jackson carefully threads through his story the changing backdrop of soul music and society in general, but it's what's happening in Philadelphia that drives the account."--San Francisco Chronicle


"A beautiful job of chronicling Philadelphia International Records.... You actually feel that you are right in the studio witnessing their creative processes. Music fans will enjoy the way the author intertwines PIR with Detroit's Motown, Memphis's Stax-Volt, and the sounds coming out of Chicago, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama.... Jackson includes a song list in Appendix 1 that is worth the price of the book alone."--Black Issues Book Review


"The definitive account of Philadelphia Soul. John Jackson's five years of research have resulted in a fascinating study of the hit sound that left lasting impressions on both the recording industry and American culture. A House on Fire is a wonderful human drama set in the tumultuous world of pop music, and John Jackson expertly captures the full breadth of this rollicking story." --Gerald Posner, author of Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power


"A meticulously detailed slice of pop music history."--Publishers Weekly


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2004. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. If You Don t Know Me By Now, The Love I Lost, The Soul Train Theme, Then Came You, Ain t No Stoppin Us Now -the distinctive music that became known as Philly Soul dominated the pop music charts in the 1970s. In A House on Fire, John A. Jackson takes us inside the musical empire created by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell, the three men who put Philadelphia Soul on the map. Here is the eye-opening story of three of the most influential and successful music producers of the seventies. Jackson shows how Gamble, Huff, and Bell developed a black recording empire second only to Berry Gordy s Motown, pumping out a string of chart-toppers from Harold Melvin the Blue Notes, the Spinners, the O Jays, the Stylistics, and many others. The author underscores the endemic racism of the music business at that time, revealing how the three men were blocked from the major record companies and outlets in Philadelphia because they were black, forcing them to create their own label, sign their own artists, and create their own sound. The sound they created-a sophisticated and glossy form of rhythm and blues, characterized by crisp, melodious harmonies backed by lush, string-laden orchestration and a hard-driving rhythm section-was a glorious success, producing at least twenty-eight gold or platinum albums and thirty-one gold or platinum singles. But after their meteoric rise and years of unstoppable success, their production company finally failed, brought down by payola, competition, a tough economy, and changing popular tastes. Funky, groovy, soulful-Philly Soul was the classic seventies sound. A House on Fire tells the inside story of this remarkable musical phenomenon. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780195149722

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2004. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. If You Don t Know Me By Now, The Love I Lost, The Soul Train Theme, Then Came You, Ain t No Stoppin Us Now -the distinctive music that became known as Philly Soul dominated the pop music charts in the 1970s. In A House on Fire, John A. Jackson takes us inside the musical empire created by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell, the three men who put Philadelphia Soul on the map. Here is the eye-opening story of three of the most influential and successful music producers of the seventies. Jackson shows how Gamble, Huff, and Bell developed a black recording empire second only to Berry Gordy s Motown, pumping out a string of chart-toppers from Harold Melvin the Blue Notes, the Spinners, the O Jays, the Stylistics, and many others. The author underscores the endemic racism of the music business at that time, revealing how the three men were blocked from the major record companies and outlets in Philadelphia because they were black, forcing them to create their own label, sign their own artists, and create their own sound. The sound they created-a sophisticated and glossy form of rhythm and blues, characterized by crisp, melodious harmonies backed by lush, string-laden orchestration and a hard-driving rhythm section-was a glorious success, producing at least twenty-eight gold or platinum albums and thirty-one gold or platinum singles. But after their meteoric rise and years of unstoppable success, their production company finally failed, brought down by payola, competition, a tough economy, and changing popular tastes. Funky, groovy, soulful-Philly Soul was the classic seventies sound. A House on Fire tells the inside story of this remarkable musical phenomenon. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780195149722

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, 2004. Book Condition: New. 2004. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Gamble, Huff, and Bell were the pre-eminent soul music producers of the 1970s. This book tells the story of their meteoric rise, their years of unstoppable success, and their demise from payola, competition, a tough economy, and the inevitability of changing popular tastes. Num Pages: 368 pages, 25 halftones. BIC Classification: 1KBBEP; AVGQ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 240 x 166 x 27. Weight in Grams: 714. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780195149722

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc. Book Condition: New. 2004. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Gamble, Huff, and Bell were the pre-eminent soul music producers of the 1970s. This book tells the story of their meteoric rise, their years of unstoppable success, and their demise from payola, competition, a tough economy, and the inevitability of changing popular tastes. Num Pages: 368 pages, 25 halftones. BIC Classification: 1KBBEP; AVGQ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 240 x 166 x 27. Weight in Grams: 714. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780195149722

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Book Description Oxford University Press, Great Britain, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st Edition. "If You Don't Know Me By Now," "The Love I Lost," "The Soul Train Theme," "Then Came You," "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now"--the distinctive music that became known as Philly Soul dominated the pop music charts in the 1970s. In A House on Fire, John A. Jackson takes us inside the musical empire created by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell, the three men who put Philadelphia Soul on the map. Here is the eye-opening story of three of the most influential and successful music producers of the seventies. Jackson shows how Gamble, Huff, and Bell developed a black recording empire second only to Berry Gordy's Motown, pumping out a string of chart-toppers from Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the Spinners, the O'Jays, the Stylistics, and many others. The author underscores the endemic racism of the music business at that time, revealing how the three men were blocked from the major record companies and outlets in Philadelphia because they were black, forcing them to create their own label, sign their own artists, and create their own sound. The sound they created--a sophisticated and glossy form of rhythm and blues, characterized by crisp, melodious harmonies backed by lush, string-laden orchestration and a hard-driving rhythm section--was a glorious success, producing at least twenty-eight gold or platinum albums and thirty-one gold or platinum singles. But after their meteoric rise and years of unstoppable success, their production company finally failed, brought down by payola, competition, a tough economy, and changing popular tastes. Funky, groovy, soulful--Philly Soul was the classic seventies sound. A House on Fire tells the inside story of this remarkable musical phenomenon. Bookseller Inventory # 000718

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