I can’t believe that it was seven years ago that I did a series on Two for Tuesday on Songwriting Teams. Time sure flies when you’re having fun…
I decided to start with the songwriting team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who I profiled exactly seven years ago yesterday. I had this to say about them then:
Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff were pioneers of “Philadelphia Soul.” They were songwriters and producers who have fifteen gold singles and 22 gold albums, and are members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They’ve worked with Archie Bell and the Drells, Jerry Butler, The Intruders, Billy Paul, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, and The O’Jays, who had three hit songs with them in the 1970’s.
As always, there is just so much to choose from, and a more-or-less complete list of the songs they wrote together and with other authors can be found on Wikipedia. The website of Gamble-Huff Productions has full biographies of both men, as well as samples of their work; on the home page, it proclaims that a Gamble & Huff song plays somewhere in the world every 14.5 minutes.
I’ve selected five of my favorite G&H songs. If you happen to have Spotify, there’s an entire playlist with 106 songs that’ll take you pretty much all the way through their catalog.
- Jerry Butler, “Only The Strong Suvive”
- The Soul Survivors, “Expressway To Your Heart”
- The O’Jay’s, “Back Stabbers”
- Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”
- Billy Paul, “Me And Mrs. Jones”
Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, your Five For Friday, September 2, 2022.