Eddy's Best Disco In Town

There is, I guess, Philly soul and Philly disco. On this mix I emphasize the disco sound of Philadelphia, although it is a thin line between soul and disco, to paraphrase a famous Persuaders song (and later redone by rock band the Pretenders). The main character of that typical Philly sound is probably guitar player, producer, arranger and songwriter Norman Harris. He may have been more important to the Philly sound than legendary producers Gamble and Huff. Harris can be heard on countless Philly soul sessions of the '60s, '70s and '80s. He was a key figure of MFSB, the rhythm, strings and horns orchestra that was formed as house band for Gamble and Huff's Philadelphia International label, but the musicians played on other labels too.

As member of production trio Baker-Harris-Young, Norman Harris produced songs for First Choice, Eddie Holman, the Dells, the Salsoul Orchestra, the Trammps and Love Committee. He also had hits with Gloria Gaynor, the Delfonics, Jerry Butler, Wilson Pickett, Joe Simon and the Spinners, among many others. Beside drummer (and bass singer) Earl Young and bassist Ron Baker, Harris' frequent songwriting partners were Allan Felder and Bunny Sigler.

Norman Harris was a very busy guy, because he was a member of the Trammps and Salsoul Orchestra as well and founded his own label, Gold Mine. He must have slept very little! He came up with his unique string and horn arrangements by composing the parts on his guitar. He died of a heart attack 21 March 1987 in his hometown Philadelphia. Norman was the cousin of soul singer Major Harris, known for his love making track ‘Love won’t let me wait’.

Tracklist:

MFSB – Brothers Sisters (1975)
O’Jays – Give the People What They Want (1976)
Archie Bell & The Drells – Let's Groove (1975)
McFadden & Whitehead – Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now [Eddy’s Edit] (1979)
People’s Choice – Do It Any Way You Wanna (1975)
Jerry Butler – (I'm Just Thinking About) Cooling Out (1978)
Norman Harris – Bright Eyes (1980)
Double Exposure – Newsy Neighbors (1978)
Monk Montgomery – Bump De Bump (1974)
The Trammps – Hold Back The Night (1975)
First Choice – Armed and Extremely Dangerous (1973)
Ritchie Family – The Best Disco In Town (1976)
Instant Funk – Philly Jump (1976)
Eli's Second Coming – Heavenly (1977)
Teddy Pendergrass – Only You (1978)
The Persuaders – Two Women (1976)
Anthony White – Yes You Need Love (1975)
Gloria Gaynor – This Love Affair (1978)
The Modulations – Those Were The Best Times Of My Life (1975)

Best Disco In Town by Professor Eddy on Mixcloud

Comments

Dazler said…
Another winner!
Many great tracks but thanks for reminding me about "this Love affair" by Gloria Gaynor. I used to play that all the time and then just sort of forgot about it!
For me Disco evolved out of the Philly sound - Those driving rhythms and sweeping strings! - and then sadly hastened it's demise!
Keep 'em coming!
professor Eddy said…
Thanks, I totally agree! There's more Philly on the way.

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