- Associated Press - Saturday, April 18, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Demolition work began Saturday at the fire-damaged former headquarters of the famed recording company that created what came to be called “The Sound of Philadelphia.”

The Philadelphia International Records building is being torn down to make way for a 47-story tower that will be part hotel, part luxury condominiums. Adjacent buildings were torn down earlier, and Saturday’s work began to dismantle the three-story former record company building.

Producers Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell are credited with having created the lush acoustics of 1960s and ‘70s soul music that came to be known as the Sound of Philadelphia, working with artists such as Teddy Pendergrass, Patti LaBelle and Lou Rawls.

Gamble and Huff’s songs include the O’Jays’ “Love Train,” Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones” and McFadden & Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.”

The offices were heavily damaged in 2010 by an arson fire that ruined about 40 percent of Philadelphia International Records’ memorabilia - including gold and platinum records. At the time, the building primarily served as the company’s licensing arm, though it hosted tour groups and offered a small gift shop.

Before Gamble purchased the South Broad Street property, it was home to Cameo Parkway Records, where Chubby Checker recorded “The Twist.”

Grammy winners Gamble and Huff were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.



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