Follow Here To Purchase GROWING UP IN THE SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA (From The Inside Out) (Volume 1)


Author: Bruce A. Hawes

Publisher: M.A.W.A.com Inc. Publishing House Division (September 12, 2013

ISBN-10: 0615689469

ISBN-13: 978-0615689463


Back in 1971, the songwriting team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, along with producer Tom Bell, founded Philadelphia International Records. The "Philly Soul" sound they shaped included hits for the likes of The O'Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, The Spinners, Teddy Pendergrass, The Three Degrees, and the house ban, MFSB. Early on, Gamble and Huff worked to expand their base of songwriters, arrangers, and producers, and among the first to be hired was the songwriting trio of Joe Jefferson, Charlie Simmons, and Bruce Hawes.

Now, Bruce Hawes not only tells his own story but also that of the legendary record label in his autobiography, Growing Up in the Sound of Philadelphia. Hawes opens the book by describing the music scene in Philly long before Gamble and Huff, notably with the launch of Bandstand on television. He talks about the lucky day when he walked into PI's offices, had three of his songs accepted, and then really gets into what most readers will be interested in, namely how the hits were composed and then constructed in the studio. As time went on, during and after his PI years, Hawes expanded his talents to become not only a songwriter, but also producer and arranger for performers ranging from The Spinners, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Melba Moore, R. Kelly, Tupac Shakur, and The Whispers. If that's the breed of music you like, this tome will be a treasure trove of anecdotes and revelations. But that's just part of the story.

In particular, after being mentored by Gamble and Huff in the art of songwriting, Hawes began to really learn about the exploitation of talent in the music business which led to his leaving Philadelphia International. What he learned had much to do with the economical side of the industry, and here's where his advice for younger generations kicks in. In the latter half of the book, Hawes points out such things as the distinctions between confidence and arrogance and why new talent needs to invest time in developing a career and not expecting instant gratification with videos on Youtube.

I asked Bruce why the book is "Volume One," and he claims future volumes will include the memories of other veterans of Philadelphia International. The story, he said, has many different angles and perspectives, and his goal is to capture what the Sound of Young Philadelphia was all about from a variety of points of view. So, stay tuned as you ride one more time with the smooth grooves of the Philly Soul Train . . .