People & Places
GAMBLE & HUFF
A Brief History
Along with Thom Bell, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff defined the sweet, smooth Philadelphia Sound in the early ‘70s, producing hit records by the O’Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, and Joe Simon, among many others. Their numerous hit records include “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Love Train,” “Cowboys to Girls,” “Expressway To Your Heart,” “For The Love Of Money, and “Me and Mrs. Jones.”
I discovered Leon Huff in a nightclub in 1963, performing with a group, The Lavenders, which we recorded later on.
This was six years following Dave and my success with "At the Hop." I thought Leon was an amazing talent, an
amazing piano player. I invited him to come down to our office. He played us some of his original songs. I offered him
an exclusive production contract with our company, Double Diamond Music, and Madara & White Productions. He
wrote songs for our company and co-produced several productions. He also played backup piano for several of our artists, including Maureen Gray and Len Barry.
In the building was another talented singer/songwriter, Kenny Gamble. It was there where the beginnings of the incredible Philadelphia International Records began. My relationship with them was to continue, co-publishing several hits, written by Leon and Kenny.
What Happened Next?
Since 1963, the songwriting and producing team of Gamble and Huff has earned 175 gold and platinum records,
defining an entire category of Black popular music known as “The Sound of Philadelphia.” They were inducted into the
National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1995, and were awarded the prestigious Grammy
Trustees Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1999.