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MFSB (short for "Mother Father Sister Brother") was a pool of more than thirty studio musicians based at Philadelphia’smarker famed Sigma Sound Studios. They worked closely with the production team of Gamble & Huff and arranger Thom Bell, and backed up such groups as Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes, O’Jays, Stylistics, Spinners, Wilson Picket, and Billy Paul.

In 1974, MFSB began recording as a named act for the Philadelphia International label. "TSOP " was their first and most successful single; released March 1974, it peaked at number one on the Billboard magazine pop and R&B charts. "TSOP" was influential in establishing the disco sound.

Overview

Assembled by record producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, MFSB was the house band for their Philadelphia International Records label and originated the signature smooth "Philly sound" sound that dominated the early 1970s for the artists who recorded at the Sigma Sound Studios, including the O'Jays, the Spinners, the Bluenotes, The Delfonics, Blue Magic, Intruders, Three Degrees, Jerry Butler, and Teddy Pendergrass. Later in the decade the collective would become known for the "hi-hat"-dominated disco sounds that became pervasive in the late 1970s with groups like The Trammps, First Choice, Ripple and Double Exposure.

The classic line up of musicians included Karl Chambers and Earl Young on drums; Norman Harris, Roland Chambers, Bobby Eli, and TJ Tindall on guitar; Winnie Wilford and Ronnie Baker on bass; Vince Montana and Larry Washington on vibes and percussion and Leon Huff and Thom Bell on keyboards and Don Renaldo on strings and horns featuring Rocco Bene on Trumpet.

Career

In the spring of 1974, Philadelphia International released an instrumental track which had been recorded by the band as the theme music for the television show Soul Train as a single. The record, titled "TSOP " reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and also topped the American R&B chart and adult contemporary chart.. The success of "TSOP" launched a recording career for the band under their own name. MFSB albums and singles were released for the rest of the decade.

MFSB recorded a cover of The Nite-Liters's 1971 instrumental "K-Jee", which gained some popularity when it featured in a key scene in the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever. It is also included in the soundtrack to that movie. "Sexy" (released in 1975) was later used as a prize cue for the "Big Deal of the Day" on the 1980 version of Let's Make a Deal.

Another popular MFSB number, "Love Is The Message", has been a favorite of dance/disco DJs since its release; countless remixes, both official and unofficial, exist of the song. On September 20, 2004, the record became among the first to be inducted into the newly formed Dance Music Hall of Fame.

Due to a disagreement with Gamble & Huff, several members of the group moved on to Salsoul Records, where they became known as The Salsoul Orchestra. Other members began performing as The Ritchie Family orchestra, Vince Montana, and John Davis and the Monster Orchestra. Not to be outdone, Gamble & Huff replaced them with Instant Funk, Dexter Wansel and others on MFSB's latter recordings for the label.

In October 2004 "Love Is The Message" appeared in popular videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on Funk radio station Bounce FM.Since 1980 "My Mood" has been the closing theme music for the Friday 6PM newscast on Washington, DC's NBC TV station WRCmarker.

In 2008 some original MFSB members,legendary guitarist/writer/producer Bobby Eli and drummer Earl Young, joined other notable musicians, T Conway, Rikki Hicks, Jimmy Williams and Dennis Harris at Bobby Eli's 'Studio E', in Philadelphia to record new co written material by Bobby Eli, Carl Dixon (see Bandtraxs/Funk Brothers)and Chiquita Green. The session was Dixon paying homage to the musicians, writers and producers he aspired to from his disco days in Hull/England around 1974.

Discography

  • MFSB (1973)
  • Love Is The Message (1973)
  • Philadelphia Freedom (1975)
  • Universal Love (1975)
  • Summertime (1976)
  • MFSB & Gamble Huff Orchestra (1978)
  • The End of Phase One (1978)
  • Mysteries of the World (1980)


References

External links




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