I love the sound of Philadelphia. It was the link between crossover and disco and contained the best elements of both. Above all, it was soulful, defined by the voice of Teddy Pendergrass.

Here are some tracks off a new compilation put together by Dimitri of Paris. An album well worth purchasing.

The Love I Lost - Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
Hurt So Bad (a Tom Moulton Mix) - Philly Devotions
The Night The Lights Went Out - Trammps
The More I Get, The More I Want - Teddy Pendergrass
I Don't Need No Music - TJM
Bad Luck - Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes


Dimitri from Paris (born Dimitris Yerasimos in Istanbul, Oct. 63) is a French music producer and DJ of Greek origins. His musical influences are rooted in 70s funk and disco sounds as well as original soundtracks from 50s and 60s cult movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Party. Dimitri fused these sounds with electro and block party hip hop he discovered in the 80s.



  1. Thanks for posting. Born and raised in Philly, I find that these tunes bring back memories—but of the ambivalent kind.

    I was finishing high school in Philadelphia and on into college just 35 miles away when many of these songs broke big. I remember hearing them, not at home or in my dorm room, where I tuned into radio stations that I really liked but, instead, in public places on public loudspeakers. I didn’t care for it then.

    The segregation of rock ‘n’ roll that started in the late ‘60s isn’t news to music fans, of course. In Philly, “underground” music was the hip thing, especially among the adventurous young white crowd that liked new experimental music that challenged authority. WMMR was our flagship, an FM station that was free-form in format. You heard Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Cat Mother and the All-Night Newsboys, Zappa, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Hendrix, John Mayall, and lots of ground-breaking folk, including British folk artists like Nick Drake, Sandy Denney and Fairport Convention, Pentangle and Richard Thompson. I grew up hearing my father’s Big Band music, and the ’60s were my musical middle school. It really was exciting; It was also segregated. Not intentionally, of course.

    Now I hear compilations like this and I shake my head, wondering, “How did I miss all of this? Did it all sound too close to disco?” A year ago or so I heard an interview with Gamble and Huff by the American Terry Gross. I was amazed: What great songwriters! So many great songs that passed me by. Truth is, they didn’t pass me by. I did the passing. I made choices. I certainly had heard of Sigma Sound Studios, but I couldn’t have told you where it was; on the other hand, I visited WMMR’s offices near Rittenhouse Square. (I almost got run over by DJ Michael Tearson, who was speeding his bicycle down a narrow hallway!)

    I recall reading that one of the Drive-By Truckers said he grew up in the deep, muddy tradition of Southern rock ’n’ roll and gladly left it behind for punk. Then he came back, grateful for both traditions, and rooted in both. That was his true musical home. Here’s to finding our true, complete musical homes, all of us.

  2. Thanks, Joe. I am fortunate to live in England where there was never a huge white/black divide musically. Concerts and discos were always mixed. Also I came from a small town and there were so few of us that we had to all go to any entertainment that came our way or risk never going out. So I would be at a punk gig one night and a soul disco the next. It led to me having a very wide taste in music.

    I had a couple of friends who were crazy about southern soul and back in 72 they saved up their money and flew out to New Orleans. They bought tickets for some soul diva’s show only to turn up to find they were the only white people in the queue. When somebody took a knife out they legged it. They were completely thrown by the difference in culture between England and the States. It really devastated them.

    You mention disco as though it was a bad thing. Most of the “Saturday Night Fever” stuff, that got into the charts, was. But there’s some really interesting music out there that came out of the soul and boogaloo underground that is really soulful and complex. It’s worth digging around for.

    Do keep in touch. I’d like to post more soul and I don’t need much encouragement.