The Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) will be well represented when WHYY TV12 presents “Superstars of ’70s Soul Live: My Music,” airing at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 3.
Hosted by Philly’s Grammy-winning soul icon Patti LaBelle, the special, taped at the Borgata in Atlantic City and originally broadcast in 2004, was the first installment of executive producer T.J. Lubinsky’s popular “My Music” series.
In addition to several spirited selections by LaBelle, the evening of sizzling ’70s soul features a high energy rendition of “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead — the duo’s last performance together, recorded months before Whitehead’s passing, as well as a historic reunion of the Chi-Lites with original lead singer Eugene Record, in what was ultimately the group’s last performance with the prolific singer/songwriter before his passing in 2005.
“Superstars of ’70s Soul Live” also features soulful performances by Heatwave, Maxine Nightingale, the Commodores, Yvonne Elliman and Tavares, as well as Philadelphia artists Jean Terrell (formerly of the Supremes), the Stylistics, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, Debbie and Joni Sledge of Sister Sledge and the Intruders, along with the Trammps, featuring Earl Young.
“Working with Patti LaBelle and the Blue Notes was so much fun for me, because these are the artists that I got a chance to play drums for on their recordings — ‘Love, Need and Want You,’ ‘Bad Luck,’ ‘The Love I Lost’ and more,” said legendary Philadelphia drummer Earl Young, a two-time Grammy winner who indeed played on the original recordings of several of the acts on the bill, and founded the Trammps, best known for the mega-hit, “Disco Inferno,” in 1972.
“I believe Patti is the best singer of our time, and still sounds great today,” he said. “Although a lot of the original singers have passed, the songs, the music and the singing are still there. My group, the Trammps featuring Earl Young — a lot people have never seen us. Now they’ll get a chance to.
“We had a chance to help raise money for the PBS stations, and also show people that we can still sing and dance.”
Young, whom at age 71 looks 20 years younger and is still performing at a high level, will be appearing with the Trammps on Saturday, March 31, in the Hammerstein Ballroom of New York City’s Manhattan Center.
“This special is a dream come true, to gather the original voices and talents that define the ’70s soul era,” says T.J. Lubinsky. “You may not remember their names, but you know each and every one of their songs as the music that defined the soul of the ’70s.”