Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day 07/29/2019

Patty and the Emblems were a group from Camden, New Jersey that qualifies as another one hit wonder. In 1964 they hit the charts for the first and only time when their recording of Mixed-Up, Shook-Up Girl finished at #37 in the Summer of 1964. The line-up was similar to Gladys Knight and the Pips: a female lead singer (Patty Russell) backed up by three male singers (Eddie Watts, Vance Walker, and Alexander Wildes). They appear to have released eight more singles between 1964 and 1968 (some lists stop at 1967) before the group disbanded. While little information about their later careers is available online, it appears that Patty quit singing professionally when the group split up while the three back-up singers continued singing in other groups.

Their hit record is notable as the first top forty record that was written or co-written by Leon Huff. In 1964, Kenneth Gamble also co-wrote his first top forty single, Who Do You Love by the Sapphires. Later that year Leon and Kenny worked together on a song that Kenny wrote with Jerry Ross. Gamble and Huff started writing together and got their first top-five record in 1967 when the Soul Survivors recorded Expressway To Your Heart.

Dozens more hit records were written and/or produced by the pair in the next few years, and they started Philidelphia International Records in 1971. The Philly Sound became a driving force in the early seventies and rivaled Motown’s success for a few years. By the time the dust settled, Gamble and Huff had written and produced over 175 gold and platinum records and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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