1976 The Salsoul Orchestra – Tangerine

1976 The Salsoul Orchestra – Tangerine

Victor Schertzinger composed the music and Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics for the song Tangerine in 1941.

The 1942 film The Fleet’s In contained a version of the song performed by the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra with Helen O’Connell and Bob Eberly singing the vocals. The single that was released from the film spent six weeks at the top of the charts.

Numerous musicians created jazz arrangements for the song over the next few decades.

Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff founded the Philadelphia International Records label in 1971. They hired a group of studio musicians as a house band that played backup music for the recordings the studio did. They called the group MFSB, and they even had success on their own with their recording of the Soul Train theme song. Vincent Montana played vibes in that group. Over time, many of the musicians became dissatisfied with the financial arrangements they had with the company.

Brothers Joseph Cayre, Kenneth Cayre, and Stanley Cayre founded Salsoul Records in 1974. Their name came from their intention to merge salsa music soul music in new recordings. Vincent Montana took a group of former MFSB members and added more strings musicians and created the house band for Salsoul Records. The band was named The Salsoul Orchestra.

The new group’s first charting single became The Salsoul Hustle, which reached #76 on the Hot 100 and #44 on the R&B chart.

The label was fortunate enough to catch the disco wave that was sweeping the nation, and the group recorded an instrumental disco version of Tangerine as their follow-up single.

The record peaked at #18 on the Hot 100 and #36 on the R&B chart in 1976. More importantly, it reached #4 on the US Dance chart.

The band had two more top three singles on the dance chart in the next year and continued reaching that chart with additional singles through 1983.

Their last song to chart was (Ooh, I Love It) Love Break. That single was notable because Madonna’s single Vogue sampled the horns and strings from the recording! A lawsuit was filed as a result of the sampling, but the judge found in Madonna’s favor. He ruled the samples were an “insignificant” portion of the song that no reasonable audience could identify.


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