Gamble and Huff Regeneration and Corporate Initiatives
Under the leadership of Chuck Gamble, Philadelphia International Records has initiated several areas of development for the label’s powerful catalogue of 3,000 songs, under a joint effort with Warner/Chappell Music to whom Gamble and Huff sold the Mighty Three Music catalogue for a multi-million dollar sum in 1991. The label’s primary business activity these days involves licensing songs for film soundtracks, television shows and commercials.
As far back as 1991, Mighty Three Music earned money from the multi- platinum soundtrack “New Jack City”, with Queen Latifah ( featuring Troop & Levert) performing a medley of “For The Love of Money”. Chuck and his staff have also been working jointly with Sony-Legacy, an imprint under the ownership of Sony BMG, to expand opportunities into further global licensing and digital activities. Sony BMG actually owns the masters of the label’s pre-1975 legendary recordings.
A lot of Philadelphia International Records songs have been sampled by many Hip Hop and non-Hip Hop acts across the world. One of the most successful songs in recent times to be sampled was “Love, Need and Want You”, covered by Nelly in 2002, which was certified platinum by the RIAA (Record Industry Association of America), having been originally recorded by Patti LaBelle in the early 1980s. For Nelly the song was number one in the USA, UK , Ireland and Australia. The album sold in excess of six million copies in the USA alone and received a Grammy Award for “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration” for the song “Dilemina” (which incorporates the sample mentioned above) at the 45th Grammy Awards Ceremony held on 23rd February 2003.
Since the 21st century we have further witnessed tracks such as “For the Love of Money” as the theme song for the American television show The Apprentice, featured on seasons 2 and 3 in 2006 (Billionaire Donald Trump’s brain child). Office Max, a corporation based in the USA, has used the tune “Rubberband Man” in a television advertisement, with a man pushing a cart to the music.
In further developments, songs such as “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”, originally performed by McFadden and Whitehead in 1979, was used in a Verizon advertising campaign with the legendary actor James Earl Jones. “Love Train”, originally performed the O’Jays in 1973, was featured on both Molson Coors beer and Gap ad campaigns and on the soundtrack of the comedy film “Guess Who”. A major female black Hip Hop artist, Faith Evans, sampled “Nights Over Egypt”, originally performed by the Jones Girls in 1981 on her gold-certified album.
We have also witnessed advertising campaigns in the UK using “When Will I See You Again” (used by a UK charitable organisation) and “Love TKO” (used in yoghurt advertising campaign).