At 5:00 it’s much too crowded

The music business, it seems, is drowning in irony. Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, one of the definitive soul-music production teams and the proprietors of the legendary Philadelphia International label, started out producing a bunch of white guys. Admittedly, they were white guys from Philadelphia, but on AM radio they sounded pretty darn black.

Gamble says he wrote the words to “Expressway to Your Heart” while on an actual expressway: the Schuylkill (“Sure-Kill”) Expressway through Philly. He had a date that night with Dee Dee Sharp (“Mashed Potato Time”), about whom I haven’t written nearly enough.

The passing of Soul Survivors vocalist Richie Ingui last Friday prompts the posting of this live track from 2011:

Contrary to the lyrics, there was always room for them.


  1. Bill Peschel »

    15 January 2017 · 6:44 pm

    While I’m not from Philly, I’ve driven down the Schuylkill enough this past year (taking my kid to Drexel and UPenn for campus visits) to say I believe it’s pronounced (“Shul-kul”) with the accent on the first part. It might help to try it as if you’re rhyming the syllables.

  2. CGHill »

    15 January 2017 · 6:45 pm

    No, your pronunciation is right. I swiped the nickname from a longtime resident.

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