On Day 3 of Derek See’s Record Week Challenge, we head over to Philadelphia and back to the mind of Leon Huff. As known, Huff joined forces often with Kenny Gamble during the Mid 60’s. By the end of 1967, they would start partnering on a semi-permanent basis, going on to open their own labels (First Gamble, then Philadelphia International). The Libra/Aries partnership really started to flourish in the Early 70’s, but they weren’t without their successes starting in 1965.
One of the major breakout acts they produced were The Intruders. That group, having been around since 1960. Gamble and Huff were able to provide them with many a R&B classic, including the #1 R&B Hit “Cowboys To Girls” as 1967 turned into 1968. My favorite singles from Eugene Daughtry, Bobby Ferguson, Phil Terry and Sonny Edwards were their brace of almost “could been” hits from 1968 through 1970. Not aiming for stereotypical R&B templates of the late 1960’s, they were decidedly more playful, with harmonic gymnastics as flavorful as those groups racking up the biggest hits at the time.
My absolute favorite was buried on the B-side of their worst charting of the bunch, “Me Tarzan, You Jane” in the Spring of 1969. Had Gamble records gone with the rollicking stop-start gem. A beautiful campaign ad in the political arena of love, it definitely stands up better as we dive deep into yet another contentious Presidential Election cycle, among other things.