Warner Music: Entertainment, Warner Chappell Music, Imagine Documentaries and Jigsaw Productions Announce Historical Documentary on Music Icons Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell
The film will explore their prolific lives and lasting legacies as songwriters and producers, telling the incredible story of The Sound of Philadelphia
Alex Gibney to executive producer; Sam Pollard directing
Warner Music Entertainment (WME), Warner Chappell Music (WCM) and Imagine Documentaries, in partnership with Jigsaw Productions, today announced Philadelphia sound, a documentary celebrating the creation of the most symphonically seductive musical genre, Philly Soul. The untold story will chronicle the lasting legacy of musical icons Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell as they developed their timeless sound, which would influence generations of artists and songwriters and change the music industry. music forever.
Oscar-winning and Emmy-winning executive producer Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Men in the Room, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Crime of the Century) signed on for the project, alongside Peabody and Emmy award-winning director Sam Pollard (Mister Soul!, Sammy Davis, Jr: Gotta Be Me). The film will also be produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes (Imagine); Charlie Cohen (WME); Ashley Winton (WCM); Stacey Offman, Richard Perello and Erin Edeiken (Jigsaw); and Amanda Ghost and Gregor Cameron (Unigram).
Philadelphia sound will include exclusive interviews and never-before-seen footage featuring groundbreaking songwriters and producers Gamble, Huff and Bell – known as “The Mighty Three”. As the founders of legendary record label Philadelphia International Records and creators of “The Sound of Philadelphia” (TSOP), the documentary will explore how they shaped their unique prowess in sound and music. With a catalog of over 3,500 songs, The Mighty Three wrote and produced genre-defining hits that shaped a generation, including The O’Jays’ “Love Train”, “If You Don’t Know Me Now” Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul, “Rubberband Man” by The Spinners, “You Are Everything” by The Stylistics and “TSOP” by MFSB and the Three Degrees – famous for its use as train of souls theme song.
The documentary will further explore Gamble, Huff and Bell’s role in producing and writing major hits with world renowned artists such as The Jacksons, Dusty Springfield, Lou Rawls, The Three Degrees, Patti LaBelle, Nancy Wilson, The Temptations and the Supremes collaboration, Elton Jean and many more. The documentary will highlight the meteoric rise to fame of three Philadelphia and Camden street pioneers who worked to create the world’s most successful black-owned record label and music publishing company, while channeling their iconic success into the community.
Gamble, Huff and Bell shared, “After six decades, we’re incredibly proud to finally share our life stories with the world and showcase all the hard work that went into creating this great music. We’re even more thrilled to working with the incredible teams at Imagine and Warner Music, as well as Alex Gibney and Sam Pollard Our longtime fans and new fans will get a unique look at creating the Sound of Philadelphia with the themes of empowerment and love, for ‘people all over the world’ because we’ve always had a ‘Message in our music!!!'”
Warner Music Entertainment Chairman Charlie Cohen said, “The lasting impact of Kenny, Leon and Thom on music and our culture in general cannot be underestimated. Their music is timeless, and the messages of their songs still resonate today. When Ashley Winton and the Warner Chappell team brought us this idea, we immediately knew we had something special. And now that Alex Gibney and Sam Pollard have signed on to lend their creative visions to the project, we’re thrilled to see this story come to life.
Alex Gibney said: “I am delighted to be co-producing this film about these exceptional songwriters, whose words and music continue to make an impact. And delighted to be working again with my friend Sam Pollard – who produced and edited ‘Sinatra: All or Nothing At All’, an excellent director with a deep understanding of music.”
Sam Pollard added: “I was absolutely thrilled when I was approached to make a feature documentary about the extraordinary music makers Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell. They made superstars out of artists who previously worked in darkness, through songs of peace, love, social awareness and restlessness. I look forward to working with my dear friend Alex Gibney again as we bring to light the powerful, sophisticated and timeless “Sound of Philadelphia”. ”
Development of the documentary is spearheaded by Warner Chappell’s Creative Services department – which identifies untapped business and creative opportunities for songwriters and Warner Chappell’s catalogue. It is the latest project from WME and Warner Chappell’s partnership with Imagine Entertainment.