R.I.P. Billy Paul

Philadelphia soul singer Billy Paul died yesterday at the age of 80. Paul became famous for his 1972 hit, “Me & Mrs. Jones.  Gamble & Huff wrote Paul’s signature song and it became another hit in their Philly soul canon. The follow-up to “Me & Mrs. Jones” was the pro-Black “Am I Black Enough For You” which confused fans after being introduced to him as an innocuous soul singer. Paul said he did not approve of releasing a political song right after having a crossover hit but he did embrace Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X with the song “Let ‘Em In.” Billy Paul recorded for Gamble & Huff’s Philadelphia International until 1980 with the release of 12 albums with them and 14 for his career . In 2009 director Göran Hugo Olsson made the film Am I Black Enough exploring the song and Paul as the central figure onscreen.