Gamble & Huff Statement On The Passing Of Bunny Sigler And Jerry Ross

Jerry Ross

 

PHILADELPHIA – Legendary Philadelphia International Records co-founders and R&B pioneers Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff released a pair of statements mourning the passing of two vital members of “The Sound of Philadelphia” family: Walter “Bunny” Sigler and Jerry Ross.

Bunny Sigler

Sigler helped Gamble & Huff create the Philly Sound as a multi-faceted writer, producer, background vocalist and solo artist.

“I am truly and deeply saddened by the passing of my very dear friend Walter “Bunny” Sigler,” said Gamble. “He was one of the most talented, creative, and great songwriters and music producers I have worked with. He contributed so many great songs to our PIR artist roster from the beginning. Bunny also was a great singer, and performed superbly on many of our hit song as a background vocalist. More importantly, he was like family to us. And he was the best!”

Added Huff: “Bunny was one of my favorite producers and writers. I was honored early on to introduce Bunny to the Philadelphia music community, and to producer and songwriter legends John Madara and Dave White. I was privileged to write and produce his first and biggest hit, ‘Let the Good Times Roll.’ I truly loved Bunny Sigler and will dearly miss him.”

Sigler began hanging around the hallways of Gamble Huff Productions, singing, strumming guitar and practicing his newly acquired martial arts skills when Kenny Gamble suggested he try to write songs with Eugene Dozier. Sigler got his first break as a songwriter once Philadelphia International Records was formed, with “(You Are My) Sunshine,” the follow-up single to the O’Jays’ million-selling “Back Stabbers,” and one of many contributions to the Philadelphia International Records chapter of the vocal group’s career.

Sigler’s songs, productions, piano and background vocals are sprinkled throughout the Philadelphia International Records (PIR) catalogue.

As a writer and/or producer, Sigler helped create one of Patti LaBelle’s signature songs, “Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is),” as well as her song, “Love, Need and Want You,” famously sampled by rap artist Nelly and Kelly Rowland (formerly of Destiny’s Child) on their Grammy-winning hit, “Dilemma.” Sigler also wrote and for the Jones Girls, and Instant Funk, and Dexter Wansel. Sigler’s background vocals can be heard on hits for numerous Philadelphia International acts, most notably the O’Jays, Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, and Archie Bell and the Drells. As a solo artist, PIR released the Sigler albums That’s How Long I’ll Be Loving You, Keep Smilin’ and My Music.

A record producer, songwriter, publisher and record company executive, Jerry Ross  is credited with discovering and mentoring Kenny Gamble early in his career, and later collaborating with Gamble & Huff on the Motown smash, “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” recorded most famously by Diana Ross & the Supremes together with The Temptations. Ross’ relationship with Gamble reaches back to the late 1950s, when he helped Gamble and Thom Bell record “Someday” as Kenny & Tommy for the Heritage label.

“Jerry Ross was instrumental in introducing Thom Bell and me to the music business, including signing me to my first recording artist deal with Columbia Records,” said Gamble. “He mentored Thom Bell and me to write songs. He was our good friend and was key to the beginning of the Gamble, Huff and Bell legacy.”

Ross also discovered, wrote or produced such million-sellers as “Sunday Will Never be the Same” (Spanky & Our Gang), “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” (Jay & the Techniques), “Sunny” (Bobby Hebb), “Venus” (Shocking Blue) and many more.

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Gamble & Huff Receive Star-Studded Salute with Patti LaBelle at 2016 Marian Anderson Awards

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Pioneering “Sound of Philadelphia” architects Kenneth Gamble, left, and Leon Huff, congratulate each other as honorees at last night’s 2016 Marian Anderson Awards. Photo credit: David Ickes.

Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff received the Marian Anderson Award with Patti Labelle Tuesday night at a gala held at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. The R&B pioneers launched their Philadelphia International record company in 1970 and wrote hit songs for The Supremes, The O’Jays, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes and more. Patti Labelle started her solo career on Philadelphia International and also received the honor of the Marian Anderson Award.

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Pioneering “Sound of Philadelphia” architects Kenneth Gamble, left, and Leon Huff, right, are joined by fellow honoree and former TSOP recording artist Patti LaBelle at last night’s 2016 Marian Anderson Awards. Photo credit: David Ickes.




“I’ll Always Love My Mama” – Legendary producer Kenny Gamble Mourns Passing of his Mother, Inspiration for the Intruders’ Classic Song Saluting Mothers Everywhere; Ruby Gamble was 96

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia International Records mourns the loss and sends its sincere condolences to its founder and Chairman, legendary producer Mr. Kenny Gamble, on the loss of his mother, Ruby Gamble, the lady who inspired one of the most popular songs as a tribute to mothers everywhere, the 1973 “Sound of Philadelphia” classic “I’ll Always Love My Mama” by the Intruders. Ms. Gamble died early last Saturday after a brief illness. She was 96.

“Our mother was extremely special,” Mr. Gamble laments, on behalf of the entire Gamble family. “She was the kindest person in our lives. More importantly, she was the inspiration for everything I have done in life, including creating the wonderful music that others have enjoyed around the world. We will truly miss her.

“As the matriarch of the family, she was a spiritual person who devoted her life as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Her kindness and peacefulness will never be forgotten.”
Memorial Services will be held Saturday, March 17 at 1 p.m. at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 6826-40 Ardleigh St., Philadelphia, PA19119.

I’ll always love my Mama
She’s my favorite girl
I’ll always love my Mama
She brought me in this world

A mother’s love is so special
It’s something that you can’t describe
It’s the kind of love that stays with you
Until the day you die

Gamble & Huff are among the most prolific professional songwriting teams of all time, having written and produced over 3,500 songs within 50 years, an output that rivals Lennon-McCartney, Jagger-Richards, Leiber & Stoller and Holland-Dozier-Holland. Their message songs of peace, love, empowerment, social conscience and turmoil sold millions of records, as they fashioned the sweet, soul-stirring, socially conscious Philly Sound at Philadelphia International Records (PIR). More information at www.gamble-huffmusic.com.