Artists included on this recording: The Hooters, Patti Labelle, Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers, Grover Washington, Jr., Pretty Poison, Phyllis Hyman, Teddy Pendergrass, Robert Hazard, Jeff Lorber, Jean Carn, Britny Fox, Bobby Rydell, Schoolly D, Essra Mohawk, Sister Sledge, Billy Paul, Dee Dee Sharp and Tony Santoro.
Singing Our Song Local Superstars Get It Together
By Jonathan Takiff, Daily News Staff Writer
June 5, 1989
Did Elton John's rendering of "Philadelphia Freedom" make you well up with civic pride? If so, you're gonna bust over a dynamic new Philly superstar treatment out on a just-issued album called "Philadelphia Freedom - Together."
Trading licks (in the style of "We Are the World") are Teddy Pendergrass, the Hooters, Schooly D, Grover Washington Jr. and Patti LaBelle. Sharp ears also will detect the presence of Sister Sledge, Britny Fox, Jeane Carne, Bobby Rydell and Billy Paul, Pretty Poison, Dee Dee Sharp, Jeff Lorber, Robert Hazard, Essra Mohawk, Tony Santoro and Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers.
Celebrating Philly's rich and varied base in contemporary music, the Nick Martinelli and Randy Cantor production of Elton John's fight song was a year in the compiling, done at the behest of the Philadelphia Music Foundation. The results are coherent and soulful - an easy addition to the playlists of WIOQ, Power 99, WUSL or WDAS, or even (because it's instant gold) WOGL and WPGR. The boosters at PMF hope radio will get behind the song tomorrow in a big way. They're trying to get every radio station in the Delaware Valley to play the tune - to help the cause, in a City Hall ceremony at 3 p.m. today, Mayor Goode is to declare tomorrow "PMF's Philadelphia Freedom Day."
Still, don't be surprised if rockers WMMR and WYSP instead opt to plug some of the classic tracks that flesh out the $7.98 "Philadelphia Freedom" album. Yup, it's the greatest hits by the Hooters ("And We Danced"), Patti LaBelle ("New Attitude"), Cinderella ("Nobody's Fool"), John Eddie ("Jungle Boy") and Robert Hazard ("Escalator of Life") on the rocking Side 1. The flip side gets funky with McFadden and Whitehead's "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," George Thorogood's "Who Do You Love," Teddy Pendergrass' "Close the Door," Sister Sledge's "We Are Family," Jean Carne's "Closer Than Close" and Michael Sembello's "Automatic Man."
PMF board member Alan Rubens (the savvy talent agent/manager and sometime record company proprietor) negotiated the song rights for the PMF project, and Sigma Sound's Joe Tarsia (now PMF chairman) mixed the package. "It's a clear example of people helping people through music," says Tarsia of the superstar song and album project. "The monies raised will be used to further the education and careers of young people through our scholarship fund." Over the past 2 1/2 years, PMF has contributed "in excess of $60,000" in music-field related scholarships, adds PMF director Loretta Barrett.
Also keeping it local, Warner Bros. has pressed the album at its Olyphant, Pa., plant. And the Narberth-based Collectibles label - which specializes in classic rhythm and blues compilations and reissues - is putting the album and an upcoming tape version into national circulation.
While best spread in Delaware Valley music stores, naturally, ''Philadelphia Freedom - Together" has also been shipped to distributors in Boston, New York and Los Angeles and will be "filtering out from there," says Collectables' president Jerry Greene.