Thank Funk It’s Friday – 2010.10.01

The ‘Heavy Vibes’ Mix

Vincent Montana is a producer, arranger, composer, conductor and, perhaps, the world’s best vibraharpist. He has been called the Italian Stallion of the vibes and the ‘Godfather of Disco’ for all of his pioneering work in the genre throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Montana was born in 1928 and grew up on the south side of Philadelphia in the same neighborhood as Jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie and Red Garland, as well as Pop greats Frankie Avalon and Fabian.

His first big break came when he was asked to play on the Delfonic’s album ‘La La (Means I Love You)’ in 1968. It was also his introduction to the infamous Philly sound.

In the coming years he earned his ‘Godfather’ status in Disco by playing an integral part in the development of MFSB (Mother Father Sister Brother), which was a collection of over thirty musicians who were the house band for Philadelphia International Records. Following the massive success of PIR and MFSB, Montana moved to Salsoul Records and applied the same aesthetics to the Salsoul Orchestra, which he conducted and was the driving force behind from 1975 to 1978. His next endeavour was the creation of the Montana Orchestra in the early 1980s.

Montana had massive success and chart hits with every single band he was involved in and this week’s mix highlights three of them.

01. ‘TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)’
The song that launched the career of MFSB in 1974, sold over a million copies and was used as the theme song for the television show ‘Soul Train’.

02. ‘Ooh, I Love It (Love Break)’
The song that Montana released with the Salsoul Orchestra in 1975 that was a huge hit and a favorite in discotheques all over America.

03. ‘Who Needs Enemies (Club Mix)’
The song that was released on Montana’s Philly Sound Works label in 1983 and features a later incarnation of the Philly Sound Orchestra; simply called the Montana Sextet.

Today Vincent Montana is still active, writing music and creating orchestral arrangements on his Apple computer and the world truly is a better place for all of the music that he has given us during the last 45 years.

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