Kenny Gamble Speaks on Don Cornelius

The Philly music legend spoke to NBC 10 about the impact Don Cornelius and "Soul Train" had on the world of music.


As fans and musicians across the world mourn the death of Don Cornelius, a local music legend shared his thoughts on the "Soul Train" creator with NBC 10. 

Kenny Gamble of Gamble and Huff spoke on his connection to Cornelius and his groundbreaking show.

I used to talk to Don two or three days a week and I used to tell him, ‘you need a theme song.’ We started playing around with some different melodies and that’s when we came up with "T.S.O.P." (the Sound of Philadelphia), the Soul Train theme. Everybody knew that was a funky theme for him. It’s a track that’s known all over the world.

While Gamble says Cornelius loved the song, he also claims there was an issue over the name.

I wanted to name it the "Soul Train theme." He said ‘I don’t want it to be named the "Soul Train Theme" because that’s my brand. I don’t want you guys to have my brand.’ I said ‘well, let’s call it "T.S.O.P.," the Sound of Philadelphia and I’ll put down the subtitle "The Soul Train Theme." So he agreed. Later on in life he said that was the dumbest move he’d ever made.{laughs} Because it really was the Soul Train theme.

Gamble also spoke on the impact "Soul Train" had not only on the artists on his record label but also on music in general.

When our artists played on "Soul Train" our sales shot through the roof. Every Saturday "Soul Train" was watched by millions and millions and millions of people. There was a time when you couldn’t get many rhythm and blues and African American artists on television. Of course "American Bandstand" was on every day. "American Bandstand" was a wonderful program here in Philadelphia but it didn’t really have a lot of emphasis on rhythm and blues and black artists. When Don Cornelius came along he specialized in exposing black artists that people had never seen before. I think that’s his legend. He contribute something to the American culture. Who could ever forget the Soul Train line? Who could ever forget Don Cornelius saying love peace and soul? He’s a legend. His contribution to American culture is unbelievable. It’s not just here in America, it’s all over the world…his legacy will go on and on for generations to come.

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