By Hadas Kuznits

 

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s the end of an era at 309 South Broad Street, corner of Spruce, where the “Sound of Philadelphia” was born.

Preparations were underway for the demolition of the former headquarters of the famed R&B production company Philadelphia International Records, founded by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.

“It’s bittersweet,” Gamble-Huff-Bell Music executive vice president Chuck Gamble said today.  “Here’s an entity that my uncle and his partner created some fifty years ago.”

And he notes that the building had a rich music history.

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“Chubby Checker recorded ‘The Twist’ here. My uncle’s first wife, Dee Dee Sharp, did the ‘Mashed Potato.’  The Jacksons recorded here, Elton John, many others.”

What will become of the property, right across the street from the Kimmel Center?

“We sold it to Dranoff Properties, and they’re going to turn it into a condo and hotel,” Gamble said.

(Kuznits:)   “What happened, did you just never recover from that 2010 fire?”

(Gamble:)  “That’s basically what happened, and we decided since that fire we would simply start phasing things down.”

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The sign, along with all the other memorabilia from the company’s history that survived the fire, is being stored, with plans for an eventual museum.