By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A piece of Philadelphia history will pass into dust this morning, as a demolition crew takes the wrecking ball to the former headquarters of Philadelphia International Records on South Broad Street — the same building that has turned out some of the greatest hits of soul music.

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The Sound of Philadelphia combined lush strings and horns with an irresistible dance beat, the distinctive signature of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. They turned out chart-topping songs from their headquarters at 309 South Broad for 40 years until an arson fire damaged it beyond repair five years ago.

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Developer Carl Dranoff bought the building last fall and plans to build a hotel/condominium complex.

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Gamble and Huff’s contribution to music and their hometown remains as vital as ever. The American Sociological Association says they not only laid the foundation for modern dance music, but– with a commitment to social uplift and black ownership and control of the music — set the cultural tone for the last three decades of the 20th century.