From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wiki Commons

Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

MFSB (short for "Mother, Father, Sister, Brother") were a loose conglomeration of studio musicians who provided backing tracks for dozens of seminal Philadelphia soul recordings in the 1970s. They later released successful singles and albums as a stand-alone recording act.


  • MFSB (1973)
  • Love Is The Message (1973)
  • Philadelphia Freedom (1975)
  • Universal Love (1975)
  • Summertime (1976)
  • MFSB & Gamble Huff Orchestra (1978)
  • The End of Phase One (1978)
  • Mysteries of the World (1980)


Assembled by the production team of Gamble & Huff, MFSB was the house band for their Philadelphia International Records label and provided both the signature smooth Philadelphia sound that dominated the early 1970s for the acts who recorded at their Sigma Sound Studios, including The Delfonics, The O'Jays, Blue Magic, The Spinners, Teddy Pendergrass and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes; and the "high hat" disco sounds that dominated the late 1970s with groups like The Trammps, First Choice, Ripple and Double Exposure.


In 1974, Philadelphia International released an instrumental track which had been recorded by the band as the theme music for the television show Soul Train as a single. The record, titled "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)" was a hit on both the pop and R&B charts, and launched a recording career for the band under their own name. MFSB albums and singles were released for the rest of the decade.

Another popular MFSB number, "Love Is The Message", has been a favorite of dance/disco DJs since its release; countless remixes, both official and unofficial, exist of the song. On September 20, 2004, the record became among the first to be inducted into the newly formed Dance Music Hall of Fame. Due to a disagreement with Gamble & Huff over certain policies, the majority of the group moved on to Salsoul Records, where they became known as The Salsoul Orchestra. Other members began performing as The Ritchie Family orchestra, Vince Montana and the John Davis Monster Orchestra. Not to be outdone, Gamble & Huff replaced them with Instant Funk, Dexter Wansel and others on MFSB's latter recordings for the label.

In October 2004 "Love Is The Message" appeared in popular videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on Funk radio station Bounce FM.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "MFSB" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools