R.I.P. Richie Ingui of The Soul Survivors

(January 14, 2017) In 1967, music lovers of every stripe were jamming to one of the all-time soul music songs, “Expressway to Your Heart.” The song was the biggest hit by Philadelphia’s blue-eyed soul trio, The Soul Survivors. We are sad to inform SoulTrackers that group co-founder, Richie Ingui has died.

Richie and his brother Charlie, who grew up admiring the street corner doo-wop groups in New York City, joined with with friend Kenny Jeremiah to form The Dedications, and released a few songs. But good things happened when they renamed themselves Soul Survivors and moved to Philadelphia, where the soul music scene was developing in the mid-60s. They met and began working with aspiring songwriters/producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, a prescient move, as those two would become the architects of “The Sound of Philadelphia” and one of the most important songwriting and production teams of all time.

(January 14, 2017) In 1967, music lovers of every stripe were jamming to one of the all-time soul music songs, “Expressway to Your Heart.” The song was the biggest hit by Philadelphia’s blue-eyed soul trio, The Soul Survivors. We are sad to inform SoulTrackers that group co-founder, Richie Ingui has died.

Richie and his brother Charlie, who grew up admiring the street corner doo-wop groups in New York City, joined with with friend Kenny Jeremiah to form The Dedications, and released a few songs. But good things happened when they renamed themselves Soul Survivors and moved to Philadelphia, where the soul music scene was developing in the mid-60s. They met and began working with aspiring songwriters/producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, a prescient move, as those two would become the architects of “The Sound of Philadelphia” and one of the most important songwriting and production teams of all time.

The result of their initial work together was “Expressway,” which shot to to the top of both the pop and R&B charts. The trio returned to the charts three more times over the next few years, “Explosion In My Soul”, “Impossible Mission,” and “City of Brotherly Love.”

The hits stopped coming by 1975 and the group split, with the brothers taking day jobs before beginning to work together again as the New Soul Survivors and playing dates, particularly within driving distance of Philadelphia. They also became part of the all-star show “In the Pocket,” which paid tribute to the rich musical legacy of Philadelphia.

Gamble and Huff issued the following statement: "We send our very sincere condolences to Charlie and Richie's families. Not only did they bring our Philly Sound and Gamble & Huff to the national spotlight first with the hit song "Expressway to Your Heart," but they were truly like Brothers to us. Richie was a true soul singer who sang from the heart. We will truly miss him, and the unique and mellow voice he brought to of this amazing group, the Soul Survivors."

Richie was a vital part of the emergence of the Philadelphia soul sound that took over the world in the 1970s, even as he paved an Expressway to our hearts. He will be missed. 

By Chris Rizik

Thanks to Gary Van den Bussche of DSG for letting us know

 
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