“SOUL TRAIN Theme Song – By the Sound Of Philadelphia and the Three Degree Vocals” On YouTube

19 Jun


“TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)” is a 1973 hit recording by MFSB (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother) featuring vocals by

The Three Degrees

. A classic example of the Philadelphia soul genre, it was written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff as the theme for the American musical television program

Soul Train,

which specialized in African American musical performers. The single was released on the Philadelphia International label. It was the first television theme song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100,[1] and it is arguably the first disco song to reach that position.

The song is essentially an instrumental piece, featuring a lush blend of strings and horns in the Philadelphia soul style.

There are only two vocal parts to the song: a passage close to the beginning during which The Three Degrees sing “People all over the world!”; and the chorus over the fadeout, “Let’s get it on/It’s time to get down”. The words “People all over the world!” are not heard in the original version. The version heard on

Soul Train

also had the series title sung over the first four notes of the melody, ”

Soul Train, Soul Train”.

This particular version was released on a 1975 Three Degrees album, International.

TSOP hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1974 and remained there for two weeks, the first television theme song to do so in the history of that chart.[1] It also topped the American R&B chart (for one week) and adult contemporary chart (for two weeks).[2] The Three Degrees would revisit the top of the AC chart later in 1974 with their hit single, When Will I See You Again.

Don Cornelius, the creator and host of Soul Train, refused to allow any references to the name of the television series when the single was released, leading Gamble and Huff to adopt the alternate title for the release. Cornelius would later admit that not allowing the single to be named Soul Train was a major mistake on his part.[3]

Although it was rerecorded a number of times for future versions of the show, and various different themes were used during the late 1970s and early 1980s, TSOP returned in the late 1980s and remained the theme song for Soul Train through the disco, 1980s R&B, new jack swing, hip-hop, and neo soul eras of black music.

TSOP was covered by Dexys Midnight Runners and released as a B-side on the 12″ version of the “Jackie Wilson Said” single, later issued on the remastered version of the album Too-Rye-Ay. The band also used it to open some of their live shows.

Another remake of the tune was made in 1978 by reggae band Inner Circle, who had a history of covering American soul songs in the laid-back reggae style of the late 1970s.

Two more covers were made in 1987 (by George Duke), and 1999 (by Sampson); both versions would be used as themes for Soul Train. The 1999 theme would be used until Soul Train ‘s final episode in 2006.

The song is played at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia prior to every Phillies home game. The song was also played after Vancouver Whitecaps NASL home games at Empire Stadium in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and after Vancouver 86ers CSL home games in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Pilipinas, Game KNB?, a Philippines game show hosted by actor/politician Edu Manzano, used an adaptation of TSOP (Tanya) called Papayo Yowza as its theme. The song’s opening was also sampled as program identification for all Philadelphia 76ers games broadcast on WCAU-AM in the mid-to-late 1970s.

In 1998, German act BMR featuring Dutch singer Felicia Uwaje sampled the single in their song Check It Out.



14 responses to ““SOUL TRAIN Theme Song – By the Sound Of Philadelphia and the Three Degree Vocals” On YouTube

  1. lynettedavis

    May 30, 2016 at 6:22 pm


    Liked by 1 person

  2. aruna3

    May 30, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I have sung dis song in my shool’s function.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tmezpoetry

    May 31, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Oh the days of soul train… hehe. We use to watch it every week!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lynettedavis

    June 3, 2016 at 6:18 am

    Reblogged this on Memoir Notes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. poeturja

    June 3, 2016 at 11:22 am

    I’m from Philly and watched Soul Train all the time :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. America On Coffee

    June 3, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks for the reblog!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. America On Coffee

    June 3, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    People allover the world!!!!!;-)


  8. Light Ministry Blog

    June 19, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Always an interesting back story! I watch Soul Train sometimes, but not too much as I was more busy with my sports back then. Great post as always…


    Liked by 1 person

  9. America On Coffee

    June 19, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Thanks steve! Hope all is well with you. And, that you’re having a good week. πŸ˜„β˜€πŸŒž

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Light Ministry Blog

    June 19, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Well…getting ready to go up to Washington state and Oregon this week. You are very kind to wish me a good week, I wish you the same! I appreciate your support here too. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. America On Coffee

    June 19, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Be safe, good friend!πŸ’—πŸ˜ŽπŸŒžπŸ˜ŽπŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Light Ministry Blog

    June 20, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Thank you, I will. Enjoy your day and rest of the week yourself! (Love the emoji’s!) :)


  13. poeturja

    June 23, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Grew up in Philly and watched Soul Train all the time. I sing this song to my dogs because the 3 of them follow me around in a line and I always call them my soul train πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  14. America On Coffee

    June 23, 2017 at 8:19 am

    As long as you keep the party train going!!! Happy weekend to you!!

    Liked by 1 person


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