ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE AND GRAMMY AWARD WINNER KENNY GAMBLE AND SUPERSTAR R&B SINGER-SONGWRITER PATTI LaBELLE TO RECEIVE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF PATRIOTISM’S HIGHEST HONOR FOR SYMPHONIC RECORDING I AM AN AMERICAN

ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE AND GRAMMY AWARD WINNER KENNY GAMBLE AND SUPERSTAR R&B SINGER-SONGWRITER PATTI LaBELLE TO RECEIVE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF PATRIOTISM’S HIGHEST HONOR FOR SYMPHONIC RECORDING ‘I AM AN AMERICAN’

The Patriotism Award To Be Presented April 2, 2009 in Atlanta With Unveiling Of Museum’s Patriotism In Entertainment & Music Exhibits

PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL RECORDS TO RELEASE ‘THE MAKING OF AN ANTHEM,’ A BEHIND-THE-SCENES DOCUMENTARY, IN EARLY SUMMER AS NEW ODE TO PATRIOTISM IS POISED TO BECOME SOUNDTRACK FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY FIREWORKS CELEBRATIONS ACROSS THE NATION

“Many have honored Kenny Gamble’s achievements….this time he is bestowing the gratitude…on his country.” –Michael Smerconish, nationally syndicated talk radio host.

PHILADELPHIA — Legendary producer, songwriter and recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Kenneth Gamble and fellow iconic Philadelphian, superstar R&B and soul singer-songwriter and actress Patti LaBelle soon will be receiving The Patriotism Award, the highest honor bestowed by the National Museum of Patriotism, for their recent musical collaboration, the symphonic ode to patriotism “I Am An American.”

Gamble and LaBelle will be presented with the award Thursday, April 2, 2009, from 1-3 p.m. during the unveiling of the Patriotism in Entertainment & Music Exhibits in ceremonies at the museum’s new location, 275 Baker St., Atlanta, GA. Items loaned by Gamble and LaBelle, such as gold records and significant costumes from their extraordinary careers will be included in the exhibit. Video screens with greetings from Gamble and LaBelle as well as archival video footage from their careers will also be part of the museum experience.

The ceremonies come just over two months since Gamble, father with co-producer Leon Huff of “The Sound of Philadelphia,” gave President Barack Obama a copy of “I Am An American” during inauguration festivities in Washington DC in which Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes performed the Gamble & Huff classic, “Wake Up Everybody,” an Obama favorite.

More than 30 years since “Wake Up Everybody” became a No. 1 hit, Gamble found similar relevance in his decision to produce “I Am an American,” a song adopted by U.S. spiritual leader the late Father Divine and his International Peace Mission movement, with LaBelle’s vocals backed by the Temple University Symphony & Choirs. Gamble believes the unifying theme of “I Am An American,” that patriotism is not bound by color or political affiliation, is not unlike the messages of unity, love and brotherhood his Sound of Philadelphia has been bringing to “people all over the world” for nearly 40 years.

Full of huge orchestral crescendos, excerpts from important speeches in American history and original words, along with Ms. LaBelle’s powerful and soulful voice, “I Am An American” has all the making of becoming one of the great patriotic tunes of our time.

When Temple University honored Gamble and his wife Faatimah for their community work in Philadelphia, the famed music man was inspired by hearing the prestigious educational institution’s choir and orchestra and envisioned using them for “I Am An American.” Adding Patti LaBelle – with whom he has worked many times since their childhood days in Philly – was Gamble’s idea and the powerhouse vocalist’s performance on the song showcases a whole new side of her artistry, her first classically-oriented recording.

The song has been available as a digital release through Sony BMG Masterworks since Independence Day weekend last year, making its World Premiere in Philadelphia before 800,000 revelers when “I Am an American” highlighted the traditional finale of the Sunoco Welcome America! celebration along the Ben Franklin Parkway on July 4th.

Early this summer, Philadelphia International Records (known for hundreds of classic hits by such artists as The O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass and Patti LaBelle among many others) will be releasing “The Making of an Anthem: I Am An American, a behind-the-scenes documentary on DVD as “I Am An American” is made as the soundtrack to independence Day Fireworks celebrations across the nation. The documentary mixes fresh interviews and recording and performance footage with relevant historical video from the last century.

Kenny Gamble views “I Am An American” as a recording meant to inspire, uplift and encourage a sense of pride in the nation: “In recent times, Americans have been depressed about many things and not always happy about the country. The words of this song and the performance by Patti LaBelle and the Temple choirs and orchestra can lift the spirits for America that has always been destined to be a country standing for freedom, justice and equality. It is the first time in the history of humanity that we have people of all creeds, colors and races in one place at one time. This recording is about being proud to be an American because, we are doing a lot of great things right now. I’m hopeful that “I Am An American” will be a new song for our country, that it will raise our morale and raise the consciousness of the people at a time when destiny has put us at a turning point in our history as a nation.”

Historically, patriotic music has helped narrate the birth of our country, describe the struggles we overcame, and layout the bright future that we see for ourselves as a nation. Kenneth Gamble has kept true to this musical tradition, paying homage to where this country came from and where it is going. “I Am An American” may become one of our country’s great anthems — musically waving our country’s flag for all to hear.

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