ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE AND GRAMMY AWARD WINNER LEON HUFF SENDS 150 UNDERPRIVILEGED CITY YOUTH IN CAMDEN, NJ, TO DORNEY PARK & WILDWATER KINGDOM IN ALLENTOWN, PA
LEGENDARY PRODUCER/SONGWRITER WHO BROUGHT
‘SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA’ TO ‘PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD’
GIVES BACK TO HIS HOME TOWN BY SPONSORING CHILDREN
FROM CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY’S PUBLIC SITES
LEON & REGINA HUFF TO JOIN CITY NJ STATE AND CITY OFFICIALS
AT CHILDREN’S DEPARTURE FROM CAMDEN – FRIDAY, AUG. 14
CAMDEN, NJ — Four months after seeing a street renamed in his honor here in his home town, legendary producer, songwriter and recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee LEON HUFF is giving back to the City of Camden by joining his wife, Regina, to fully sponsor the costs to send 150 children to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, PA. The children are from the Housing Authority of the City of Camden’s (HACC) public housing sites.
On Friday, Aug. 14, Huff, who with partner Kenneth Gamble, brought Philadelphia soul music (“The Sound of Philadelphia”) to “people all over the world,” Mr. and Mrs. Huff will oversee the children’s departure to the premier amusement and water park in the Northeast U.S. with remarks from New Jersey State Sen. Dana L. Redd, the Hon. Mayor Gwendolyn Faison of the City of Camden, and HACC Board of Commissioners Chairwoman, Deborah Person-Polk. Buses are scheduled to depart at 9:45 a.m., from the Chelton Terrace Community Center, 721 Chelton Ave., in Camden.
“HACC is grateful to the Huffs for their generosity and compassion to give back to the residents of public housing, especially the children who will benefit from their donation,” says Dr. Maria Marquez, Executive Director for the HACC. “The Huffs’ generosity and compassion will resonate in our children’s hearts and minds for years to come.”
This remarkable act of goodwill and generosity comes at a time when community, city and governmental budgets everywhere are feeling the strain of the economic crisis. Certain monies are simply no longer available to cover the costs of extracurricular activities from years past.
Deborah Person-Polk, Chairwoman for the HACC Board of Commissioners adds: “We are very grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Leon Huff for their wonderful commitment and support to the residents of the HACC and City of Camden.”
Huff was honored in April by Mayor A. Faison, with the renaming of a street in the Centerville section of town, a few steps from the site of his childhood home, to Leon Huff Way. His contribution with his wife to the children this week is Huff’s first formal gesture since the ceremony toward helping the community of his youth.
“We are very appreciative to Mr. and Mrs. Leon Huff for their passionate community involvement,” says State Sen. Dana L. Redd, “which is the vision cast by me as well as other civil leaders as well as our very own President Barack Obama with their continuous support of the City of Camden and commitment to the youth in the HACC.”
Huff wrote over 3,000 songs with Gamble in 35 years, including R&B #1 hits, pop #1 hits, gold and platinum records, Grammy winners and BMI songwriters’ awards honorees. Featured prominently in television programs (“The Apprentice”), films (“The Nutty Professor”) and advertising spots (Verizon, Old Navy, The Gap) for more than 30 years, Gamble and Huff’s songs have entered the musical DNA of contemporary culture. In fact, one of their songs is played on the radio somewhere in the world every 13.5 minutes. With a stable core of artists led by the O’Jays, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Billy Paul, MFSB and the Three Degrees, Huff co-founded Philadelphia International Records with Gamble and created monster hits almost from the first day of its inception. Songs Huff has co-written and co-produced, like “Back Stabbers,” “Love Train,” “For The Love Of Money,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Cowboys to Girls,” “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” “Enjoy Yourself,” “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” “Only the Strong Survive” and “TSOP,” have received songwriters’ awards from Broadcast Music International (BMI). All told, the Gamble-Huff/PIR music machine” has generated over 100 Gold and Platinum records and over 70 #1 hits.
In 1999, four years after being inducted with Gamble into the National Academy of Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, Huff was honored with his longtime partner by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences with the Trustees Award, for his extensive body of work, both as producer and songwriter, and his contribution to the entire fabric of popular music. Last year, Huff was inducted with Gamble into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Huff also has appeared on American Idol in a show devoted to his music, and with Gamble has been inducted twice into the Dance Music Hall of Fame and the R&B Hall of Fame.
Huff, born April 8, 1942 and raised here on Ferry Avenue, was exposed to music through his mother, who played piano and organ in Camden for the 19th Street Baptist Church choir. Huff participated in several Camden “doo-wop” groups, including the Dynaflows, which auditioned for Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour. Another group, the Lavenders, recorded a regional hit, “The Slide.” In the early 1960’s, Leon Huff was a session pianist for producer Phil Spector and Brill Building songwriting team Leiber & Stoller. Fate took hold in 1965, when Huff met Gamble in an elevator at the Shubert Theater in Philadelphia.
Leon Huff continues to receive accolades as a solo artist as well, most notably for writing and performing the hit song “I’m Not Jivin I’m Jammin,” heard in dance clubs around the country.
WHAT: LEON & REGINA HUFF TO OVERSEE UNDERPRIVILEGED CAMDEN CITY CHILDREN’S DEPARTURE TO DORNEY PARK & WILDWATER KINGDOM. Four months after seeing a street renamed in his honor here in his home town, legendary producer, songwriter and recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee LEON HUFF is giving back to the City of Camden this week by joining his wife, Regina, in fully sponsoring the costs to send 150 children from the Housing Authority of the City of Camden’s (HACC) public housing sites to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, PA. Mr. and Mrs. Huff will oversee the bus departures with NJ state and city officials, who will be offering remarks.
WHERE: Chelton Terrace Community Center, 721 Chelton Ave., Camden, NJ
WHEN: Friday, August 14, 2009
9:45 a.m. – Buses filled with 150 underprivileged youth are scheduled to depart for Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
WHO: Mr. Leon Huff – co-founder and partner of Philadelphia International Records and the seminal R&B songwriting team Gamble & Huff, architects of “The Sound of Philadelphia.”
Mrs. Regina Huff The Hon. Gwendolyn A. Faison – Mayor of Camden
New Jersey State Sen. Dana L. Redd
Deborah Person-Polk – Housing Authority City of Camden Board of Commissioners Chairwoman.