Why, It's The Electric Indian
:: Broad Street ::
Today we’ve got another example of a group formed of studio session musicians, this time offering up a sweet helping of Philly funkiness from 1969. The Electric Indian was assembled by sixties soul singer, Len Barry, who at this point co-owned Marmaduke Records with Bernie Binnick, who had owned Swan Records until closing up shop in 1967.
Some of the musicians who made up The Electric Indian were Bobby Eli on guitar, a young Daryl Hall on the piano, and Vince Montana Jr. on vibraharp. Eli and Montana were both integral parts of MFSB (Mothers Fathers Sisters Brothers), the large rhythm section that backed just about every hit out of Gamble & Huff’s Sigma Sound Studios. MFSB became more prominently known for the theme from Soul Train, “T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia),” which shot to the top of both the pop and R&B charts and won them a Grammy. Montana also went on to form the Salsoul Orchestra.
This single was originally released on the Marmaduke label. The A-side, “Keem-O-Sabe,” is a funky dance tune with The Lone Ranger TV theme reoccurring throughout, and it became an unexpected hit. United Artists picked it up and re-released it, as well as an Electric Indian LP. My copy’s A-side is pretty thrashed, and I can’t offer it to you like that. The B-side, “Broad Street,” is the one to want anyway. It didn’t make it to the LP, but it’s a great instrumental funk jam with a lot of horns and a really cool drum breakdown towards the end – a good tune to get your groove on while prepping to go out on a Friday night.
Broad Street is Philly’s main street, by the way, which divides the east and west halves of the city. Rumor has it that it got its name because the trolleys that ran north and south on it were a bit high to step up on. When women got on, their dresses hiked up and showed a little leg, causing men to hang out more on the street for those fine glimpses of luscious ankle. With more men to be found on the street, more prostitutes started to work it, and hence the name changed from 14th Street to Broad Street. Get it? Broads. That’s probably all bullshit, but I’d rather spread rumors than debunk them.