9:30 Coffee Break: Philly Soul

Billy Paul
Billy Paul speaking at the Pre-GRAMMY Party at the Four Seasons Hotel on Feb. 6, 2008, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Over the weekend, Philadelphia soul singer Billy Paul died at age 81 after a recent cancer diagnosis. Born in Philadelphia in 1934, Paul began his music career at the age of 11. He performed with many jazz and soul legends, including Charlie "Bird" Parker, Nina Simone, Miles Davis and Roberta Flack. His debut album, Feelin' Good at the Cadillac Club, was released in 1968, but Paul's greatest success was probably his chart-topping and Grammy Award-winning 1972 single, "Me and Mrs. Jones."

Billy Paul was a vital part of the Philadelphia soul scene, and Questlove of the Roots has compared Paul's music and cultural impact to that of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. The Philadelphia scene has spawned numerous artists and a rich musical tradition that continues to this day, and many look to Billy Paul as being one of the scene's founding members.

So for today's Coffee Break, let's pay tribute to Billy Paul and his legacy by featuring the sounds of Philly soul. What songs do you want to hear by Philadelphia artists, past and present, who reflect the soulful sounds of the City of Brotherly Love? Send us your requests.

Songs Played


Let's Make a Baby - Billy Paul
Make My - The Roots
When Will I See You Again - The Three Degrees
I'll Be Around - The Spinners
Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Boozophilia - Low Cut Connie (in-studio version recorded at The Current)

Do you deserve a Coffee Break? We at The Current's Morning Show think you do, and we want to bring coffee and treats from Black Coffee and Waffle Bar to your workplace. Let us know why you'd like a Coffee Break – or request your own idea for a future topic.


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