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  • R&B Trivia: Discovering The Jones Girls

    Singer Shirley Jones of The Jones Girls
    Singer Shirley Jones of The Jones Girls
    Photo courtesy of Shirley Jones

    Did you know that before The Jones Girls were busting out soulful ballads and disco dance hits they sang backup for Diana Ross? The girls toured with Diana Ross for three years before breaking out on their own. Ross recognized the girls’ talents and told them that they were too good to be singing as a backup group. She asked the girls to learn a song and perform it on their own at her show while she did a costume change. This spotlight allowed them to be discovered by Philadelphia International Records (PIR) dream team Gamble and Huff and the rest is history. Shirley Jones of The Jones Girls performs the first week of the Folklife Festival. The Festival will also be featuring "An Evening with Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and Tribute to Philadelphia International Records" on July 10th. This event will include a conversation with famed PIR founders, producers, and songwriters Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, followed by a concert of musicians performing some of their most outstanding hits in celebration of the 40th anniversary of PIR as well as Gamble and Huff’s immense contribution to rhythm and blues/soul music.

    Tucker Foltz is a intern for the Rhythm and Blues program of the 2011 Folklife Festival. 

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