Friday, May 24, 2013

Philly Friday

A few weeks back I bought this DVD at the Ottawa Train Show – the first rail oriented DVD I’ve ever bought so I guess I’m an official rail fan now :-) It’s produced by GPS Video of Toronto. Although the titling and narration shots are a little dated, the footage of PCCs running in Toronto in various eras is excellent.

A lot of the scenes appear to have been shot in the ‘60s or ‘70s, but many have some generic music meant to be evocative of the ‘30s or ‘40s playing in the background. I suspect this was done to help convey a sense of place when the PCCs were new and in their heyday –also, that particular music was probably also easily licensable. To me though, in my mind I hear the music that came from that equally great North American streetcar city: Philadelphia. Specifically, The Philadelphia Sound.

I didn’t know it, but according to Wikipedia there was also a Toronto Sound whose prime years were from around 1959 to 1969. This predates the glory years of The Philadelphia Sound that I’d say extended from sometime in the late ‘60s to maybe the early ‘80s. Philadelphia International Records was certainly a foundational company when it came to producing The Philadelphia Sound, and their first hit to top the Billboard singles chart, for three weeks in December 1972, was Billy Paul’s Me and Mrs. Jones.

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