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Philly soul music legends on being unsung

The Legendary Intruders

The Legendary Intruders

Harlem Arts Alliance Presents: On the “A” w/Souleo 

When considered unsung, you learn to be grateful for every honor received. For The Legendary Intruders, one of those moments of appreciation occurred at last week’s Motown to Def JamLove Train gallery talk where two of their songs (“I’ll Always Love My Mama” and “Save the Children”) have served as inspiration for the works of visual artists, Beau McCall and Gregory Saint Amand. The Legendary Intruders, which now consists of three members handpicked by the last performing original and founding member of the group, the late Fred Daugherty, attended to view the works and share their story before an intimate gathering of fans.

During the event, member LJ Waiters revealed just how difficult it is for the group to get exposure and gigs in today’s market, even though their music is credited as helping to lay the foundation of Philly Soul. “It’s slow for us but that new stuff flies. We are not getting exposure and its politics and racist because we had so many hits,” he says. “The Beach Boys and Rolling Stones are still working and getting lots of money but we get jobs every now and then. We are not exposed to the young people.”

Another legend in Philly soul music, Billy Paul also has two songs serving as inspiration in the exhibition including “War of the Gods” and “I’m Just a Prisoner.” Paul who has a new song “Do Ya” that will be released soon on his website feels differently than Waiters when it comes to being unsung. Instead of letting the lack of support he receives in the U.S. affect him he focuses on the overseas market, which he finds, still appreciates his music. “I travel all over the world and I’m a big international star,” he says. “If I had to depend upon America maybe I would have starved to death but I have a following all over in Europe and South America so I don’t feel unsung. I feel like Billy Paul.” For those who still want to catch Paul in the U.S. he will be on the upcoming Soul Train Cruise here.

Dan Cathcart, co-star of Bravo’s hit TV show, “Chef Roblé & Co.” is pursuing music whether she ends up unsung or not. When she is not serving as Roblé’s assistant, Cathcart is crafting her sound of pop, soul and folk that is steadily building a following.

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