Grammy Award winner Kenny Gamble has just released “I Am An American” which features special guest performances by Patti LaBelle and the Temple University Symphony Orchesta & Choirs. The recording of "I Am An American," a song adopted by U.S. spiritual leader the late Father Divine and his International Peace Mission movement, has been produced by legendary music producer and songwriter and recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Kenneth Gamble, the co-founder of Philadelphia International Records (known for hundreds of classic hits by such artists as The O'Jays, Teddy Pendergrass and Patti LaBelle among many others). "I Am An American" will be released by Sony BMG Masterworks and will be available at all digital service providers on July 1st.
Father of the "Philadelphia Sound," Kenny Gamble teams up with Patti LaBelle and the Temple University Symphony Orchestra and Choirs to bring America its new ode to patriotism, "I Am An American." Full of huge orchestral crescendos, excerpts from important speeches in American history and original words, along with Ms. LaBelle's powerful and soulful voice, "I Am An American" has all the making of being one of the great patriotic tunes of our time. When Temple University honored Gamble and his wife Faatimah for their community work in Philadelphia, the famed music man was inspired by hearing the prestigious educational institution's choir and orchestra and envisioned using them for "I Am An American." Adding Patti Labelle - with whom he has worked many times since their childhood days in Philly - was Gamble's idea and the powerhouse vocalist's performance on the song showcases a whole new side of her artistry, her first classically-oriented recording.
The writer of songs of empowerment such as "Wake Up Everybody" and "Love Train," Kenny Gamble views "I Am An American" as a recording meant to inspire, uplift and encourage a sense of pride in the nation: "In recent times, Americans have been depressed about many things and not always happy about the country. The words of this song and the performance by Patti LaBelle and the Temple choirs and orchestra can lift the spirits for America that has always been destined to be a country standing for freedom, justice and equality. It is the first time in the history of humanity that we have people of all creeds, colors and races in one place at one time. This recording is about being proud to be an American because, in 2008, we are doing a lot of great things. I'm hopeful that 'I Am An American' will be a new song for our country, that it will raise our morale and raise the consciousness of the people at a time when destiny has put us at a turning point in our history as a nation."
Historically, patriotic music has helped narrate the birth of our country, describe the struggles we overcame, and layout the bright future that we see for ourselves as a nation. Kenneth Gamble has kept true to this musical tradition, paying homage to where this country came from and where it is going. "I Am An American" may become one of our country's great anthems -- musically waving our country's flag for all to hear.