Mr. Gamble is widely known for having written, produced, recorded, and published more than 3,000 songs performed by artists such as The Jackson Five, Teddy Pendergrass, Jerry Butler, The O’Jays, Spinners, Delfonics, Jones Girls, Billy Paul, Lou Rawls, Phyllis Hyman, Dionne Warrick, and many others (nearly 60 artists in total represented the Philly label). A great deal of music he produced carried a social theme and what was described as a “message in the music.” In 1974 and 1989, he received Grammy Awards for writing “Me & Mrs. Jones” and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” respectively. He founded several record companies, including Philadelphia International Records, of which he remains CEO and chairman of the board.
The Gamble and Huff writing duo has received every major musical award in the U.S. and abroad including being inducted into the National Academy of Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1995; the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame in 2001; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008; and the Dance and Music Hall of Fame in 2005. He has also received the prestigious UK Ivor Novello Award in 2006 and Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2009 the duo was named BMI Icons at the 57th Annual BMI Pop Awards.
Mr. Gamble’s musical accomplishments are extremely impressive when you consider the number of awards, inductions, and honors he has received. The Gamble and Huff genius lies in the fact that their catalog has secured: 80 #1 Hits; 200+ Top #100 Hits; 175 Gold/Platinum Albums; #1 R&B Publisher Worldwide; #8 Pop Publisher Worldwide; and one of Gamble and Huff’s records is played every 13 minutes worldwide. In addition, Mr. Gamble was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree in Public Service from Cheyney University in 2005 and an Honorary Doctorate degree of Music from Berklee College of Music in 2010.
Mr. Gamble has founded or helped to build numerous organizations that had a sole purpose of helping the African-American community, including the African American Foundation, The Universal Community of Truth, the South Philadelphia Ministries Task Force, The Philadelphia Music Foundation, and his biggest and most successful, Universal Companies.
As founder and chairman of Universal Companies, one of the largest African-American developers of real estate in Philadelphia, Kenneth Gamble used his success to begin a neighborhood revitalization effort. In 1990, he made the ultimate commitment to the City of Brotherly Love. He and his wife Faatimah gave up the quiet and luxurious suburban lifestyle to move back to a blighted South-Central Philadelphia to take a hands-on approach to the rebuilding process that he initiated in the 1980s.
Two decades later, Universal has improved the quality of life for thousands of children and families residing in historically disenfranchised communities. To date, Universal has been the conduit for more than $1.5 billion of real estate development and investment and currently educates more than 4,500 students in 10 schools (K-12). The company is also one of the largest African-American led businesses in Philadelphia, employing nearly 650 professionals.
Kenneth Gamble is a true Philadelphia success story, coming from humble beginnings to achieve international fame. For a man who is known worldwide for making hit records, he considers rebuilding the African-American community as “the biggest hit of my life.”