For almost 60 years Earl Young has been the heartbeat and pulsebeat of soul music in Philadelphia – the drummer on literally hundreds of sessions dating back as far as 1964, and the man who has propelled so much of the City Of Brotherly Love’s hit list in that time.

As well as being the drummer for the band that eventually became MFSB Mk. 1 and, subsequently, the Salsoul Orchestra, Earl has also led the Trammps since they came together as the Volcanoes in the mid-60s, and is still leading the group in 2023 [and playing several dozen shows a year] as their bass vocalist.

It’s fair to say that the classic 70s Sound Of Philadelphia as soul fans know it could not have existed without Earl Young behind the drum kit on so many defining sessions. His ‘four on the floor’ style essentially shaped the sound of dance music as it evolved through the middle of the decade and particularly during the peak years of Disco. Earl’s presence is immediately recognisable on just about every session he participated in, whatever the tempo of the recording.

Earl turned 83 in June 2023 [and a very active 83 at that!]. To honour his lifetime of musical achievement, Kent presents “Groove Machine – The Earl Young Drum Sessions” a representative but also all-encompassing selection of Earl’s studio work as a drummer and singer from the mid-60s to the late 70s with the emphasis on the up-tempo. A single CD can do no more than scratch the surface of such an immense discography as Earl’s, but we have tried to balance hits that essentially chose themselves with longtime fan favourites and classy obscurities that will please anyone and everyone who has ever danced to any record that Earl played on.

Premium quality black American music from the Golden Age Of Soul, all of it driven by a true living legend and an undisputed master of his percussive craft. Whether you know these records backwards or are coming to many of them for the first time, there’s so much to savour here!

  • 1. Penguin At The Big Apple / Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart [Medley] - The Trammps
  • 2. Storm Warning - The Volcanos
  • 3. Do The Hand Jive - Archie Bell & The Drells
  • 4. I Ain't Got The Love Of One Girl [On My Mind] - The Ambassadors
  • 5. Silly Silly Fool - Dusty Springfield
  • 6. Trying To Make A Fool Of Me - The Delfonics
  • 7. Please Give Me One More Chance - Clyde McPhatter
  • 8. Back Stabbers - The O'Jays
  • 9. Just Can't Get You Out Of My Mind - The Spinners
  • 10. I Like To Live The Love - B.B. King
  • 11. The Love I Lost [Part 1] - Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes
  • 12. Do It Again - Charles Mann
  • 13. The Sound Of Philadelphia - The Three Degrees
  • 14. Be Truthful To Me - Billy Paul
  • 15. I'm Doin' Fine Now - New York City
  • 16. I Just Can't Say Goodbye - The Philly Devotions
  • 17. A Mother For My Children - The Whispers
  • 18. Be Thankful For What You Got [Part 1] - William De Vaughan
  • 19. I Can't Fight Your Love - The Modulations
  • 20. Touch And Go [12-inch version] - Ecstasy, Passion & Pain featuring Barbara Roy
  • 21. My Love Is Free - Double Exposure
  • 22. Hit And Run - Loleatta Holloway
  • 23. Time Will Tell - Eddie Holman

Various Artists [Kent] - Groove Machine - The Earl Young Drum Sessions - Ace Records