Kenny Gamble And Patti LaBelle’s New National Anthem

“We need a new a national anthem,” says Patti LaBelle in the trailer for I Am An American: The Making of an Anthem, a CD/DVD to be released today, Veterans Day. “I Am an American” was part of the repertoire of spirituals sung during services by Reverend Major Jealous Divine, AKA Father Divine, who died in 1965. The tune has now been embraced by Kenneth Gamble, half of the legendary Philly-soul songwriting team of Gamble & (Leon) Huff, who has produced a soaring new version with Ms. LaBelle and the Temple University Symphony Orchestra and Choirs. Noted for his Philadelphia humanitarian work, Gamble is a Black Muslim who also goes by Luqman Abdul-Haqq. He will donate a portion of the album’s proceeds to the Veterans Administration in tribute to his brother, a Vietnam paratrooper.

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