FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2021
Philadelphia – Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, co-founders of Philadelphia International Records, are mourning the death of Harry Coombs, former senior vice president of sales and marketing for the iconic label. Mr. Coombs died last week.
Legendary producers Gamble and Huff began working with Mr. Coombs in 1972 at the beginning of the record label’s meteoric rise. He worked for the label until 2002.
A legend in the music industry himself, Mr. Coombs closely worked with Gamble and Huff and Philadelphia International as the key marketing contact to then CBS Records (Sony Music), where the label, known for its signature “Philly Sound,” was housed. He had responsibility for marketing and sales of iconic soul acts, including the O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Billy Paul, and Phyllis Hyman.
Coombs’ work with Philadelphia International and CBS propelled the success of numerous artists and their hits, including Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones,” the O’Jays’ “Love Train,” and McFadden and Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.”
“Harry started with our Philadelphia International Records organization from the beginning, and he was a tremendous asset in working with CBS on our behalf in sales and marketing efforts,” said Gamble and Huff.
“Harry not only was a wonderful team player, but he was also a great friend to us over the years. He truly will be missed. We send our sincere prayers and condolences out to his dear wife and family.”