ADVOCACY UPDATE: Sigma Sound Studios Officially Added to the Philadelphia Register
On Friday, November 13, the Philadelphia Historical Commission formally approved our nomination and listed Sigma Sound Studios, 210-12 N. 12th St, on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. The property is now safeguarded against demolition and insensitive alterations. We extend our gratitude to nominating partners Brewerytown Beats, Philly Sound Archive, and all the former friends, employees, and lifelong fans of Sigma who supported the nomination.
Sigma Sound was founded in 1968 by sound engineer Joseph Tarsia. Over the ensuing decade, it became the beating heart of the “The Sound of Philadelphia,” a fusion of soul, gospel, rhythm and blues, jazz, funk, and classical music that dominated popular music in the late 1960s and 1970s. It was here that local giants like Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, The O’Jays, Billy Paul and many others recorded some of their most beloved songs. David Bowie famously recorded the LP Young Americans at Sigma in 1974. While a modest building (constructed in 1930 and home to other recording outfits prior to Sigma), 210-12 N. 12th St. deserves a place alongside other celebrated American recording studios like Hitsville USA (Detroit, MI) and Muscle Shoals (Sheffield, AL).
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