HEY IT TURNS OUT THAT EVEN BACK IN SIXTY-EIGHT, IVY LEAGUE EGGHEADS REALLY WERE GOOD FOR SOMETHING BESIDES GETTING NAKED, GIVING COPS THE FINGER AND DREAMING OF THE DAY WHEN THEY WOULD BLOW STUFF UP! (Found In The Connection: Rattling Loose End #11, Jerry Butler and the birth of Philly Soul)

“We got to talking about some writer from Yale who’d complained about how Curtis Mayfield and the Temptations were experimenting with new sounds like the wah-wah pedal. He’d said it ruined the purity of R&B. We thought artists should use everything around them and Kenny said ‘Hey, only the strong survive.’ I added in some things I’d heard growing up and 45 minutes later, we had a song.”

Jerry Butler, on the inspiration for “Only the Strong Survive,” the most monumental record to come from the sessions that Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff used as the foundation stone, both creative and commercial, for The Sound of Philadelphia, i.e. what black music would get up to in the seventies and then some.

(Source: Liner notes, The Philadelphia Sessions: The Iceman Cometh, Ice on Ice and More, 2001)

Jerry Butler “Only the Strong Survive” (Television Performance)

Update: No word on whether the Yalie in question ever joined Weatherman. Just know that he was evidently simpatico. The terror masters are always really good at telling others what they should think of themselves.

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