Sad News from The World Of Philadelphia Soul: Guitarist T.J Tindall Dead
If you don’t know who the great soul guitarist T.J. Tindall was, you should, he was a mainstay with Gamble And Hiff and played on 38 gold and platinum records and if you want a real quick study, listen to The Trammps “Disco Inferno”. Yes, that one.
Here is TJ on a fan forum, writing about his contribution to soul music: “Here is the interesting thing- There was no “disco” in our minds back then- What would happen is that when we were cutting a track, we knew where it would fade out but we would keep jamming and Tarsia would record it. It was primarily for our own edification. Then they started adding the long or “dance version” to some of the records and one thing led to another and before you knew it, R&B turned into disco. Although I did play on a lot of disco records(Salsoul Orchastra among others), my heart was always with the R&B. I grew up listening to Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, Booker T., Stax/Volt etc.
So there is the birth of disco for you in a nutshell.
TJ died today and here is the press release:
King of Soul’ Guitar Twice Inducted into Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame as Member of MFSB and Salsoul Orchestra
PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 27, 2016) — The Philadelphia Music Alliance is heartbroken to report the passing last night of guitarist Thomas Joshua “ T.J.” Tindall, who was inducted twice into the PMA’s Walk of Fame during 2013 ceremonies as a member of MFSB and the Salsoul Orchestra.
“He was a vital member of MFSB’s famed rhythm section, which laid the foundation for the Sound of Philadelphia,” said PMA Board Chairman Alan Rubens. “You can hear his guitar on so many great hits out of Philadelphia from the ‘70s and ‘80s, from ‘Disco Inferno’ to ‘You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine.’ We truly lost one of our own.”
Tindall played on over 30 gold and platinum hits produced by legendary “Sound of Philadelphia” architects Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff (Gamble & Huff) for artists such as the O’Jays, the Trammps, Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, the Intruders, and the Three Degrees. He also played and recorded with Bonnie Raitt, the Chambers Brothers, the Jacksons, Robert Palmer, the Temptations, and many others. Most recently, the Trenton, NJ, native was brought out of retirement to play and record with In the Pocket, the all-star Philly tribute collective led by drummer David Uosikkinen of platinum Philly recording artists The Hooters.
“We just lost one of the greats,” said Uosikkinen. “He was the King of Soul Guitar, the northern version of Steve Cropper. No one played like TJ.”
Tindall’s roots were in the well-regarded Trenton music scene of the 1970s, primarily as guitarist of local legends Duke Williams and the Extremes. Drummer Charles Collins, who played and toured with Tindall in both Duke Williams and the Extremes as well as MFSB and the Salsoul Orchestra, was shocked to hear of the loss of his musical “brother,” who he said “had a natural feel for the music.” Collins, now based in Texas, would always make a point to visit Tindall at the lighting shophe owned in Princeton “just to hang out” every time he returned to the area.
“We definitely had a brotherhood,” said Collins. “With TJ, the glass was always half full, not half empty. He always had a smile, always had something positive to say. And if you were feeling sad, he could always say something to take you out of it,. When you spoke to TJ, you felt like you were the most important person in the room, because he listened thoroughly.”
Funeral arrangements were incomplete.