The Symphonics were a Philadelphia-based group that started out on a Chicago label, in fact a notable Chicago label, but before the label was sufficiently established to push the group. The Symphonics were only the second group to sign with Curtom Records, Curtis Mayfield’s label, which he founded with his manager, Eddie Thomas. Thomas got his start as Jerry Butler’s driver. Mayfield and Thomas had one of the very first black-owned labels when it started in 1963. The name combines parts of Mayfield’s first name and Thomas’s last name. Originally reliant on independent distribution, it did not have a national network by the time it put out the Symphonics’ "When I Grow Old" b/w "Guilty." Eventually, Curtom gained distribution through Buddah, RSO and Arista Records and put out releases by former Impression Curtis Mayfield himself, the Staples Singers and Mavis Staples as a solo, the Five Stairsteps and Linda Clifford.

The group was noted for its upbeat infection beat combined with a full sound reflecting its name. The Symphonics also had a release the Brunswick Records.

The Symphonics had better luck with national distribution through Jamie/Guyden when they had the first single on Wilson Records that came out on August 26, 1966. George Wilson founded the label while he was program director of WHAT, Philadelphia’s second R&B station which was noted for being more daring, first on new releases and a hit maker, despite its ratings perennially behind WDAS.

The Symphonics’s release as Wilson 100 was  “Silent Kind Of Guy” b/w “Feet (Don’t Fail Me Now).”



50s Rockabilly