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The Sound of Philadelphia has many stories, this is just one of
R+B/fusion producer, arranger, musician, composer, conductor, synthesist, A+R Director, performer, Dexter Wansel, began as an errand boy backstage at the Uptown theater in Philadelphia from 1959 through 1963 for his step-uncle Georgie Woods. There he met many great artists who encouraged him to pursue music. In junior high school and high school he and his best friend Stanley Clarke had their first bands together.
In 1970 after being honorably discharged from the United States Army, Wansel quietly joined the ranks of synthesists like Walter Carlos and Dick Hyman, where he began programming the Putney and the Arp 2600V for sessions at Sigma Sound Studios both credited and uncredited. From the early to mid 70s, Wansel also played keyboards for groups such as Instant Funk, Yellow Sunshine, and MFSB. …City Paper says, “In 1975 Dexter created the moody, space- soul LP ‘Life On Mars’ whose icy ambience and thick, thematic funk is universally credited with having created Neo-Soul”. This first album’s been followed by six more. What The World Is Coming Too-Voyager-Time Is Slipping Away-Universe-Captured-and Digital Groove World. After signing with Philadelphia International Records, as in-house song writer/producer/arranger, he established a song writing relationship with the great lyricist Cynthia Biggs and many of their hit records are listed here.. Wansel also collaborated with other writers such as Bunny Sigler, T. Life, Vinnie Barrett and Kenneth Gamble. Dexter Wansel produced, wrote, arranged, played keyboards and synthesized hits for artists at Philly International Records as well as numerous other labels. Listed here with just a few of the songs he either produced/arranged/wrote or played on.
Trey Songz, (Unusual) The O’Jays, (I Really Need You Now) Jordin Sparks, (Hooked On Your Love-from the Sparkle movie) Patti LaBelle, (If Only You Knew-Shoot Em On Sight-I Can't Forget) The Stylistics, (Hurry Up This Way Again-Mine All Mine-What's Your Name) Diggy, (Do It Like You) Teddy Pendergrass, (Love T.K.O.-Only You-All I Need Is You) Instant Funk, (Float Like A Butterfly- So Glad I’m The One) The Jones Girls, (You’re Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else-You Made Me Love You-Nights Over Egypt) Junior, (Not Tonight) Michael Jackson and The Jacksons, (Keep On Dancin-Jump For Joy-Different kind Of Lady) Donny Hathaway, (You Were Meant For Me) Loose Ends, (The Sweetest Pain-You Can't Stop The Rain) Elle Varner, (Stop The Clock) MFSB, (Mysteries Of The World-Philadelphia Freedom-Manhattan Skyline) Lou Rawls, (Its Our Anniversary Today-Pure Imagination-Lovers Holiday) Billy Paul, (I Think I'll Stay Home Today-Billys Back Home) P.P Arnold (A Little Pain) Jean Carn, (Give It Up-You Are All I Need-I'm In Love Once Again) Carl Carlton, (Spend The Night) Phyllis Hyman, (Living All Alone) Grover Washington Jr, (The Best Is Yet To Come) Pieces Of A Dream, (Warm Weather-Fo-Fi-Fo) Damon Williams (When, Where, How) Evelyn Champagne King (Shame-The Show Is Over) Sasss (Sassy Lady) Miles Jaye (I've Been A Fool For You), Philadelphia International All Stars (Clean Up The Ghetto), just to name a few.
Dexter’s music has been used as samples over 500 times in the world of hip-hop. His 1975 'Theme From The Planets' drum beat intro, is hailed as being one of the first foundation beats of hip-hop. This beat continues to be heavily sampled today and can also be heard on TV commercials and in movies.. His sampled music has been used by Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Drake, Rick Ross, J Cole, Kid And Play, Eric B and Rakim, Wiz Khalifa, The Lox, Lil Kim, Ice T, Ice Cube, Stalley, just to name a few. In 1979 as conductor of the world famous MFSB Orchestra, Dexter Wansel was the music director/conductor for the historic show at the White House commemorating the very first 'Black Music History Month' celebration founded by Dyana Williams, Kenneth Gamble, and Ed Wright.. From 1978 through 1980, Dexter Wansel was the A+R Director for Philadelphia International Records where he oversaw and coordinated many album and single releases by the labels artists under the direction of Gamble and Huff. Including McFadden & Whiteheads hit single, “Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now”
Dexter and wife Judith Wansel have created their show called Sounds Of Philadelphia. In which during live performances, Grammy award winner Dexter Wansel performs the music he helped to create for some of the world renowned recording artists as well as his own music. They are the proud parents of 10 wonderful children, 20 grand children, and four great grand children. Their youngest son, Andrew ‘Pop’ Wansel is a two time Grammy award winner and BMI producer of the year. He is one of the successful R&B/Pop music producer/writers of this age. And has created hits for recording artists such as K. Michele, Miguel, Jessie Ware, Monica, Usher, Trey Songz, Ginuwine, Elle Varner, Diggy, Jennifer Lopez, Kahlani, Fantasia, Alicia Keys, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, Wiz Khalifa, Alessia Cara, and Ariana Grande, just to name a few. The Sound of Philadelphia has many stories, this is just one of them.....