In a couple of days time, Germany’s Tramp Records are going to release a double album called Virtue Recording Studios. Consisting of 24 soul & funk tracks by a variety of artists, this compilation has been named after the Philadelphia musician, record producer and record label owner, Frank Virtue.
Frank Virtue had an impressive career that stretched from the big bands of the 1940’s to the hip-hop and rap of the 1990’s. In 1958 he formed the band, The Virtues, recording with them until 1962 when he decided to go full-time into the recording studio business.
Contrary to popular belief, Virtue Studios did not close in the early 80’s and became home to a number of rap artists during the 1980’s and early 1990’s; also housing a wide variety of other artists and styles of music over the years. There is much to discover here and what I have briefly outlined is just the tip of a very large and musical iceberg; Frank Virtue is worth checking out and researching further!
The tragic thing about this whole story, however, is that after Frank Virtue passed away in 1994, his studio was sold and in 2001 was knocked down, which means that today there is no historical marker that Virtue Recording Studios ever existed. His only legacy is the music, records and acetates that he produced….but this is where Tramp Records comes in with their forthcoming compilation and most of the songs on Virtue Recording Studios appears legitimately licensed for the very first time on CD/digital, alongside a selection of previously unseen photos!
Featuring on this album are a few songs by soul singer, Gene Faith and I have to say that these little gems really stuck out for me, I looooove this sound and am eagerly awaiting the release of Virtue Recording Studios so I can hear the other Gene Faith songs! Check out the fantastic My Baby’s Missing above and if you like this, check out the rest of the album on Tramp Records Bandcamp page here.