Philly Groove Records

Located in West Philly on “the Strip,” Philly Groove Records was owned by Stan “The Man” Watson. The record company put out discs by First Choice, the Delfonics and other lesser-known local acts. A young Thom Bell produced some of the Delfonics’ biggest hits at Sigma Sound Studios and met a young singer-songwriter named Linda Creed while with Philly Groove. The Bell-Creed alliance hit it big in the ’70s with a string of hits they wrote and produced for the Spinners.

According to author Sean Patrick Griffin, the record company had ties to the fearsome Black Mafia:

John Stanley “Stan the Man” Watson owned Philly Groove Records, and employed the Black Mafia’s Bo Baynes from January 1968 until June 1971. Baynes’ stated position at Philly Groove was “road manager or promoter” and a PPD OCU [Philadelphia Police Department Organized Crime Unit] report states, “Reliable sources claim that Baynes did work for Watson. However, his position with Watson was that of an enforcer. Baynes’ primary mission was to intimidate disc jockeys to push certain records.

Black Brothers, Inc.: The Violent Rise and Fall of Philadelphia’s Black Mafia

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