Founded by WDAS program director and DJ Jimmy Bishop in 1964, Artic Records was a building block for “The Sound of Philadelphia.”
Future cofounder of Philadelphia International Records Kenny Gamble was a songwriter and producer for the record label, and recording artist with the group, Kenny Gamble and the Floaters.
In a 2013 interview, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gamble told WHYY:
That was like my training ground. It was like going to school. Experimenting. Jimmy Bishop used to let me work in the studio, work on the board.
Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates got his start at Arctic with the blue-eyed soul group the Temptones
A teenager from North Philly, Barbara Mason, wrote and recorded Artic’s best-selling record (Kenny Gamble was one of the backup singers).
Arctic released its last record in 1971. Around the same time, Jimmy Bishop disappeared, and to this day nobody knows whether he’s dead or alive.
The site of Artic Records is a stop on my walking tour, “North Broad Street: Then and Now.” We will take a stroll down North Broad on Saturday mornings in October. To be added to the mailing list, send your contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org.