The Philadelphia music community lost a part of its heart and soul when Richie Ingui passed away suddenly on January 13, 2017. I lost a little piece of my childhood also. The Soul Survivors' one-time manager was the uncle of one of my closest friends. Her older sister had a teenage crush on Richie. For a while, the Soul Survivors were like our friends because there was a personal connection. For me, it was secondary, but it was still exciting knowing people who knew them. Any time, my whole life, "Expressway to Your Heart" came on the radio, it brought a smile to my face, and in my heart, because it brought back my childhood memories.
Ingui, along with his brother Charlie, were founding members of The Soul Survivors, and were rocketed to fame with their hit “Expressway to Your Heart” in 1967. Not only was this the first hit record for The Soul Survivors, it was the first hit song that record producers Gamble and Huff wrote and produced together. “Expressway” became known for its mix of soul, R&B, and a little bit of rock. This musical mixture became known as TSOP – The Sound of Philadelphia.
The Soul Survivors had several other successful songs including “Explosion in Your Soul”, and “Impossible Mission (Mission Impossible)”. None of their later releases were as popular as “Expressway” though.
Raised on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Ingui, Charlie, and fellow band member Kenny Jeremiah, moved to Philadelphia in 1967. At the time the band was called the Dedications. They changed their name to The Soul Survivors before recording “Expressway to Your Heart”.
Ingui and Charlie were currently touring and would have celebrated fifty years of entertaining this year. They were also a part of David Uosikkinen’s “In the Pocket” project, which showcases musicians who have contributed to the musical history of Philadelphia. Charlie Ingui continues to perform with them. Uosikkinen is an original member of The Hooters.
Richie Ingui will long be remembered for his beautiful, soulful voice. His music left an impact on Philadelphia and his passing has left a hole in our musical hearts. Rest in Peace.