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Passings: T.J. Tindall, Guitarist For MFSB, Salsoul Orchestra

Philadelphia and the soul music world have lost one of the great guitarists of the 70's, T.J. Tindall.

Tindall, who was born and raised in Trenton, NJ, took up music early, starting with drums at the age of 4 and later moving to guitar. At the age of 20, he began regular pilgrimages to the offices and studio of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff in Philadelphia where he finally got his break sitting in with the Edison Electric Band.

T.J. eventually became the guitarist for the Philadelphia International house band MFSB, first heard on the O'Jay's massive hit Love Train. They went on to back some of the label's biggest stars and, in 1974, broke out on their own with the number 1 singles TSOP which went on to become the theme from the show Soul Train.

MFSB continued to have occassional hits throughout the disco era including Love is the Message (1974 / #42 R&B / #85 Pop), Sexy (1975 / #2 R&B / #42 Pop / #1 Disco), Summertime and I'm Feelin' Mellow (1976 / #65 R&B / #1 Disco) and Picnic in the Park (1976 / #1 Disco).

A number of members of MFSB, including Tindall, had a disagreement with Gamble and Huff over money and moved to Salsoul Records where they became the Salsoul Orchestra. Another of the great disco instrumental groups, their popularity peaked with the single Tangerine (1976 / #18 Pop).

In the early 80's, Tindall became disillusioned by the changes in the sound of music and left the business to take over the family's lighting business. It wasn't until 2011 that he returned, forming T.J. Tindall's East Coast who have played regularly around the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area.

Other credits for Tindall include work with Bonnie Raitt, Joe Simon, Bobby Whitlock, Don Covay, the Whispers, the Tramps, Robert Palmer, Loleatta Holloway and others.

Our thanks to Soul Tracks for first reporting on Tindall's passing.