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Hifidelics


The steel boom of the 1940s set off a wave of pop-up rust belt towns, each producing its own temporary culture. Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, is among the smaller steel communities, but its relative isolation and large African-American population created a short-lived soul town in the 1970s. The teenage group Hifadelics, originally named Hollow Grooves, coalesced in the late 1960s, and in 1973 manager George Perkins led them into Hartman & Associates' studio in Pittsburgh to record their only single, "Hifidelics Groove" b/w "Quiptown." Despite the typographical error on the 45, Hifadelics were signed by Ray Mitchell's Pittsburgh Music Industries, which immediately put them on the rust belt circuit. When the Jones & Laughlin Steel Mill closed up shop in 1980, Hifadelics went silent with it. The newly jobless band membership had to skip Aliquippa for employment, accounting for just a handful of the 18,000 souls the town would lose over the next three decades.


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