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Thom Bell

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NEWS
June 10, 2013 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
'Gamble-Huff-Bell Music. " The first two names listed on the sign above the doorway at the Philadelphia International Records offices at 309 S. Broad St. are those most closely associated with the sophisticated soul music that became universally known as "The Sound of Philadelphia" in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But there were more than two major players writing the Philadelphia chapter in the great American soul-music history books. Along with Philadelphia International Records owners Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, there was also Thom Bell, the producer, arranger, and songwriter known for the delectably sweet music he made with the Delfonics and the Stylistics.
NEWS
April 2, 1993 | by Mark de la Vina, Daily News Staff Writer
When Thom Bell, the magma-hot arranger for the Philadelphia International Records hit foundry, was approached in 1972 by an Atlantic Records executive about producing the artist of his choice, he was sent the label's roster sheet. Bell scanned the pages, noting the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. A little lower was Wilson Pickett, the scowler of a vocalist who already had accumulated more than a dozen top-40 hits. "And then I got to the bottom of the last page, and there was a typographical error," said Bell, one of tonight's Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame awards recipients.
BUSINESS
March 15, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Introduced as interior designer for the 152-room SLS LUX Philadelphia Hotel, the iconic Phillipe Starck found it easy to strike the right chord with his audience of city movers and shakers. Turning to Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, the Frenchman thanked the recording impresarios for giving him "the kind of music that has allowed me to make good projects. " "This is my opportunity," Starck said of his first Philadelphia project, "to be able to pay my debt to you and your music," to which he listens as he designs.
NEWS
April 17, 1986 | By M. G. Missanelli, Inquirer Staff Writer
Linda Creed Epstein wrote blockbuster songs that made her a giant in the record industry, but she shunned the limelight in favor of a role as a wife and mother, according to those who knew her. Creed, 37, whose collection of hits included "The Greatest Love of All," "You Make Me Feel Brand New," "You Are Everything," and "Betcha By Golly Wow," died in her Ambler home last week after a 10-year battle with cancer. "Songwriting was her hobby, being a wife and a mother, she felt, was her full-time job," said her husband, Stephen Epstein, a record promoter.
NEWS
August 17, 1993 | by Chuck Arnold, Daily News Staff Writer
There's nothing like your own brass plaque on Broad Street to get a guy all misty about Philly. Well, in Daryl Hall's case, technically it's half a plaque - he shares the Philadelphia Music Alliance award (which you can walk past between Pine and Walnut streets) with longtime partner John Oates. But it hasn't even been five months yet, so who could blame him for writing a love song about the City of Brotherly Love? (Well, Hall didn't actually write the song by himself either - he shares the credit with Peter Lord, Jeff Smith and Alan Gorrie - but we're sure the idea was all his.)
NEWS
September 30, 1987 | By RENEE V. LUCAS, Daily News Staff Writer
The Stylistics: Original members - Russell Tompkins Jr., lead vocals; Airrion Love, James Dunn, James Smith, Herb Murrell. Current members - Tompkins, Murrell, Love and Raymond Johnson. Current hometown - Philadelphia. Formed during the late '60s, The Stylistics were a merging of members of the Monarchs and The Percussions, both of which had entered a local talent contest at Benjamin Franklin High School and won first and second place, respectively. As the Stylistics, former Monarchs Tompkins, Smith and Love, and former Percussions Murrell and Dunn caught the attention of Sebring Records owner Bill Perry, who suggested they record an original compositition, "You're a Big Girl Now. " Released on the label in 1970, the song was a regional hit, its composition using to the fullest Tompkins' achingly high, tear-your-heart-out tenor - the sound that eventually became the group's signature.
NEWS
April 14, 2009 | By Robert Moran INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Randy Cain, 63, a founding member of the Philadelphia soul group the Delfonics, which had the 1968 hit "La-La (Means I Love You)," died Thursday at his home in Maple Shade. Mr. Cain was found dead at his apartment by his hairdresser, said Sheila Hart, the wife of Delfonics cofounder Wilbert Hart. She said Mr. Cain had been in poor health for years. Mr. Cain met brothers William and Wilbert Hart while the three were growing up in West Philadelphia during the 1960s, Wilbert Hart recalled.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2010 | By Dan DeLuca INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The career of Philadelphia soul great Teddy Pendergrass, who died Wednesday, had three distinct phases. As the drummer for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Pendergrass stepped to the mike and sang many of the defining hits of the Gamble and Huff 1970s Philly soul era, from "The Love I Lost" to "If You Don't Know Me By Now. " Then, he flew solo as libidinous "Teddy Bear," a virile, tenderhearted superstar who know how to growl and was ready...
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 1990 | By Jonathan Takiff, Daily News Staff Writer
At "Philly gold" radio station WPGR, the AM outlet that "plays from the heart, not from the charts," Jerry Blavat was wailing with recordings by Ronnie Dyson yesterday. The tribute was sparked by soul singer Dyson's sad demise here over the weekend from acute heart ailments. He died at age 40 never having reached his potential. Though Washington, D.C.-born and Brooklyn, N.Y.-raised, Dyson had spent a lot of time in Philadelphia. Since the mid-1980s, he'd been in town, on and off, recording for Norman "Butch" Ingram's small Society Hill Records label, trying to revive a career that hadn't really been cooking for two decades.
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BUSINESS
March 15, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Introduced as interior designer for the 152-room SLS LUX Philadelphia Hotel, the iconic Phillipe Starck found it easy to strike the right chord with his audience of city movers and shakers. Turning to Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, the Frenchman thanked the recording impresarios for giving him "the kind of music that has allowed me to make good projects. " "This is my opportunity," Starck said of his first Philadelphia project, "to be able to pay my debt to you and your music," to which he listens as he designs.
NEWS
June 10, 2013 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
'Gamble-Huff-Bell Music. " The first two names listed on the sign above the doorway at the Philadelphia International Records offices at 309 S. Broad St. are those most closely associated with the sophisticated soul music that became universally known as "The Sound of Philadelphia" in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But there were more than two major players writing the Philadelphia chapter in the great American soul-music history books. Along with Philadelphia International Records owners Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, there was also Thom Bell, the producer, arranger, and songwriter known for the delectably sweet music he made with the Delfonics and the Stylistics.
NEWS
November 30, 2012 | By Michael Vitez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Linda Creed, one of the best songwriters in Philadelphia history, wrote the lyrics to "The Greatest Love of All" two weeks after a mastectomy. "The lyrics take on a completely different meaning when you realize this," said Lisa Brownstein, who founded the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation a year after her friend's death in 1986. For example: No matter what they take from me They can't take away my dignity. Whitney Houston sang the song to the top of the charts as Creed lay dying.
NEWS
December 11, 2011
The CD is dead in the water. At this point, back-in-fashion vinyl looks to have a brighter future. Because when we're all listening to streaming music on remote devices in the coming cloud culture, there'll be no need for shiny silver discs, and lovingly designed LPs will satisfy those who yearn for a physical product. But for the purposes of making a mix, a compact disc's 80 minutes still seems about right to me. So the 21 songs below clock in at 78 minutes and change, and will fit on one CD. That said, I could have made five mixes the length of this one. And I still might.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2010 | By Dan DeLuca INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The career of Philadelphia soul great Teddy Pendergrass, who died Wednesday, had three distinct phases. As the drummer for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Pendergrass stepped to the mike and sang many of the defining hits of the Gamble and Huff 1970s Philly soul era, from "The Love I Lost" to "If You Don't Know Me By Now. " Then, he flew solo as libidinous "Teddy Bear," a virile, tenderhearted superstar who know how to growl and was ready...
NEWS
April 14, 2009 | By Robert Moran INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Randy Cain, 63, a founding member of the Philadelphia soul group the Delfonics, which had the 1968 hit "La-La (Means I Love You)," died Thursday at his home in Maple Shade. Mr. Cain was found dead at his apartment by his hairdresser, said Sheila Hart, the wife of Delfonics cofounder Wilbert Hart. She said Mr. Cain had been in poor health for years. Mr. Cain met brothers William and Wilbert Hart while the three were growing up in West Philadelphia during the 1960s, Wilbert Hart recalled.
NEWS
April 20, 2006 | By Rob Watson INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It wasn't hard to tell it was another special moment, as camera flashes lit up the recording studio. It was Bunny Sigler and he was shining, again. The 65-year-old singer and producer had grabbed Honey, Bobby Eli's guitar, and started laying down licks to a song he helped compose, the O'Jays' "When the World's at Peace. " "Oh, man," said Eli, grinning, "that's some swampy funk. " Sigma Sound engineer Gene Leone nodded. "I didn't even know he could play, but I've heard him sing opera before - he's a bad dude," funkmaster George Clinton would say later.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 11, 2001 | by Jonathan Takiff Daily News Staff Writer
He has a reputation as the weirdest white man in American pop music, the auteur and warbly vocalist of charmers like "Psycho Killer" and "Burning Down the House" as front guy of the ever-edgy Talking Heads. But on his new solo album "Look into the Eyeball," David Byrne is sounding calm, soulful and unusually accessible - even verging on (egads!) normal. Ripest case in point is the lush, violins-bedecked '70s style Philly soul sound that colors two of the new album's best tracks, "Neighborhood" and "Like Humans Do. " Both have been touched by our classic Old School arranger/player Thom Bell (of Spinners/Stylistics fame.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 28, 1997 | By Tom Moon, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
What was it, really? Soaring strings and apocalyptic horns. Silky vocals cut with warm, cognac-flavored jazz guitar. A beat slower than the sing-song clip of Motown girl groups. A beat that presaged disco. Lushness. Splendor. The Sound of Philadelphia. Listening to pop music now, 25 years after the reign of Philadelphia International Records, none of those elements seems particularly remarkable. They're business as usual. Scores of today's bombastic bedroom balladeers build their entreaties around elaborate arrangements and use just the type of keening string lines Thom Bell and other Philly arrangers pioneered.
NEWS
August 17, 1993 | by Chuck Arnold, Daily News Staff Writer
There's nothing like your own brass plaque on Broad Street to get a guy all misty about Philly. Well, in Daryl Hall's case, technically it's half a plaque - he shares the Philadelphia Music Alliance award (which you can walk past between Pine and Walnut streets) with longtime partner John Oates. But it hasn't even been five months yet, so who could blame him for writing a love song about the City of Brotherly Love? (Well, Hall didn't actually write the song by himself either - he shares the credit with Peter Lord, Jeff Smith and Alan Gorrie - but we're sure the idea was all his.)
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