Thom Bell Philadelphia Soul Icon Dies at 79 (1943- 2022)
This has been a terrible year for music and the losses we experienced in all spaces of music and sound.
We lost people from all over the spectrum in every area, from every background and those who were behind the scenes came from all fields from recording of to the arranging, composing and creation of it.
This time, at the most wonderful time of year, we need to shed a tear once again as we listen and hear the bell toll once again for a true giant in R&B, pop and soul.
His influence undeniable, production style hypnotic, lyrics amazing and final product simply the most beautiful sincere intriguing and creative of our time. If I had to encapsilate his style when it came to creation, it was his "Corniness" in the words he used and the phases he came up with that stuck to the common man like Spam in a can to middle America. It was just something they loved and found comfort in.
Who uses Betcha By Golly Wow, Didn't I Blow Your Mind and One of a Kind! They were not Beatles cool but they were common down to earth cool and relatable.
He taught us the value of Breaking Up to Make Up, gave us some wonderful One of Kind Love Affairs and promised us that, I’ll be Around.
He inspired Elton John in so many ways and on his classic Philadelphia Freedom and his classic Jam-a-Thom “Are You Ready”.
He gave the Delphonics their biggest hits and in specific Didn't I Blow Your Mind while he breathed life into sounds of a generation that we all fell in love and connected with the beautiful sounds of his keyboards and wonderful melodic belt lines that engulfed every song he created as if they were sparkles from Heaven in the form or twinkling stars that feel from above. The intertwined in the embodiment of songs such as Could it be I’m Falling in Love to Stop Look and Listen to your Heart and You Make Me Feel Brand New.
Denise Williams, Dione Warwick and so many greats in R&B were touched by his magic golden/platinum wand and there will never be another under appreciated get musically superb man that our industry will ever see. He was one of us and wrote, produced and created everything from that point of view.
The great Phil Hurtt, Carl Helm and Bunny Sigler were all there for the ride when it came to backgrounds and our own Bobby Eli Vonnie Eli was a necessary element in the creation process as well.
Last month, the Soul of Philly died with the passing of the great Joe Tarsia, and now the spirit and Sound of Philly has passed on leaving a legacy of music that will never be created or duplicated again.
The great Thom Bell, master of the Philadelphia Music Machine is no longer with us and Joe and Thom will once again be united in Heaven. RIP you gentle generous man who gave us our songs and captured our imaginations, oh and by the way, when you asked," Didn't I Blow Your Mind (This Time) the answer is an emphatic YES and God Bless You, You Made us all Feel Brand New!
Thom Bell dead of an unidentified illness at 79!
“Thom Bell, the iconic pioneer of Philadelphia soul in the 1970s, passed away on Thursday (Dec. 22) in Bellingham, Washington. He was 79 years old.
The news was first reported by Philly R&B radio station 105.3 WDAS-FM, with host Patty Jackson saying, “We remember Thom Bell: record producer, arranger and songwriter known for his work with Linda Creed, Gamble and Huff, the many hits, the creators of Philly soul.” The station also paid special tribute to the late musician on its website by sharing a video of the Stylistics’ 1972 Bell-produced single “People Make the World Go Round.”