Much of Soul music history over the last half century has revolved around great producer/artist combinations. But no combination was more pleasing than the work of various artists and producer Thom Bell beginning in the late 60's through the 1970s and beyond. With "Mighty Three" partners Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Bell created the Sound of Philadelphia, the most important and dominant sound of the early and mid 70s, and the heir to the Motown sound of the 60s. And as a songwriter, musician, producer and arranger, Bell established himself as one of the most important R&B/Soul music figures of all time.

Born in 1943, Bell studied classical music as a child. As a teen, he met up with and joined Gamble in The Romeos. He learned to play multiple instruments and planned to become a classical conductor. But instead, at age 22 he became a staff writer and touring conductor for "The Twist" singer Chubby Checker. He then earned his first production gig for a local group called the Delfonics in 1968. The combination yielded two big hits, writing in 1969, "La La Means I Love You" and "Didn't I Blow Your Mind," and enhanced Bell's reputation beyond Philadelphia.

Bell's early work set the stage for his style of production and arrangements. He was known as being extremely organized and precise, but more importantly was quite adventurous. He generally came to the studio with a specific sound in mind. His exacting work was groundbreaking, as he created unique arrangements using seemingly odd instruments, such as sitars and bassoons, to create first-of-a-kind Soul sounds that others would try to ape for years afterward.…

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Discography Highlights

LA LA MEANS I LOVE YOU William Hart, Thom Bell
Nickel Shoe Music Co., Inc./Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Co.

I’LL BE AROUND Phil Hurtt, Thom Bell
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Co.

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