Thom Bell

Real Name:
Thomas Randolph Bell
Composer, arranger, conductor, producer and multi-instrumentalist.
(January 26, 1943 – December 22, 2022) Born in Kingston, Jamaica, raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Uncle of Leroy Burgess and Leroy M. Bell. He was inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. Bell, along with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, were the architects of Philly Soul. In addition, he and his late music partner Linda Creed were Philadelphia’s own “dynamic duo.” During the 70s and 80s, Bell worked with such artists as the Delfonics, the Stylistics, the Spinners, Elton John, the O’Jays, Deniece Williams, Jerry “Iceman” Butler, Dusty Springfield, and James Ingram.
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.

Do NOT confuse with his brother Tony Bell (sometimes credited as "A. Bell").
IPI: 00002569405
In Groups:


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Singles & EPs

11090 El Sonido De Filadelfia = TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) — Thom Bell MFSB Featuring The Three Degrees, Thom Bell MFSB Featuring The Three Degrees, Thom Bell - El Sonido De Filadelfia = TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)(7", Single) CBS 11090 Costa Rica 1973 Sell This Version
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ZS8 3571 I Can't Quit Your Love / Queen Of The Ghetto — Thom Bell BT* And TB* BT* And TB* - I Can't Quit Your Love / Queen Of The Ghetto (Single) Philadelphia International Records ZS8 3571 US 1975 Sell This Version
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EC-55148 Sexybump — Thom Bell MFSB / BT* Y TB* MFSB / BT* Y TB* - Sexybump(7", EP) Epic EC-55148 Mexico 1975 Sell This Version
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ZS9 8007 Follow Every Dream / Ragtime — Thom Bell William Hart / Eubie Blake & Thom Bell William Hart / Eubie Blake & Thom Bell - Follow Every Dream / Ragtime (Single) Lorimar Records ZS9 8007 US 1979 Sell This Version
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CDTOP 488 Ready Or Not (Thom Bell Philly Soul Arrangements & Productions 1965-1978) — Thom Bell Thom Bell Ready Or Not (Thom Bell Philly Soul Arrangements & Productions 1965-1978)(CD, Comp, Mono) Kent Soul CDTOP 488 UK 2020 Sell This Version

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December 23, 2022
edited 5 months ago
Earl Young, MFSB: “I can’t believe my hero is gone Thom Bell, a man that believed in me and hired me to record music when I couldn’t even read a note and taught me so many things about music. He is truly a Philly legend. I will miss you my friend. RIP.”

Kenny Gamble: “Tommy and I have been best friends for over 60 years. When we first met, we decided to start writing songs together and form a singing duo ‘Kenny and Tommy’ and then our band ‘The Romeos’. Leon Huff and I were proud to have him as part of our Mighty Three music writing team, which helped create our signature brand of TSOP. He was a great talent and my dear friend. The name of Gamble Huff and Bell will last forever. Rest in peace buddy!”

Leon Huff: “Thom Bell was my favorite musician, arranger, songwriter, and music producer of all time! It was my esteem honor and pleasure to work with him creatively and as a business partner. Rest in peace.”

Rochelle Fleming (First Choice): “I thought we were clear from anymore deaths in 2022 then I get word that the fabulous and talented Thom Bell has passed away. What an amazing and gifted songwriter who has written hits for so many artists.
Meeting him as a young teenager as the founder of, "The Debonettes" I have so many memories with him. He played on, "First Choice's" albums. He had co-written, "One Step Away," with Norman Harris & Allen Felder. one of the first songs, "First Choice" had ever recorded. RIP Thom, I will miss you!”

Nile Rodgers: “RIP Thom Bell. He is one of the greatest writers and producers of all time. My condolences go out to his family and friends. He was the architect of the relationship between #BernardEdwards & me as we were the band for the group New York City (I'm Doing Fine Now) a Thom Bell smash.”

Lenny Fontana: “Rest In Peace Thom Bell. one of the most Iconic arranger and producers of the legendary Philadelphia Sound left us today.. A huge loss to music community. Condolences to his family.”

Leroy Burgess: “THOUGHTS ON MY 'UNCLE' THOM (BELL). In the very early days of the Annual Bell/Scott Family Reunion/Picnic, I met him for the 1st time. He was actually my mom's cousin (not an actual uncle)... but because he was in my mom's age group, I referred to him as 'uncle'.. out of respect. I was a kid, after all.
Most often, I'd find him 'choppin' it up' with cousin Douglas Bowen.. talking all things musical. I followed him around like a lost puppy.. soaking up everything I could. I really had little to no idea of what they were talking about. I just knew it was music. My mom would shoo me away from them.. every time she caught me.
Then, abruptly, he stopped coming.
Several years would pass.. before my mom bought an album by Jerry Butler, "The Iceman Cometh". I used to love to read the liner credits and spotted his name on a song I really liked ("Are You Happy"). I said "Momi... is this 'uncle' Thommy?". She smiled and nodded. "Play it again! Play it again!"
Many more years passed.
And a thousand songs later, I heard and was influenced by every note. Every "La La..", every "Betcha..", every "Mighty Love" and "Life Is A Song...", every "Silly (Of Me)". Nothing escaped my notice.
Our group, Black Ivory modeled ourselves around his work.
"Don't Turn Around" and "You & I" were obvious attempts to emulate his immaculate work. In a way, he's almost as responsible for us as was Patrick Adams. Matter of fact, I was singing the Delfonic's "Can You Remember" when Patrick first heard me.
GOD calls HIS Angels back when HE wants them.
But HE always leaves something behind.
In this instance, HE has left an overflowing plethora of musical vibrations which borders on the miraculous. Almost enough to make this moment less painful.

Questlove: “Thom Bell was the PHILLY-est of the foundational songwriters that gave my city its identity. Be it covers/samples/the originals from soundtracks form wedding bands, karaoke, or seeing in concert—-his life’s work no doubt was our soundtrack.
Rest In Melody Thom Bell!

Marc Mac (4Hero): “And now the great Thom Bell has left us. I hope his story of greatness doesn’t leave also but instead becomes much wider known. The Sound Of Philadelphia. Thomas Randolph Bell was a Jamaican-born American record producer, arranger and songwriter known as one of the creators of Philadelphia soul in the 1970s. He is best known for his success with the Philadelphia sound in the 1970s, particularly with the Delfonics, Stylistics and Spinners.
Born: 26 January 1943, Kingston, Jamaica
Died: 22 December 2022 #thombell #tsop (I’m getting worried that not enough is documented before our heroes leave.)”

Kirk Degiorgio: “An absolute giant of soul music has sadly passed. I’ve studied his arrangements for years as they are the pinnacle of tight perfection. Everybody will recognise his countless hits whether they know his name or not. RIP Philly legend Thom Bell.”

Lamont Di’jital (Aux 88): “Rest easy to the legendary songwriter Thom Bell, if you ever needed an inspiration to make some great music, just listen to the massive catalog of hits he has, arguably he is if not the greatest , definitely one of the greatest song writers, composers of all time.”
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December 22, 2022
There is no. one like this Genus thank you for your exquisite arrangements your musicianship and your songwriting you did it all R.I .P and thank you for The Philly Sound


December 22, 2022
edited 5 months ago
An absolute legend may he be remembered forever Rest In Peace


April 7, 2021
I'm confused as to why Thom Bell isn't talked about more as one of the great songwriters of his generation. So many incredible songs and arrangements- he innovated and dominated in his field, and you can trace his signature touch through some of the best records from many groups. An artist to be celebrated!
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