Thom Bell, a well-known singer, songwriter, record producer, and musician, died on December 22 at the age of 79. Michael Silver, his attorney, broke the news. Gail Ann Dorsey, a musician, shared her sorrow in a social media post containing Bell’s photo. Gail said in the article that she grew up in West Philadelphia during the 1960s and 1970s when Bell ruled the music business. She said that he was the inspiration for her decision to pursue a career in music, and she concluded the article by writing:
“It is still a part of me that I will carry with me forever… Thank you very much, Mr. Thom Bell. Because of your brilliance, the world is a better place. May you rest in peaceful harmony. #philly #phillysound #greatsongwriters.”
Nile Rodgers, a record producer, and songwriter, also tweeted a photo of Bell and expressed his sympathies to Bell’s family and friends. He went on:
“He was the architect of the partnership between #BernardEdwards and myself as we were the band for the #ThomBell blockbuster New York City (I’m Doing Fine Now).”
Bell’s cause of death has not yet been disclosed, however, his publicist verified that he died at his home in Bellingham, Washington.
Netizens pay homage to the “Father of the Philly Soul Sound” on Twitter.
Thom Bell has been recognized for his immaculate work as a musician for many years. When word of his death spread, Twitter was inundated with tributes:
— Patty Jackson (@MsPattyJackson) December 22, 2022
Man. Such sad news. RIP to Thom Bell who wrote some of Phyllis’s best music such as:
Betcha by Golly Wow (1976)
Loving You, Losing You (1977)
Magic Mona (1979)
Just Me and You (1983)
Just 25 Miles to Anywhere (1983)
First Time Together (1986)
You Just Don’t Know (1986) pic.twitter.com/ZcRdvPdbq3
— Forever Phyllis Hyman (@Phyllis4Evah) December 23, 2022
Thom Bell rose to prominence as an arranger and composer.
Born on January 26, 1943, he began his career with Cameo Records, where he worked on a few songs for the vocal group The Delfonics. He also orchestrated performances by numerous musicians. During the 1970s, Bell was a member of the musical group The Stylistics. He collaborated on three albums with poet Linda Creed and vocalist Russell Thompkins Jr. Thom and Linda collaborated on a number of additional tunes that garnered positive reactions from listeners.
Thom then joined The Spinners, a rhythm & blues singing ensemble. With his assistance, the band was able to record five gold-certified albums. He co-wrote Then Came You with Dionne Warwick, which reached the top of the Billboard charts. Bell collaborated on a few songs with Deniece Williams, James Ingram, Elton John, and others. Several popular songs resulted from his collaborations, including It’s Gonna Take a Miracle, I Don’t Have the Heart, The Thom Bell Sessions, and others.
Thom created 27 singles with various bands and musicians during the course of his career. Pass Me By, La-La (Means I Love You), You Are Everything, I’ll Be There, I’m Doing Fine Now, Rockin’ Roll Baby, Mighty Love (Part I), Mama Can’t Buy You Love, and more songs are included.