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thom bell

Thom Bell

b. Thomas Randolph Bell, 27th January 1943, Kingston, Jamaica.

d. 22nd December 2022, Bellingham, Washington, U.S.A.

Thom Bell studied classical piano as a child and was raised in Philadelphia since the age of 5.

His mother used to work at the University of Pennsylvania as the co-ordinator of exchange students.

Thom's grandfather was a teacher of botany and a horticulture at UP.

He joined the Philadelphia version of Kenny Gamble's harmony group the Romeos in 1959, and by the age of 19 was working as a conductor and arranger for Chubby Checker for two years.

There was a version of the Romeo's in Detroit, that featured Lamont Dozier within it's own line-up, not to be confused.

Thom Bell

He relocated to New York to study in 1960-61.

He relocated back to Philadelphia in 1963.

The office shared a building with Cameo Records and when the former venture folded, Thom worked for the label as a session pianist.

Later Thom signed on as a session pianist with Cameo Records, where he first worked with the Delfonics.

Originally the group were known as The Five Guys, however, Thom reduced the number to three.

When their manager Stan Watson formed the Philly Groove label in 1968, he became a producer, working on the Delfonics songs 'La La Means I Love You' (which won Thom his Grammy award), and the 1970 song 'Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time'.

At the award of the Grammy for the Delfonics song, Thom wasn't allowed to collect the award as, at that time, Black people were not allowed to do so, so Thom never attended an awards ceremony there again.

Thom then joined up again with the Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff Philadelphia International Records.

Between 1971 and 1974 Thom worked on the Stylistics releases, including, 'You Are Everything' in 1971 , 'Betcha By Golly Wow' and 'I'm Stone In Love With You', both released in 1972.

Linda Creed linda creed

His songwriting collaboration with the late Linda Creed being quite remarkable.

Thom also worked with the Reggae artist Bob Marley, with whom Thom was good friends with.


He enjoyed success with the (Detroit) Spinners ('Games People Play' etc), the Bee Gees and Johnny Mathis, and continued his career as a producer, arranger and songwriter.

After producing two LPs for the singer Deniece Williams during the early '80s, he resurfaced to appear on efforts by various artists ranging from Phyllis Hyman to Chuck Mangione.

Thom Bell, also worked alongside Elton John.

Elton John elton john

Those sessions were eventually released at a later date.

Thom is the uncle of the artist Leroy Burgess.

Through the 1990s, he worked with James Ingram, Angela Winbush, and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Thom moved to Washington State and then Hawaii and in between got divorced and remarried.

He was then awarded a place on the music walk of fame at the Academy Of Music.

A plaque was placed outside Philadelphia International Records on Broad St.

Thom lived in Snag Island, in the early Nineties, and Hawaii according to recent reports and has 8 children. He didn't like living in the city.

Thom died in December 2022, at the age of 79.

Thom Bell

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