The Door To Yesterday Volume 3 Number 9

 

 

 

Betcha By Golly Wow: The Songs Of Thom Bell.

 Songwriter, arranger and record producer Thom Bell was one of the creators of the enormously popular 

Sound of Philadelphia soul music in the 1970’s. He was born in Kingston, Jamaica, 

but his family moved to Philadelphia when he was five.
When he grew up, his musical aspirations took him to New York

 where he studied to be a conductor and concert pianist. 


In the early 60’s, he moved back to Philadelphia and got a gig as Chubby Checker’s conductor. 

He met songwriter/producer Kenny Gamble and they teamed up as a vocal duo Kenny & Tommy 

and then in the group The Romeos


Thom’s breakthrough as a producer came when he nurtured The Delfonics,first on singles on the Moon Shot and Cameo labels 

before hitting paydirt on Stan Watson’s Philly Groove label with the song LA-LA-MEANS I LOVE YOU 

which he wrote with the group’s soaring lead tenor William Hart


Thom became one of the most significant R&B producers and scored huge successes with two other R&B groups namely 

The Spinners and The Stylistics, the latter featuring their stunning falsetto lead singer Russell Thompkins Jr. 

 The groups he recorded benefitted from his trademark orchestral arrangements for which he developed lush, swirling

 romantic string figures that identified what became known as Symphonic Soul. Thom also wrote arrangements for many of the acts 

whom Kenny Gamble and his producing partner recorded for their Philadelphia International label and Kenny & Leon

 combined with Thom to form their music publishing company appropriately called Mighty Three Music.


Another major person in Thom’s career was the  late Linda Creed, a formidably talented Philadelphia-born songwriter and lyricist 

who collaborated with Thom on songs recorded not just by The Stylistics and The Spinners but also artists such as

 New York City, Ronnie Dyson, Johnny Mathis and Dusty Springfield.


 In addition, Thom also wrote hits with Phil Hurtt, with Deniece Williams

and with two of his family members, brother Tony Bell and his nephew Leroy Bell.


So here is THE THOM BELL JUKEBOX

An alphabetical list of his charted compositions... 


ARE YOU READY FOR LOVE (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell/Casey James) by The Spinners

Arr: Thom Bell & Tony Bell/Pro: Thom Bell (Atlantic: 1979) US #25 R&B

by Elton John

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (UK Rocket: 1979) UK #42. 

(Remixed version on UK Southern Fried: 2003) UK #1

https://youtu.be/icBieicUxdo

 

 

The Stylistics

 BETCHA BY GOLLY, WOW (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by The Stylistics Featuring Russell Thompkins Jr.

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Avco: 1972) US #2 R&B, #3 Pop, #7 AC, UK #13

 https://youtu.be/AJkTB8xWG-w

by Norman Connors Featuring Phyllis Hyman

Pro: Skip Drinkwater & Jerry Schoenbaum (Buddah: 1976) US #29 R&B in '77

by Band Of Gold in their "Love Songs Are Back Again" medley (RCA: 1984) US #34 AC

by The Artist (Formerly Known As Prince)

Pro & Arr: The Artist (NPG: 1996) US #31 Pop, UK #11

 

BREAK UP TO MAKE UP  (Thom Bell/Linda Creed/Kenny Gamble)

by The Stylistics

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Avco: 1972)

 US #5 R&B, #5 Pop, #20 AC, UK #34 all in ’73

https://youtu.be/ygTV45X1yGI

by Cynthia

Pro: Mickey Garcia & Elvin Molina (MicMac: 1991) US #70 Pop  

by Will Downing/Pro: Will Downing (Mercury: 1994) US #66 R&B


BREAK YOUR PROMISE (Thom Bell/William Hart)

by The Delfonics

Arr & Cond: Thom Bell/Pro: Stan & Bell (Philly Groove: 1968) US #12 R&B, #35 Pop


DIDN'T I (BLOW YOUR MIND THIS TIME) (Thom Bell/William Hart)

by The Delfonics

Arr & Cond: Thom Bell/Pro: Stan & Bell (Philly Groove: 1969) US #3 R&B and #10 Pop both in '70 , UK #22 in ’71 

https://youtu.be/l153atE72OA

by Millie Jackson

Pro: Millie Jackson & Brad Shapiro (Spring: 1980) US #49 R&B

  DIDN'T I (BLOW YOUR MIND):

by New Kids On The Block

Pro: Maurice Starr (Columbia: 1989) US #8 Pop and #12 AC both in ’89, UK #8 in ‘90


EASY COME, EASY GO (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell/Casey James)

by The Spinners

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Atlantic: 1978) US #46 R&B 


FUNNY FEELING (Thom Bell/William Hart)

by The Delfonics

Arr: Thom Bell/Pro: Stan & Bell (Philly Groove: 1969) US #48 R&B, #94 Pop  


GHETTO CHILD (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by The Spinners

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Atlantic: 1973) US #4 R&B, #29 Pop, #20 AC, UK #7 

(In the UK, The Spinners were billed as The Detroit Spinners) 

https://youtu.be/hZ_cwIGAssk


GIRL YOU'RE TOO YOUNG (Thom Bell/Kenny Gamble/Archie Bell)

by Archie Bell & The Drells

Arr: Thom Bell & Bobby Martin

Pro: Gamble & Huff (Atlantic: 1969) US #13 R&B, #59 Pop


HE DON'T REALLY LOVE YOU (Thom Bell/William Hart/Stanley Watson)

by The Delfonics

Pro & Arr: Thom Bell (Moon Shot: 1968) US #33 R&B, #92 Pop


HELP ME FIND A WAY (To Say I Love You) (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by Little Anthony & The Imperials

Arr & Cond: Thom Bell/Pro: George Butler & Thom Bell (United Artists: 1970)

 US #92 Pop in '70. #32 R&B in '71


HIS HOUSE AND ME (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by Dionne Warwick

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Warner Bros: 1976) US #75 R&B  


I WANNA BE A FREE GIRL (Thom Bell/Linda Creed/Kenny Gamble/Leon Huff)

by Dusty Springfield

Arr: Thom Bell/Pro: Staff (Atlantic: 1970) US #25 AC

  https://youtu.be/Q4PqqMgsI5Y

 

 

The Spinners

 I'LL BE AROUND (Thom Bell/Phil Hurtt)

by The Spinners/Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Atlantic: 1972) US #1 R&B, #3 Pop, #31 AC 

https://youtu.be/m5X3FvuwWy8 

by Terri Wells Pro: Nick Martinelli (Philly World: 1984) US #46 Dance, #81 R&B, UK #17  

by What Is This/Pro: Todd Rundgren (MCA: 1985) US #62 Pop   

by Russ Freeman & The Rippingtons with Jeffrey Osborne

Pro: Russ Freeman (GRP: 1994) US #76 R&B

by Daryl Hall & John Oates/Pro: Daryl Hall (U-Watch: 2005) US #97 Pop 

  As I’LL BE AROUND (Thom Bell/Phil Hurtt/Anthony Forte):

by Rappin' 4-Tay Featuring The Spinners

Pro: Frank J & Cyrus Esteban (Chrysalis/EMI: 1995) US #37 R&B, #39 Pop, UK #30


I'M COMING HOME (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by Johnny Mathis/Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Columbia: 1973) US #92 R&B, #75 Pop, #1 AC 

https://youtu.be/zJE-e8iv68I

by The Spinners/Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Atlantic: 1974) US #3 R&B, #18 Pop


I'M DOIN' FINE NOW (Thom Bell/Sherman Marshall)

by New York City

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Chelsea: 1973) US #14 R&B, #17 Pop, #8 AC, UK #20  


I'M SORRY (Thom Bell/William Hart) by The Delfonics 

(Philly Groove: 1968) US #15 R&B, #42 Pop


I'M STONE IN LOVE WITH YOU (Thom Bell/Linda Creed/Anthony Bell)

by The Stylistics (Avco: 1972) US #4 R&B, #10 Pop, #27 AC, UK #9 

https://youtu.be/vYzO6PuROVY

by Johnny Mathis (Columbia: 1975) US #16 AC, UK #10   


IF YOU WANNA DO A DANCE (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell/Tony Bell/Casey James)

by The Spinners/Pro & Arr: Thom Bell (Atlantic: 1978) US #17 R&B, #49 Pop 

 

IT'S YOUR CONSCIENCE (Thom Bell/Deniece Williams) by Deniece Williams

Arr & Cond: Thom Bell/Pro: Thom Bell & Deniece Williams 

(ARC: 1981) US #45 R&B

 

 

The Delphonices

 LA-LA-MEANS I LOVE YOU (Thom Bell/William Hart)

by The Delfonics

Arr: Thom Bell/Pro: Stan & Bell (Philly Groove: 1968) US #2 R&B & #4 Pop in ’68, UK #19 in ’71

https://youtu.be/Fy5vuLFfsxU 

by Tierra/Pro: Rudy Salas (Boardwalk: 1981) US #33 R&B, #72 Pop 

by Swing Out Sister/Pro: Swing Out Sister (UK Fontana: 1994) UK #37


LET'S MAKE A PROMISE (Thom Bell/Kenny Gamble/Mikki Farrow)

by Peaches & Herb

Arr & Cond: Bobby Martin & Thom Bell/Pro: Gamble & Huff (Date: 1968) US #34 R&B, #75 Pop 


LIFE IS A SONG WORTH SINGING (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by Johnny Mathis

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Columbia: 1973) US #65 R&B, #54 Pop, #8 AC all in '74


LIVING A LITTLE, LAUGHING A LITTLE (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by The Spinners

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Atlantic: 1975) US #7 R&B, #37 Pop 


LOVING YOU - LOSING YOU (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell)

by Johnny Mathis

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Columbia: 1977) US #29 AC

by Phyllis Hyman/Pro: Larry Alexander & Skip Scarborough (Buddah: 1977) US #32 R&B 

https://youtu.be/mBuhJ8lJInU


OLD FRIEND (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by Phyllis Hyman

Pro: Thom Bell (Philadelphia Int'l: 1986) US #14 R&B


ONE IN A MILLION (GUY) (Thom Bell/Joe Erickson)

by Dee Dee Bridgewater

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Elektra: 1980) US #52 R&B


ONE MAN BAND (Plays All Alone) (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by Ronnie Dyson

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Columbia: 1973) US #15 R&B, #28 Pop, #16 AC  

https://youtu.be/qlPBaqdeSJU


OVER AND OVER (Thom Bell/William Hart)

by The Delfonics

Arr & Cond: Thom Bell

Pro: Stan Watson & Staff (Philly Groove: 1971) 

US #9 R&B, #58 Pop


PEOPLE MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by The Stylistics

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Avco: 1972) US #6 R&B, #25 Pop, #25 AC 

https://youtu.be/LkOT35nIvIA


QUICK, FAST, IN A HURRY (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by New York City

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Chelsea: 1973) US #19 R&B and #74 Pop both in '74 


READY OR NOT HERE I COME (Can't Hide From Love) (Thom Bell/William Hart)

by The Delfonics

Arr & Cond: Thom Bell/Pro: Stan & Bell (Philly Groove: 1968) US #14 R&B and #35 Pop both in '69, UK #41 in ‘71  

https://youtu.be/hE4bIrQP8-8


ROCKIN' ROLL BABY (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by The Stylistics

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Avco: 1973) US #3 R&B, #14 Pop & #44 AC all in ‘73, UK #6 in ‘74

 

 

Linda Creed.

 THE RUBBERBAND MAN (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by The Spinners

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Atlantic: 1976) US #1 R&B, #2 Pop, #14 Dance, UK #16 (In the UK, 

The Spinners were billed as The Detroit Spinners) 

https://youtu.be/6ODQlS8GNFQ


SOMEBODY LOVES YOU (Thom Bell/William Hart)

by The Delfonics

Arr & Cond: Thom Bell/Pro: Stan & Bell (Philly Groove: 1969) US #41 R&B, #72 Pop 


STOP, LOOK, LISTEN (To Your Heart) (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by The Stylistics/Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Avco Embassy: 1971) US #6 R&B, #39 Pop

by Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye/Arr: Gene Page/Pro: Hal Davis (Motown: 1973) UK #25 in ‘74 


SWEET CHILD (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by Johnny Mathis

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Columbia: 1974) US #35 AC 


TRYING TO MAKE A FOOL OF ME (Thom Bell/William Hart)

by The Delfonics

Arr & Cond: Thom Bell/Pro: Stan & Bell (Philly Groove: 1970) US #8 R&B, #40 Pop 


WAITING BY THE HOTLINE (Thom Bell/Deniece Williams)

by Deniece Williams

Pro: Thom Bell & Deniece Williams (ARC: 1982) US #29 R&B


WAKE UP SUSAN (Thom Bell/Sherman Marshall)

by The Spinners 

(Atlantic: 1976) US #11 R&B & #56 Pop in ’76, UK #29 in ’77


WATCH YOUR STEP (Thom Bell/Luther Dixon/Kenny Gamble)

by Brooks O’Dell

Arr: Steve Garrick/Pro: Reggie Orbrecht (Gold: 1963) US #16 R&B in '63, #58 Pop in '64  

https://youtu.be/ruJAPZ19BrQ


WHAT TWO CAN DO (Thom Bell/Deniece Williams)

by Deniece Williams

Pro: Thom Bell & Deniece Williams (ARC: 1981) US #17 R&B


WILL YOU KISS ME ONE MORE TIME (Thom Bell/Deniece Williams)

by Lou Rawls

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Epic: 1982) US #54 R&B  


YOU ARE EVERYTHING (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by The Stylistics/Pro, Arr &Cond: Thom Bell (Avco: 1971) US #10 R&B, #9 Pop and #24 all in '72  

https://youtu.be/ao8Ttbzqdns

by The Pearls/Arr & Cond: Johnny Arthey

Pro: Phillip Swern & Johnny Arthey (Bell: 1973) UK #41

by Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye/Arr: Dave Blumberg

Pro: Hal Davis (Motown: 1973) UK #5 in ’74 

https://youtu.be/rx8egtlOBHk

by Roberta Flack/Pro: Ferla & Flake aka Joe Ferla & Roberta Flack (Atlantic: 1979) US #98 R&B 

by Eloise Laws Featuring Carl Helm/Arr & Cond: Thom Bell

Pro: Linda Creed (Liberty: 1981) US #53 R&B /by Special Generation

Pro: Felton Pilate II (Bust It/Capitol: 1991) US #91 R&B

by Melanie Williams & Joe Roberts/Pro: Eric Gooden (Columbia: 1994) UK #28 in ‘95

by Vanessa Williams/Pro: Rob Mathes (Lava: 2005) US #16 AC  

 

YOU GOT YOURS AND I'LL GET MINE (Thom Bell/William Hart)

by The Delfonics

Arr: Thom Bell/Pro: Stan & Bell (Philly Groove: 1969) US #6 R&B, #40 Pop


YOU MAKE ME FEEL BRAND NEW (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by The Stylistics Featuring Airrion Love & Russell Thompkins Jr.

Pro, Arr & Cond: Thom Bell (Avco: 1974) US #5 R&B, #2 Pop, #6 AC, UK #2  

https://youtu.be/qiCElkb0f5Y

by Roberta Flack/Pro: Arif Mardin & Ahmet Ertegun (Atlantic: 1991) US #50 R&B in ‘92

by Simply Red/Pro: Stewart Levine (Simplyred.com: 2003) UK #7 in ’03, US #10 AC in ’04 

https://youtu.be/LQiU64Q3b8w


YOU'RE AS RIGHT AS RAIN (Thom Bell/Linda Creed)

by Nancy Wilson

Pro: Gene Page (Capitol: 1974) US #10 R&B in '75.   


Among the later R&B chart songs that sampled Thom’s compositions… 


ALL GLOCKS DOWN by Heather B. (Pendulum: 1995) which sampled PEOPLE MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND by The Stylistics

ANY EMCEE by Nine (Profile: 1995) sampled I'LL BE AROUND by The Spinners 

EVERYTHING by Mary J. Blige (MCA: 1997) sampled YOU ARE EVERYTHING by The Stylistics

MESMERIZE by Ja Rule Featuring Ashanti (Murder Inc.: 2002) sampled STOP, LOOK, LISTEN (To Your Heart) by The Stylistics

SOCK IT 2 ME (Gold Mind: 1997) by Missy Elliott sampled READY OR NOT HERE I COME by The Delfonics

TRU HOMIES by Tru (No Limit: 1999) sampled I'LL BE AROUND by The Spinners

WHAT MORE CAN I SAY by Jay-Z (Roc-A-Fella: 2003) sampled SOMETHING FOR NOTHING (Thom Bell/Roland Chambers/Kenny Gamble)

 by MFSB Featuring Thom Bell (Philadelphia Int'l: 1973) 


US Chart positions quoted above are as published originally in Billboard magazines; 

researched and compiled by Joel Whitburn in his series of Chart Books published by Record Research Inc. 

His books are available thru their website 

www.recordresearch.com


Rock on.


Alan Warner


Additional songwriter lists appear in the following previous editions of "The Door To Yesterday": 


Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson: Vol.3, No.3

Dave Bartholomew: Vol.2, No.19

Charles Brown: Vol.2, No.25

Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil: Vol.2, No.6

Neil Sedaka: Vol.3, No.6

Tony Joe White: Vol.2, No.13



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