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Celebrating 50 Years Of Philly Sound With Songwriter/Producer Thom Bell

NPR
 2021-06-04

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, professor of television studies at Rowan University in New Jersey, sitting in for Terry Gross. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Philadelphia International Records, known for the Philly sound of the 1960s and '70s. Earlier this week, we listened back to our interview with record label founders Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Now we'll hear from one of the principal architects of the Philly sound, songwriter, arranger and producer Thom Bell. He arranged Joe Simon's "Drowning In The Sea Of Love" and "Backstabbers" by The O'Jays. Before that, he worked with the Philadelphia label Cameo Records. He co-wrote The Stylistics hits "You Are Everything," "Betcha By Golly Wow," "Break Up To Make Up" and "You Make Me Feel Brand New." For The Spinners, he co-composed "I'll Be Around."

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