Producer, composer and arranger Thom Bell was one of the prime originators of the Sound of Philadelphia, creating hits with the Delfonics such as "La La La Means I Love You" and "Didn't I Blow Your Mind." Bell was born in Jamaica and moved to Philadelphia at age 5. He planned to become a classical conductor, but in his early 20s, he was signed by Cameo Records to create a Philadelphia version of Motown.
broke into the R&B world in the 1970s as a drummer for The Cadillacs, then as a singer for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. When he went solo, Pendergrass became known for the love ballads "I Don't Love You Anymore," "Close The Door" and "Turn Off The Lights," and for playing "for-women-only" shows. Pendergrass died Wednesday following a battle with colon cancer. He was 59. After a 1982 car accident left him paralyzed, Pendergrass continued to perform and make music. He released his last album of new material, You and I, in 1997.
Rock historian Ed Ward talks about the Philadelphia soul music scene which produced such superstars as Teddy Pendergrass. Many of those artists were signed to the Philadelphia International Records label.
Rock historian Ed Ward profiles arranger and producer Thom (pronounced "tom") Bell. Bell's responsible for much of what came to be known as the "Philly" sound, a result of his work with groups such as the Delfonics and the Stylistics.