Thom Bell in recent time had successful collaboration with Joss Stone on her multi-platinum album “Mind, Body & Soul”, which debuted at number one on the UK Pop album charts in 2004. He conducted the string arrangement on the track “Spoiled”, which sees Stone co-writing with the legendary Lamont Dozier and his son Beau Dozier. The legendary Miami R&B rhythm section, consisting of Timmy Thomas (organ), Willie “Little Beaver” Hale (guitar) and Benny Latimore
(keyboards, piano), played on this session at the famous Hit Factory/Criteria Studios, where Aretha Franklin recorded her “Young Gifted and Black” gold album in the early 1970s, co-produced by Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin, the same producers as on the late Dusty Springfield’s album “Dusty In Memphis”.
The late Dusty Springfield’s 1968 hit “Son of a Preacher Man” was a soulful example of the impact rhythm and blues had on a vast white audience. Springfield’s first album on Atlantic Records recorded in Memphis made use of some of the same musicians and background vocalists as Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett used on some their classic recordings. Son of a Preacher Man” achieved Pop top 10 in the UKand US chart listings.
Dusty went on to have further success with Gamble and Huff, the original architects of the Philadelphia Sound, with arrangements by Thom Bell before he went independent from Philadelphia International Records to produce the Stylistics , the Detroit Spinners and Deniece Williams.
Dusty’s follow-up album, entitled “Brand New Me” in theUSand “From Dusty with Love” in theUK, was produced inPhiladelphiaat the world famous Sigma Sound Studios, the recording base for the Philadelphia Sound. On this project Linda Creed made her debut as a songwriter with Thom Bell on the track “I Wanna Be a Free Girl”.
Both went on to have tremendous success as creative collaborators with several million-selling records such as “Betcha By Golly, Wow “, “You Are Everything” from the self titled album “The Stylistics ” and “Break Up To Make Up” from the second gold album, entitled “Round 2” for The Stylistics. Bell has received two Grammy Awards and numerous BMI accolades including 11 Pop Awards with a total 16 “Million-Air” certificates for 10 songs with one million or more board cast performances on radio and other outlets. On two occasions Bell has been honoured by Billboard with their Number One Producer award. With continue recognition for his outstanding achievements to the American music industry. His peers at The Songwriters Hall of Fame inducted him on the 24thJune 2006 in New York.
Most of hit records produced by Gamble & Huff from the mid 1960s to the early 1970s had the signature arrangements of Thom Bell. He’s contribution to the whole develop of the sound was key to the tremendous success it has achieved over the last three decades. His contribution to the world of popular music has had an incredible influence on many of his peers and successors. His impact has been felt all around the world.