Thursday, 19 February 2009

Successful Creative Collabrations Between The UK and USA

Estelle is the UK recent creative export success story. Her collabration with Kanye West on "American Boy" single which achieved the number one position in the UK Pop singles chart for four weeks starting 23 March 2008 - 19 April 2008.
The single was certified platinum in America according to RIAA

( Record Industry Association of America) for selling over two million copies. Her album entitled Shine did extremely well in the UK by selling over 100,000 copies and obtained gold certification from the BPI (British Phonographic Industry).

Remakable achievement for multi-talented artist with an attitude. She also received a Grammy Award in the in the category of Best Rap/Song Collaboration at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. It is interesting to know that she signed to John Legend's own record label Homeschool Records based in America.

©2009 RCM Music Ltd

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The Impact Of R&B and Soul On British Recording Acts

Thom Bell working Elton John and Joss Stone:

Elton John’s corporate alliance with Sky Sport television has produced a UK football Premiership commercial, using a single dating from 1977, when it was produced by Thom Bell for the album entitled “Thom Bell Sessions”, supported by a multi-racial studio band consisting of Bobby Eli (guitar), Bob Babbitt (bass), Tony Bell (guitar, background vocals), Thom Bell (piano, keyboards, conductor, arranger and producer), M F S B (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother orchestra), Charles Collins (drums), Larry Washington (percussion), with additional background vocals provided by Bill Lamb, Carla Benson, Evette Benton, Barbara Ingram and The Detroit Spinners. Bell taught John how to breathe more effectively while singing, further enhancing the singer’s extraordinary gifts and talents.

This particular single featured on the project entitled “Are You Ready For Love?”, which peaked on the UK Pop single chart at number one, occupying that position for two weeks in August 2004. The track also reached number one on the US billboard dance chart listings for one week. .This is another way of using media exposure to market a re-released single from the height of the Philadelphia Sound era, which UK-based label Southern Fried Records used effectively to give the single a good start on the road to success. Out of that same project Elton obtained a gold single certification for one million copies sold for “Mama Can’t Buy You Love “(co-written by Leroy Bell and Casey James, a black and white song-writing team).The single peaked at number one on the US Pop Adult Contemporary charts on 25thAugust 1979 for one week and received a Gammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male in 1979. Such projects may reawaken people’s interest in good quality Soul and R&B music.

In 2004, Thom Bell repeated his success yet again by collaborating 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”.

©2009RCM Music Ltd

Strings Arranged By Thom Bell


This Song Was Produced By Thom Bell

Monday, 16 February 2009

Helping to Shape the Sound of Philly Soul : NPR Music

Helping to Shape the Sound of Philly Soul : NPR Music

Thom Bell was one of the key architect in the developement of the signature sound that is known international as the "The Sound of Philadelphia." He also has joint ownership of the Mighty Three Music publishing house based in the city of Philadelphia, with Gamble and Huff as the other partners in the joint venture.
The business venture was founded in 1971 at the same time as Philadelphia Inernational Records and is still owned by Bell, Gamble and Huff. During the 1970s the label and publishing house was second largest
black record company behind Motown Records.
©2009 RCM Music Ltd

"Living All Alone" Album- Featuring Thom Bell as executive producer with Gamble and Huff.

Track listing

Side One

  1. "Living All Alone" - 5:12
  2. "First Time Together" - 4:06
  3. "If You Want Me" - 4:23
  4. "Slow Dancin'" - 4:37

Side Two

  1. "Old Friend" - 4:55
  2. "You Just Don't Know" 4:18
  3. "Ain't You Had Enough Love" - 4:16
  4. "Screaming at the Moon" - 4:13
  5. "What You Won't Do for Love" - 4:04

Credits and personnel


  • Producer: Thom Bell, Terry Burrus, Kenny Gamble, Reggie Griffin, Leon Huff, Phyllis Hyman, Juanita Johnson, Nick Martinelli, and Dexter Wansel.
  • Arranger: Thom Bell, Terry Burrus, Randy Cantor, Reggie Griffin, Nick Martinelli, Jim Salamone, and Dexter Wansel.
  • Horn Arrangements: Larry Davis.
  • Engineers: Pete Humphries, Arthur Stoppe, and Mike Tarsia.
  • Assistant engineers: Randy Abrams, Poke, MacMinn, and Adam SilvermanScott.
  • Mixing: Mike Tarsia.
  • Executive producer: Thom Bell, Kenny Gamble, and Leon Huff.
  • Photography: Jean Pagliuso.
  • Clothing/Wardrobe: Cassandra McShepard.
  • Make-Up: Allan Forbes.

Thom Bell, Building the Sound of Philadelphia : NPR Music

Thom Bell, Building the Sound of Philadelphia : NPR Music

Teddy Pendergrass Looks Back on Soulful Career : NPR Music

Teddy Pendergrass Looks Back on Soulful Career : NPR Music

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Did You Know

Music Industry Veteran Clarence Avant on Working with Bill Withers

Music Industry Veteran Clarence Avant on Working with Bill Withers. Former label owner Clarence Avant (Sussex Records, Tabu Records), relates his experiences working with songwriter and performer Bill Withers (“Lean On Me”).

Universal Music Publishing Group Signs Clarence Avant's Publishing Companies (Avant Garde/Interior Music Corporation) To An Exclusive, Worldwide Administration Deal

Los Angeles, CA (May 17, 2004) - Universal Music Publishing Group is pleased to announce that they will administer Clarence Avant's music publishings catalogs, including representation worldwide for synchronization licensing for Motion Picture, TV, Advertising and other mediums.

The Avant catalogs encompass many hit songs including classics by Bill Withers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis such as, "Ain't It Heavy" (Buchanan), "Ain't No Sunshine" (Withers), "Come Back and Finish What You Started" (Cobb/McCoy), "Demons" (Withers/Cook/Hings/Gray), "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On" (Harris/Jam/Lewis), "Lean on Me" (Withers), and "Grandma's Hands" (Withers).

Legendary music executive Clarence Avant is widely renowned for his sincere dedication to pioneering opportunities within the recording industry. During his 40 year career, Avant has represented the likes of blues artist Little Willie John, rock and roll pioneer Tom Wilson, and jazz producer Creed Taylor. In the late 1960s, Avant successfully engineered the first joint venture between an African-American artist and a major record company. Under his own record companies, Sussex Records and later Tabu Records, Avant signed recording artists Bill Withers, Dennis Coffey, The Presidents, in addition to playing a key role in the successful rise of Grammy winning Producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

Acknowledged as a father figure by numerous performers and producers, Avant has been honoured publicly for his positive contributions to society. In 1993, Avant was named Chairman of Motown Records and, four years later, he became the first African-American to serve on the International Management Board for Polygram. Today, Avant is president of his own publishing companies, Avant Garde and Interior Music Corp.

Commented David Renzer, Worldwide President, Universal Music Publishing Group: "Clarence Avant is one of the true pioneers of our industry whether wearing the hat of record label executive, label owner, manager, publisher, and most of all as mentor to a great deal of creative and executive talent. We are pleased to be involved in his role as publisher as Clarence's publishing interests include classics written by Bill Withers, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis among many others."

Avant's success has been achieved through combining a tireless work ethic with individual ingenuity. Still quite active today as the president of Avant Garde and Interior Music Corporation, Clarence Avant also serves a member of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Pepsi-Cola African-American Advisory Board. Avant was recently awarded with an honorary doctorate from prestigious Morehouse College.

Clarence Avant
Talking about how he got involved in the music industry.

Working With Various Artists

Working With Various ArtistsMusic executive Clarence Avant discusses the artists he worked with at Sussex Records such as The Gallery and Bill Withers. Clarence also talks about his purchase of a radio station that he named Avant Garde Broadcasting.

The Creed Taylor Deal: How to Get the Most for your Artist

The Creed Taylor Deal: How to Get the Most for your ArtistMusic executive Clarence Avant discusses his negotiations with A&M Records over the signing of jazz producer Creed Taylor.

The Industry

The IndustryFormer label owner Clarence Avant (Sussex Records, Tabu Records) discusses the major corporate players in the music industry today, and offers thoughts on innovation, technology and the future of the major-label system.

About Me

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Old Harlow, Essex, United Kingdom
Kevin Tomlin has over 34 years of teaching experience in Jamaica, England and America, including 15 years teaching music history of black origin and visual art in South Florida, U.S.A., through Arts in Education. Tomlin created special training programmes and workshops for music teachers in South Florida schools, using music history as the foundation, to build exciting programmes of study and support materials for education professionals. Since 2000, he’s taught music history, geography, religious education, history, visual arts and performing arts at schools in Hertfordshire and Essex, at both primary and secondary levels. He conducts research and provides consultancy services for multi-media organisations, schools, recording artists, cultural and faith-based groups and entertainment professionals.

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