On December 22, 2022, Thomas Randolph Bell died aged79. He was producer, arranger and songwriter, regarded as one of the creators of the Philadelphia soul in the 70’. As songwriter, arranger and producer he worked with Hattie Winston, The Delfonics, The Stylistics, The Spinners, New York City, Elton John, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Denice Williams, Jerry Butler, Archie Bell & the Drells, Jerry Bell, Dionne Warwick, The O’Jays, Dusty Springfield. and James Ingram. In 2016, Bell was inducted into the “Songwriters Hall of Fame”, and into the ”Musicians Hall of Fame”.
Tag Archives: arranger
Angelo Daniel Badalamenti
On December 11, 2022, Angelo Daniel Badalamenti died aged 85. He was composer and arranger, recorded songs with David Bowie, Nina Simone, Tim Booth, Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield, Julee Cruise, Marianne Faithfull, Siouxsie Sioux and Dolores O’Riordan, but was best known for composing film music. He collaborated with director David Lynch, notably “Blue Velvet”, the “Twin Peaks” saga, “The Straight Story” and “Mulholland Drive”. In 1990, Badalamenti received “Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance” for his “Twin Peaks Theme”. In 2008, Badalamenti received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the “World Soundtrack Awards’s Academy”, and in 2011, the “Henry Mancini Award” from the “American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers”.
On February 13, 2021, Louis Clark died aged 73. He was musician (keyboards) and arranger, member of the band The Buccaneers (later Monopoly), worked with The Raymond Froggatt Band, Renaissance, Annie Haslam and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, but was best known for his work Electric Light Orchestra and Hooked on Classics.
Pee Wee Ellis
On September 24, 2021, Alfred James Ellis aka Pee Wee Ellis died aged 80. He was musician (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, flute, keyboards), arranger and composer, worked as musical director and arranger with George Benson, Hank Crawford and Esther Phillips. Ellis recorded and performed with David Liebman, Jack McDuff, Rebirth Brass Band, Shirley Scott, Sonny Stitt, Leon Thomas, Van Morrison, Ginger Baker’s jazz Confusion, The JB Horns, Maceo Parker, Brass Fever, Ali Farka Touré and The Dapps, but was best known as longtime collaborator of James Brown. He co-wrote and recorded some of Brown’s best-known songs like “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” and “Cold Sweat”. As leader Ellis released 13 albums.
On December 18, 2011, Ralph Anthony MacDonald died aged 67. He was musician (percussion, steelpan), songwriter, arranger, record producer, and philanthropist. His best known compositions are “Where Is the Love”, a “Grammy Award” winner for Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway duet), “Just the Two of Us” (recorded by Bill Withers and Grover Washington Jr.), and “Mister Magic” (recorded by Grover Washington Jr.). MacDonald was member of the bands Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, Steelband Panorama, and Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band. He recorded with many famous musicians including David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Art Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, Carole King, Miriam Makeba, David Sanborn, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Luther Vandross, Amy Winehouse, Bob James, Ashford and Simpson, and The Brothers Johnson. As a leader MacDonald released ten albums.
On December 15, 1944, Alton Glenn Miller died aged 40. He was musician (trombone), composer, arranger, and big-band leader, working in the swing era. Leading the best known big band, in the period 1939 – 1942, he was the best-selling recording artist, with 16 number-one records, and 69 top ten hits (more than Elvis Presley and the Beatles in their careers). Three of his compositions were inducted into the “Grammy Hall of Fame” – in 1983 “In the Mood”, in 1996 “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, and in 1991 “Moonlight Serenade”.
On December 3, 2008, Derek Wadsworth died aged 69. He was musician (cornet, trombone, keyboards), composer and arranger. He was musical director for Diana Ross, Dusty Springfield, and the musical “Hair”. As a musician and arranger he worked with Maynard Ferguson, Georgie Fame, Nina Simone, David Essex, Judy Garland, Humphrey Lyttelton, Graham Collier, Tonny Bennett, George Harrison, Tom Jones, Dionne Warwick, Mike Oldfield, Simply Red, Kate Bush, Cat Stevens, Small Faces, Manferd Mann, and the Rolling Stones.
On November 10, 2015, Allen Toussaint died aged 77. He was musician (vocal, piano), songwriter, arranger, and record producer, an influential figure in New Orleans rhythm and blues from the 1950s to the end of the century. His compositions were recorded by many musicians, and he was producer of hundreds of recordings. Toussaint recorded and performed with many musicians including Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey, The Meters, Ernie K Doe, Rosemary Butler, Merry Clayton, Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Venetta Fields, Etta James, Labelle, John Mayall, Paul McCartney, The Meters, Bonnie Raitt, and The Band. As leader Toussaint released eleven studio albums.
On August 25, 2000, Bernard Alfred Nitzsche aka Jack Nitzsche, died aged 63. He was a songwriter, composer, arranger, record producer, and musician, known for his work with Phil Spector, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Earl Palmer, Leon Russell, Roy Caton, Willy DeVille, Glen Campbell, and Graham Parker. He also worked in film scores, for films such as “Performance”, “The Exorcist” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Nitzsche released four solo albums and five OSR albums.
On August 24, 1998, Eugene Edgar Page Jr. aka Gene Page, died aged 58. He was a conductor, composer, arranger, and record producer, one of the most successful arrangers and conductors from the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s, who worked on more than 200 Platinum and gold records. He created specific sound in the arrangements, and work with numerous artists including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, George Benson, The Jackson 5, Jefferson Starship, The Righteous Brothers, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Roberta Flack, Elton John, Leo Sayer, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Frankie Valli, Helen Reddy, Lionel Richie, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Donna Loren, Martha and The Vandellas, Cher, Barry White, The Love Unlimited Orchestra, and Dionne Warwick. Page released four solo albums and composed soundtracks for few movies.