Bobby Martin—producer and one of the architects of The Sound of Philadelphia—passed away Friday in San Diego. And ever since we heard the news, we’ve been binging on Philly Soul.
According to All Music Guide, Martin, whose biggest claims to fame are his arrangements of Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones” and the theme to Soul Train, was influential beyond his relatively modest renown:
The sounds of not only jazz but country & western were in the bag of textures Bobby Martin utilized in developing the popular Philly soul sound. While not as well-known as producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff or arranger Thom Bell, Martin in the ’70s became even more in demand among a roster of artists that included Fred Taveres, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the O’Jays and Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles. Various critics have weighed in on Martin’s innovations, while the man himself has eloquently expressed his own point of view in the liner notes to various reissue collections of Philly soul material.
Enjoy these classic tracks from the heyday of Philly Soul.