A legend of the Philadelphia music scene has died.
R&B producer, arranger and composer Bobby Martin died from a sudden illness Friday at a San Diego, Calif. hospital, according to his publicist Belinda Foster.
Martin was 83.
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"Through his gift in arranging music, he has birthed hit records that have risen to the occasion to become timeless classics,” said Foster in a statement. “His warm smile, kind heart, and passion for creating music shine on in our memories of Mr. Bobby Martin. He will forever be the Maestro of the Philadelphia Sound to all who knew him well.”
Some of the Philadelphia Sound hits attributed to Martin include Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones”, “You’ll Never Find” and “Cowboys to Girls,” according to Foster.
He might be nest known however for helping arrange the theme song for the hit show Soul Train.
Martin began producing music in Philadelphia in 1959 and he work with artists including Whitney Houston, Lou Rawls, Dusty Springfield, the Bee Gees and many more. He worked with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records. He is also credited with giving Patti LaBelle her stage name.
According to Foster, Martin was currently working on releasing a series of unheard Philadelphia Soul songs as well as launching the Bobby Martin Foundation, a nonprofit to support youth in music.
Funeral plans are pending.