Tune in weekday mornings to hear our favorite versions of “People Make the World Go Round.” Rodney Franks presents Stories of Standards Monday through Friday at 7:50 and 8:50 am.

Stories of Standards is sponsored by ListenUp.

 First recorded in 1971 by The Stylistics and released in 1972, “People Make the World Go Round” was written by Thom Bell and Linda Creed.

Thom Bell (Jan 26, 1943 – present), British West Indies (Jamaica)-born singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and record producer, is known as one of the creators of Philadelphia soul in the 1970s. Initially trained in classical music, Bell moved to Philadelphia with his family as a three-year-old. While his original plan was to become a classical conductor, he initially worked as a house pianist at Philadelphia’s Uptown Theater and music director for Chubby Checkers. He worked as a session player and arranger at Carmeo Records before producing two songs for The Delfonics in 1967, later producing several hits, including “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time), which was nominated for a Grammy in 1970. With Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff he formed Mighty Three Music. By 1971 Bell had begun producing for The Stylistics on Avco Records and started writing with Linda Creed. In 1972 he began producing for The Spinners on Atlantic Records, a venture which spanned seven years and included eight albums, five of which went to gold. He received a Grammy in 1974 as Best Producer of the Year. Retired in 2001, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006.

Linda Creed (Dec 6, 1948 – Apr 10, 1986) was born in Philadelphia and had already formed her own band, Raw Soul, while a student at Germantown High School. Out of high school, she moved to New York, where she began working as a secretary at Mills Music while working to develop her skills as a lyricist. After eight months, feeling discouraged, she returned to Philadelphia, an experience which inspired her song “Coming Home”, co-written with Thom Bell. When 22 years old her song “Free Girl” was recorded by Dusty Springfield and shortly thereafter she joined Mighty Three Music and the recording two years later by The Stylistics of her song “Stop, Look and Listen”. In 1972 she married Stephen Lee Epstein and shortly thereafter wrote the hit “You Make Me Feel Brand New.” In 1976 she moved with her family to California and worked with Lonni Jordan, lead singer of the group “War”. Diagnosed with breast cancer, she underwent a mastectomy and one month later was commissioned to write lyrics for the theme for a film based on the life of Muhammed Ali. The song “The Greatest Love of All” was first recorded by George Bensen and a decade later recorded by Whitney Houston. The Epstein family returned to Philadelphia in 1980, where Creed continued writing, with recordings by Johnny Gill, Stacy Latislaw, The Stylistics, Teddy Pendergrass, and  Whitney Houston. She also wrote the theme for the television series “Simon and Simon”. In April 1986 she succumbed to cancer; the next year family and friends founded the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation. Creed was inducted posthumously into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992.

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