Simon Bell (singer)
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Born in Tradeston, Glasgow, Bell first sang in local bands in the 1960s, including the bands The Soundtracks, formed at Shawlands Academy, where he was educated, and Harlem Shuffle. He has worked with Marvin Gaye, Hot Chocolate, Elkie Brooks, Elaine Paige, Leo Sayer, and the James Last Orchestra.
His career as a session singer began in earnest when he relocated to London in the 1970s, Bell was initially taken under the wing of American soul star Doris Troy. Troy's connections began landing Bell singing gigs on recording sessions with soul singers like Madeline Bell.
Simon Bell's first single, Giving It Plenty, was issued in 1977 on the PYE label. It was used as the theme to the move Number One of the Secret Service and also featured in the Susan George shark movie Tintorera. Doris Troy recorded his composition All I Have Is Written in Your Eyes on her album Stretching Out.
Bell has also written songs with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin for the soundtrack for the movie Scream for Help, and had his own compositions in numerous films. IMDB - Number One Of The Secret Service
In recent years he has been a contributor to most documentaries on Dusty Springfield, and he mentored the Dusty impressionist on BBC televisions The One And Only BBC - The One & Only. Katy Setterfield went on to win the series.
On December 16, 2014 he released a 4 track E.P. of his own songs. "About Time E.P." is his first solo release since Giving It Plenty. It iwas followed on September 25, 2015 by A Better Day, another collection of his own new compositions.
In December 2016 a third EP of seasonal songs was released, Winter Tales. It includes the Robert Burns song "Ae Fond Kiss" which was also released as a single in January 2017.
1978 - Givin' It Plenty (single) - PYE 2014 - About Time EP - digital 2015 - A Better Day EP - digital 2015 - A Better Day (single) - digital 2016 - Winter Tales EP - digital 2017 - Ae Fond Kiss - (single) - digital
The Springfield connection
Through Madeline Bell, he eventually met Dusty Springfield, with whom he would have a long and fruitful association for many years. Bell met Springfield at a challenging time in her career, and he became not only a backup singer for her, but also a close friend and confidante. Bell remained close friends with Springfield, helping her through her illness and singing at her funeral after her death from breast cancer in 1999. Bell still maintains a website, "Dusty Devotedly", that pays tribute to Springfield. Bell is one of Springfield's colleagues who have maintained a diligent presence in the press and on the Internet in an effort to protect her legacy.
- A Girl Called Dusty by Sharon Davis
- Dancing with Demons by Vicki Wickham & Penny Valentine