The music world is in mourning the passing of Bobby Eli, one of the most influential guitarists and producers of the Sound of Philadelphia. Eli died on August 18, 2023, at the age of 77.
Eli was born in Philadelphia in 1946 and began playing guitar at a young age. He quickly became one of the most in-demand session musicians in the city, playing on countless hit records throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Eli was a founding member of MFSB, the legendary house band for Philadelphia International Records. He played on virtually all of the label’s seminal hits, including “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)”, “Love Train”, and “Backstabbers”. He also wrote or co-wrote many of these hits, including “Love Won’t Let Me Wait”, “Sideshow”, and “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely”.
Eli’s guitar playing was a key part of the Sound of Philadelphia, a genre that blended soul, funk, and disco. His signature sound was characterized by his use of wah-wah pedals and his ability to create a driving, rhythmic groove.
In addition to his work with MFSB, Eli also produced records for many other artists, including Deniece Williams, George Clinton, and the Three Tenors of Soul. He was a true pioneer of soul music, and his influence can be heard in the work of countless artists today.
Eli’s passing is a major loss for the music world. He was a gifted musician, songwriter, and producer, and his work helped to shape the sound of an entire era. He will be remembered as one of the most important figures in the history of soul music.
Eli’s legacy will live on through his music. His songs continue to be enjoyed by generations of fans, and his influence can be heard in the work of countless artists today. He was a true pioneer of soul music, and his work will continue to inspire musicians for generations to come.
In addition to his musical talents, Eli was also known for his warm personality and his generosity. He was always willing to help young musicians, and he was a mentor to many of the top artists in the business.
Eli will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and fans. He was a true legend, and his music will continue to be enjoyed for many years to come. Thank you Bobby Eli for sharing your talent with the world for us to enjoy!