Legendary Philly Soul man Richie Rome dies at 90

Photo courtesy of the Richie Rome Tribute Page on Facebook

(December 15, 2020) So many incredible talents were behind the scenes doing magic through the Golden Era of Soul Music, and Richie Rome (born Richard V. Di Cicco) was right near the top. A talented composer, arranger, producer and orchestra leader, he made good songs great and made great songs legendary. Today we say a sad goodbye to Mr. Rome, who has died at age 90.

(December 15, 2020) So many incredible talents were behind the scenes doing magic through the Golden Era of Soul Music, and Richie Rome (born Richard V. Di Cicco) was right near the top. A talented composer, arranger, producer and orchestra leader, he made good songs great and made great songs legendary. Today we say a sad goodbye to Mr. Rome, who has died at age 90.

Rome began his notable career as an arranger for such 1960s acts as The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Tymes, The O’Jays and Peaches and Herb. But his career really took off in the 70s and 80s, as he played a key role in establishing the rich Philadelphia sound that blended soul and a four-on-the-floor beat and ultimately dominated the scene for a half decade as disco. He helped form The Ritchie Family, the trio that topped the charts with “The Best Disco In Town,” and he played a key role as arranger and orchestration lead for the lush Philly releases of such all-time greats as Lou Rawls, Patti Labelle, Jean Carne, The Three Degrees and Phyllis Hyman. He also issued some albums under his own name over the years.

Rome remained in demand through the early part of this century, but more impressively his work from the 70s and 80s grew in stature, with many of his recordings now being considered soul and dance classics.

Mr. Rome lived a long and fruitful life, and those of us who feel that Philly Soul of the 70s and 80s was one of the great periods in music history have much to thank him for. Rest in Peace, Richie.

By Chris Rizik

Thanks to SoulTracker Bruce for letting us know

 

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