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Passings: Bunny Sigler (1941 - 2017)

by VVN Music

Philadelphia sole legend Walter "Bunny" Sigler who worked extensively with a number of classic R&B artists, has died after suffering a heart attack at the age of 76.

Kenny Gamble said "I am truly and deeply saddened by the passing of my very dear friend Walter "Bunny" Sigler. He was one of the most talented, creative, and great songwriters and music producers I have worked with. He contributed so many great songs to our PIR artist roster from the beginning. Bunny also was a great singer, and performed superbly on many of our hit song as a background vocalist. More importantly, he was like family to us. And he was the best!"

Leon Huff added "Bunny was one of my favorite producers and writers. I was honored early on to introduce Bunny to the Philadelphia music community, and to producer and songwriter legends John Madara and Dave White. I was privileged to write and produce his first and biggest hit, ‘Let the Good Times Roll.’ I truly loved Bunny Sigler and will dearly miss him."

Sigler started singing in his family's church and, during high school, performed with a doo wop group from his school.  A local DJ persuaded him to leave the group and go solo on Craig Records where he recorded a Junior Parker song, "Come On Home".

It was Huff that gave Sigler his big break after seeing him at the Ambassador Hotel in Atlantic City. Bunny signed on with producers John Madara and Dave White who got him signed to Cameo where he released the single "Let The Good Times Roll / Feels So Good". The record got to number 20 on the R&B and 22 on the Pop charts in 1967.

Unfortunately, it was the final days for Cameo/Parkway and Sigler soon found himself without a label.  He moved over to Gamble Huff Productions, which would soon become Philadelphia International, where he started songwriting with Phil Hurtt and others. Along with his songs, Sigler also sang on, produced and played piano on many Philadelphia International recordings.

In 1972, Gamble and Huff also gave Sigler the go ahead to make his own recordings. None of his Philadelphia International releases ever made the R&B top twenty but, after switching to Gold Mind Records in 1978, he had two hits, "Let Me Party With You (Part 1) (Party, Party, Party)" (1978 / #43 Pop / #8 R&B) and "Only You" with Loletta Holloway (1978 / #87 Pop / #11 R&B).

Throughout his latter days at Philadelphia International and at Gold Mind, he often worked with the band Instant Funk who had a number 1 R&B hit with the Sigler produced "I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl)".

Through his later life, Sigler continued to write, produce and record with his last album, Bundino, released in 2015.

He also performed on the Roots album Game Theory. Questlove said of his passing:

Brother Bunny. Philadelphia quiet storm of class, style & hits. A pillar of the #SoundOfPhiladelphia community. He wrote classics that stood the test of time. Timberlake's #DontHoldTheWall Tyler's #Buffalo were sampled from Bunny's compositions.That dramatic intro Hov used on #TheRulersBack for Blueprint? #JackieMoore's "If" also written by Bunny. All you #CrazySexyCool owners that remembers #Busta's interlude...yup another Bunny classic.---but his songs man: "Somebody Loves You" (Patti) "Your Body's Here With Me, But Your Mind Is On The Other Side Of Town" & "When The World Is At Peace" (The Ojay's) my all time fav by #InstantFunk "I Got My Mind Made Up" (key to Public Enemy's "Terrordome" & De La Soul's "Saturday's") & Chaka's #TightFit. Prolly his most loved song was #LoveAndNeedAndWantYouBaby(Another Labelle Classic) famously sampled on 2 best selling records of 2003. I saw Bunny in my studio lookin like a million bucks w a custom sharkskin suit and I joked "Damn Bun don't be so mean bruh! You lookin clean man!" He was like "That's that Outkast (Ghettomusick--Love Below went diamond that year) & Nelly money talkin' to ya baby! ("Dilemma" w Kelly Rowland sold MILLIONS) Brother Bunny blessed the Roots on #GameTheory singing on #LongTime. Definitely a highlight for us working with him. He was the DEFINITION of cool man. ALWAYS lookin clean. Whenever you needed him he was there (I asked him to sing at my dad's services and he was like "say no more, you know we were almost in laws once" ----long family joke--) this cat will be missed man. Thank you for all you taught us. #BunnySigler rip

Bunny Sigler's top twenty songs:
  • I Found My Dad (Joe Simon / 1972 / #50 Pop / #15 R&B)
  • Sweet Charlie Baby (Jackie Moore / 1973 / #42 Pop / #15 Pop)
  • I Didn't Know (Three Degrees / 1973 / #18 R&B)
  • Good Things Don't Last Forever (Ecstasy, Passion & Pain / 1974 / #93 Pop / #14 R&B)
  • Sunshine (Part II) (O'Jays / 1974 / #48 Pop / #17 R&B)
  • Don't Take Your Love From Me (Manhattans / 1975 / #37 Pop / #7 R&B)
  • Free Man (South Shore Commission / 1975 / #95 Pop / #1 Dance / #9 R&B)
  • Let Me Make Love to You (O'Jays / 1975 / #75 Pop / #10 R&B)
  • Hooked For Life (Tramps / 1975 / #70 R&B / #6 Dance)
  • Touch & Go (Ecstasy, Passion & Pain / 1976 / #98 Pop / #4 Dance / #71 R&B)
  • Everyman (Has to Carry His Own Weight) (Double Exposure / 1976 / #84 R&B / #8 Dance)
  • Queen of the Night (Loleatta Holloway / 1978 / #9 Dance)
  • Let Me Party With You (Party, Party, Party) (Bunny Sigler / 1978 / #43 Pop / #8 R&B / #27 Dance)
  • Only You (Loleatta Holloway & Bunny Sigler / 1978 / #87 Pop / #11 R&B)
  • Your Body's Here With Me (But Your Mind's on the Other Side of Town (O'Jays / 1982 / #13 R&B)
  • Love, Need & Want You (Patti LaBelle / 1984 / #10 R&B)
  • Do You Get Enough Love (Shirley Jones / 1986 / #1 R&B)
  • Say It Again (Jermaine Stewart / 1988 / #27 Pop / #15 R&B)
  • Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is) (Patti LaBelle / 1991 / #2 R&B)
  • Dilemma (Nelly / 2002 / #1 Pop / #1 R&B)
  • Say I (Christina Milian / 2006 / #21 Pop / #13 R&B / #4 Dance)