To those who knew him, he was certainly a colorful character to say the least, but now he’s gone.
Walter “Bunny” Sigler, a producer and artist that helped Gamble and Huff create the “Philly Sound,” died Friday at home of a heart attack. He was 76.
Lee Remick, Sigler’s longtime attorney and friend had this to say:
“We were the closest of close for 40 years. We spoke every day. Yesterday we spoke three or four times and we were on a conference call about a new jazz album due in January.”
Remick said that Sigler had recorded eight unreleased songs for the album.
“Bunny was an amazing musician,” Remick said, “but an even better person. In 40 years I never heard him curse.”
Sigler worked with Patti LaBelle, Lou Rawls, the Spinners and countless others and his music was sampled by Jay Z, Nelly and Outkast.
“He wrote, produced, recorded and sang,” said Remick, “and he wrote gospel, Christmas music, R&B and funk. He was a musical genius.”
According to Remick, Sigler had been sick for the last 10 months and suffered from diabetes.
“I’m deeply saddened by the passing of my friend and brother in music!” said Patti LaBelle in a statement. “Bunny spent his life using his talents to bring love and joy to others and for that we are all grateful! He will truly be missed, but his legacy lives on!”
In separate statements, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff also paid tribute to Sigler.
“I am truly and deeply saddened by the passing of my very dear friend Walter ‘Bunny’ Sigler,” Gamble said. “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 songs as a background vocalist. More importantly, he was like family to us. And he was the best!”
“Bunny was one of my favorite producers and writers,” Huff said. “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 truly miss him.”
Sigler last tweeted on Sept. 25, a tribute to his wife, Martha. He is also survived by a daughter Eva in California and a son Jabare in Philadelphia.