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Posts Tagged ‘Edwin Starr’

Died On This Date (July 16, 2012) Bob Babbitt / Legendary Motown Funk Brothers Bassist

Posted by themusicsover on July 16, 2012

Bob Babbitt
DOB Unknown – July 16, 2012

Bob Babbitt was a Pittsburgh-born journeyman bassist who can rightfully claim to have played on more than 25 gold and platinum albums along with over 200 top 10 hits.  As part of the legendary Motown house band known as the Funk Brothers from 1966 to 1972, Babbitt can be heard playing on such timeless classics as Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” the Temptations‘ “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me),” Edwin Starr’s “War,” and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles‘ “The Tears Of A Clown” to name just a few. Prior to his stint at Motown, Babbitt played on several Del Shannon records, including “Little Town Flirt” and “I Go To Pieces.”  Following his run at Motown, Babbitt continued his hit-record contributions as part of Philadelphia International Records’ answer to the Funk Brothers, MFSB. Within that capacity, for instance, he played on several hits by the Spinners.  Babbitt also recorded or performed live with such superstars as Jimi Hendrix, Phil Collins, Jim Croce, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow, and Bonnie Raitt.  During the ’80s, he played on several prominent commercial jingles and even dabbled in jazz with Herbie Mann and Stanley Turrentine. In 2002, he was profiled in the award-winning Funk Brothers documentary, Standing In The Shadows Of Motown.  In March of 2011, Babbitt made his last television appearance with Jacob Lusk during American Idol’s Motown Week.  Bob Babbitt died of brain cancer on July 16, 2012.  He was 74.

What You Should Own

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Died On This Date (January 17, 2012) Walter Gaines / Motown’s The Originals

Posted by themusicsover on January 17, 2012

Walter Gaines
DOB Unknown – January 17, 2012

Walter Gaines was the founder of, and baritone singer in the Motown vocal group, the Originals.  Formed in 1966, the outfit released several albums and hit singles including, “Baby I’m For Real,” “God Bless Whoever Sent You,” and “The Bells,” which sold over 1 million copies.  The group can also be heard handling back-up duties on early records by the likes of Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Edwin Starr, and David Ruffin.  It was during the late ’60s that the Originals found the bulk of their success, but they did well during the disco era as well.  They ultimately broke up in 1982 but reformed in a different configuration for the oldies circuit during the 2000s.  Walter Gaines passed away on January 17, 2012.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.

 

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Died On This Date (July 5, 2011) Alphonso “Fonce” Mizell / Motown Hit Maker

Posted by themusicsover on July 5, 2011

Alphonzo Mizell
January 15, 1943 – July 5, 2011

Alphonzo “Fonce” Mizell was an American record producer and songwriter who, as part of the Corporation production team at Motown, penned and produced virtually every Jackson 5 hit between 1969 and 1971.  That list includes “ABC,” “I Want You Back,” and “The Love You Save.”  Mizell was also an accomplished musician dating back to his childhood when he, his brother, Larry Mizell and a school friend performed and recorded demos as a doo-wop group, the Nikons.  After high school, Mizell attended Howard University where he studied the trumpet under the great Donald Byrd.   Around this time, the Mizell brothers founded their own record label, Hog Records where they produced and released just one record, the Moments’ “Baby, I Want You,” which has been known to go for as much as $2500 to collectors.  Fonce eventually went to work for Berry Gordy at Motown where, besides the Jackson 5, he worked on hits by the likes of Edwin Starr and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas.  Following his tenure at Motown, Fonce and his brother Larry formed their own production team, known affectionately as the Mizell Brothers, but professionally as Sky High Productions.  They went on to produce several classic jazz albums for Blue Note which were recognized for their influence on jazz fusion and acid jazz.  Albums of note included Byrd’s Black Byrd and Bobbi Humphrey’s Blacks And Blues.  They also scored several disco-era hits including A Taste Of Honey’s “Boogie-Oogie-Oogie,” and L.T.D.’s “Love Ballad.”  The Mizell Brothers’ influence continued to reach a new generation of fans well into the 2000s thanks to samples popping up in songs by the likes of Guru, A Tribe Called Quest and J Dilla.  Alphonso Mizell was 68 when he passed away on July 5, 2011.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

What You Should Own

The Mizell Brothers At Blue Note Records (1973 - 1977 and Beyond) - The Mizell Brothers


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Died On This Date (April 2, 2003) Edwin Starr / Soul Great

Posted by themusicsover on April 2, 2010

Edwin Starr (Born Charles Hatcher)
January 31, 1942 – April 2, 2003

Edwin Starr gave the world “War,” the incomparable anti-Vietnam War protest song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong. It was reportedly recorded in just one take.  The song was an anthem for the anti-war movement of the ’60s and was later resurrected to serve the same purpose by Bruce Springsteen.  Edwin Starr died of a heart attack at the age of 61.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

20th Century Masters: The Best of Edwin Starr - The Millennium Collection - Edwin Starr

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Died On This Date (March 21, 2004) Johnny Bristol / Prolific Motown Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on March 21, 2010

Johnny Bristol
February 3rd, 1939 – March 21, 2004

Part of the Motown hit making machine from 1961 to 1973, Johnny Bristol could take partial credit for countless massive hits as a writer and/or producer. Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Michael Jackson, Edwin Starr and Stevie Wonder are just a handful of who he has helped make superstars out of. Bristol also released a half-dozen of his own albums throughout the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. He passed away at the age of 65, reportedly from natural causes.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Johnny Bristol

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