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Posts Tagged ‘Gladys Knight & The Pips’

Died On This Date (January 7, 2011) Bobby Robinson / Prolific R&B Producer & Harlem Record Store Owner

Posted by themusicsover on January 7, 2012

Bobby Robinson
April 16, 1917 – January 7, 2011

Bobby Robinson was a pioneering R&B and later, hip-hop record producer, as well as a longtime record store owner.  He opened Bobby’s Record Shop in 1946, making it the first Black-owned business on Harlem’s famous 125th Street.  The store and cultural landmark remained open until he was forced to close in 2008 due to his landlord’s desire to raze and rebuild at that spot.  As a producer, Robinson had a hand in creating a string of R&B and hip-hop hits that stretched from the early ’50s through the mid ’80s.  The list of greats that he enjoyed success with includes Gladys Knight & The Pips, Lee Dorsey, The Shirelles, Elmore James, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Kool Moe Dee, and Doug E. Fresh.  Bobby Robinson was 93 when he passed away on January 7, 2011.

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Died On This Date (October 30, 2011) George Rountree / Four Tops Musical Director

Posted by themusicsover on October 30, 2011

George Rountree
May 13, 1950 – October 30,2011

George Rountree is perhaps best remembered as the long time music director for legendary Motown group, the Four Tops.  For over 30 years, Rountree helped the quartet deliver its best possible sound to adoring fans around the world.  He also served as their arranger, composer, and keyboardist from time to time.  Throughout the years, Rountree also performed with the likes of Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Temptations, Martha Reeves, and Frankie Valli, to name a few.  George Rountree was 61 when he passed away on October 30, 2011.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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Died On This Date (July 6, 1979) Van McCoy / Had Hit With “The Hustle”

Posted by themusicsover on July 6, 2010

Van McCoy
January 6, 1940 – July 6, 1979

Van McCoy was a musician, producer, arranger and prolific songwriter who has penned upwards of 700 songs during his career.  But, he is perhaps best remembered for just one, “The Hustle,” which was massive disco hit of 1975 and to this day, arguably defines the era.  McCoy began singing in the church choir as a child and by his early teens, he and his brother were performing as a doo wop duo.  While in college, McCoy started his own record label to release his first single, “Hey Mr. DJ.”  He was soon hired by Scepter Records as an A&R rep and songwriter.  Over the years, he penned hits for Gladys Knight & The Pips (“Giving Up”), Barbara Lewis (“Baby, I’m Yours”), the Shirelles (“Stop The Music”) and Jackie Wilson (“I Get The Sweetest Feeling”) to name just a few.  Van McCoy died of a heart attack at the age of 39.

What You Should Own

The Hustle and the Best of Van McCoy - Van McCoy

Posted in Disco, Musician, Producer, R&B, Record Label, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Died On This Date (July 6, 1979) Van McCoy / Had Hit With “The Hustle”

Died On This Date (September 17, 2008) Norman Whitfield / Famed Motown Producer

Posted by themusicsover on September 17, 2009

Norman Whitfield
1943 – September 17, 2008


Norman Whitfield is best remembered as one of the musical geniuses responsible for creating the Motown Sound during the 1960s.  As a house songwriter and producer, Whitfield had his hand in at least three dozen of the greatest pop songs to come out of Detroit.  That list includes “Ain’t To Proud To Beg” by the Temptations, “War” by Edwin Starr, “Too Many Fish In The Sea” by the Marvelettes, and “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Gladys Knight & the Pips.  Whitfield formed his own label in 1973 and enjoyed great success with the big disco hit, “Car Wash” by Rose Royce.  Whitfield was awarded a Grammy in 1976 for the score soundtrack to the film, Car Wash.  A mostly bedridden Norman Whitfield died as a result diabetes and other ailments at the age of 68.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums

What You Should Own

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Car Wash (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) - Rose Royce

Posted in Disco, Producer, R&B, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »