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Posts Tagged ‘Marvin Gaye’

RIP, Leon Ware (February 23, 2017) Successful R&B Songwriter & Producer

Posted by themusicsover on February 23, 2017

Leon Ware
February 16, 1940 – February 23, 2017

Photo by David Corio. Source:

Leon Ware was an American singer, songwriter and producer who was celebrated for the many hits he crafted for others.  Born in Detroit, Ware began writing professionally in 1967.  Later that year, the first recording note of a song he co-wrote was released; “Got To Have You Back,” by the Isley Brothers.  A couple of years later, he hooked up with Ike & Tina Turner to co-write six songs on their album,  Nuff Said.  What followed was nearly four decades of hit songs for the likes of Michael Jackson, Minnie Riperton, Quincy Jones, and Marvin Gaye.  In Gaye’s case, every song on his I Want You album was penned or co-penned by Ware who also produced the landmark album. It sold over a million copies and is considered a must-have for any album collection.  Ware also recorded nearly a dozen albums of his own, the most successful being 1979’s Inside Is Love, and the most recent, 2008’s Moon Ride.  Leon Ware was 77 when he died of prostate cancer on February 23, 2017.

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Died On This Date (March 3, 2013) Bobby Rogers / Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Posted by themusicsover on March 3, 2013

Bobby Rogers
February 19, 1940 – March 3, 2013

bobby-rogersAs an original member of Motown’s legendary R&B group, the Miracles, Bobby Rogers sang on some of popular music’s most lasting songs.  Born on the same day and in the very same hospital as Smokey Robinson, Rogers wouldn’t meet his future band mate until 15 years later.  In 1959, the Miracles became the first group signed to Berry Gordy’s Motown/Tamla Records, and within a year, they had the label’s first million seller with “Shop Around.”  The group went on to release countless hit singles with Rogers singing on “You Really Got A Hold Of Me,” “The Tracks Of My Tears,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “I Second That Emotion,” and many many more.  He was also reportedly responsible for the group’s onstage choreography.  Rogers remained in the Miracles until 1978, but participated in reunions in 1980 and 1993.  He ultimately retired from the group in 2011.  As a Motown songwriter, Rogers wrote or co-wrote such hits as “The Way You Do The Things You Do” (the Temptations), “What Love Has Joined Together” (Mary Wells), and “One More Heartache” (Marvin Gaye), among others. He was elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Miracles in 2012.  Bobby Rogers was 73 when he passed away on March 3, 2013.  Cause of death was not immediately released, but he had reportedly been suffering from an undisclosed illness for some time.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin for the assist.

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Died On This Date (February 1, 2012) Don Cornelius / Creator & Host Of “Soul Train”

Posted by themusicsover on February 1, 2012

Don Cornelius
September 27, 1936 – February 1, 2012

Don Cornelius was the creator, writer, producer, and host of the extremely influential American dance program, Soul Train.  Launched in October of 1961 after Cornelius noticed a void of nationally broadcast television shows that catered to the African-American audience, Soul Train ran until March of 2006.  Cornelius hosted the program from its inception until 1993.  Soul Train has been praised for influencing countless African-American kids while bringing black music into the white neighborhoods.  Over the years, the show featured lip-synched performances by everyone from James Brown, Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin, to Michael Jackson, Ice Cube and Prince.  Two popular segments of the show were the “Soul Train Scrabble Board” where two dancers tried to un-scramble letters to identify a significant person in African-American culture, and the oft-imitated “Soul Train Line” where the dancers formed two lines and then strutted their stuff with a partner down the middle.  In 1987, Cornelius launched the Soul Train Awards, a nationally broadcast program that honored the year’s best artists in R&B, Soul, Jazz and Hip-Hop.  The show ran until 2000.  Throughout the years, Cornelius was honored and/or parodied in countless sit-coms, rap songs, and films.   In the early hours of February 1, 2012, police responded to the home of Don Cornelius where they found him dead of what initially appeared to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He was 75.

Thanks to Bruce Kilgour at Slipped Disc Entertainment for the assist.

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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 (October 26, 2011) Reese Palmer / The Marquees

Posted by themusicsover on October 16, 2011

Reese Palmer
DOB Unknown – October 26, 2011

Reese Palmer was an American soul singer who, during the mid 1950s, belonged to a singing group, the D.C. Tones which also counted among its members, Marvin Gaye and Sondra Lattisaw (mother of Stacy Lattisaw).  Gaye soon left the group to join the US Air Force, but upon his return in 1957, he reunited with Palmer to form the Marquees.  Shortly thereafter, the group was discovered by Bo Diddley while they were performing at a local club.  Diddley signed them to Okeh Records for whom they recorded the moderately successful “Wyatt Earp” and “Hey Little Schoolgirl.”  In 1958, the Marquees were hired by Harvey Fuqua to serve as his backing group in the New Moonglows after his original singers quit.  As part of the New Moonglows, Reese sang on records by the likes of Chuck Berry (“Almost Grown” and “Back In The U.S.A.”) and Etta James.  After leaving the New Moonglows in 1960, Reese went on to sing with the Revlons and the Orioles.  In 2001, he resurrected the Marquees with new members.  On October 26, 2011, Reese Palmer passed away following a battle with prostate cancer and bladder cancer.  He was 73.

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