b. Charles Stepney, 26th March 1931, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 17th May 1976, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Charles Stepney was an American recording artist, vibraphonist, pianist, arranger, producer and songwriter.
He was, probably, best remembered as a producer for Earth, Wind & Fire.
In the Fifties, Charles Stepney was a member of the group the Johnny Pate Quintet.
In the Sixties, he became a staff arranger and producer at the Chicago-based imprint Chess Records.
Charles worked with the Dells at Veejay Records and, later, on with Cadet Records (after the label folded).
Working with the producer, Bobby Miller, which realised a hit in 1968, with the group’s classic Soul recording, ‘Stay in My Corner’ (number one R&B that year).
After Bobby moved to Motown, Charles took over the overall production duties for the Dells.
The 1971 album ‘Freedom Means’, featured the Soul evergreen ‘It’s All Up To You’.
The track was co-penned by Terry Callier, whom Charles went on to have a good working relationship in the years to come.
With Charles, the Dells album, ‘The Dells Sing Dionne Warwicke's Greatest Hits’ (1972) became hugely popular that year.
As the Seventies developed, Charles began working with Maurice White (who was later to front Earth, Wind & Fire, and was also an ex Chess Records session drummer).
Charles wrote (and co-wrote) some of Earth, Wind & Fire's most memorable melodies, including’ ‘That’s The Way Of The World’, ‘Reasons’, ‘Yearnin', Learnin’, ‘On Your Face’ and ‘Imagination’.
He also penned the song ‘Love Has Fallen On Me’ for Chaka Khan for her, later, album ‘Chaka’ in 1978.
His children are Charlene Stepney, Chante Stepney and Eibur Stepney.