b. Morris Ervin Broadnax, (a.k.a. 'Nax') 1931, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. 17th February 2009, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Morris Broadnax was born in Detroit in 1931, and joined Motown Records in 1961.
Prior to joining, Morris graduated high school and joined the Air Force.
During his military service, he played basketball on the Air Force's team.
Aside from his musical career, Morris also worked for Ford Motor Co. on the assembly line in Detroit.
Morris was part of the Motown machinery in the earlier years of the imprint.
He was asked by members of the Four Tops, his friends, to audition to become a singer for the label.
Morris's daugther Irel Broadnax said 'They didn't like his voice, however, they liked his songs and they asked him if he had other songs. They then signed him to an exclusive songwriter's contract'.
He was an unsung songwriting hero, very much in the same was the late Clarence Paul was missed by many, as one of the finest songwriters of their generation.
Morris concentrated much of his time at Motown writing for Stevie Wonder, although he also wrote with other notable and less known songwriters of the day.
Richard Morris, Ronnie McNeir (the Four Tops), Lawrence Payton (the Four Tops), Chaka Khan, Major Reynolds, Eddie Wingate, Leon Ware, Forte Anthony, Robert McCarther, Serge Ainsbourg, Paul Huston, David Jolicoeur, Vincent, Mason, Kelvin Mercer, Doris McNeil, Billy Davenport, Kevin Gilliam, Leroy Haggard Jr, Kwame Holland, Maiden Tony, Wade Marcus and Michael Crump.
stevie wonder - hotter than july - 1980
the contours / aretha franklin
He also co wrote the songs 'Just A Little Misunderstanding' for The Contours, 'Until You Come Back To Me (That What I'm Gonna Do)' for Aretha Franklin (later covered by artists ranging from Luther Vandross to Leo Sayer), 'Hey Love' for Stevie Wonder, 'What Else Is There To Do (But Think About You)' for the Four Tops, 'My Love For You' for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, as well as the previously mentioned Stevie / Brenda Holloway song.
Morris Broadnax was the first person to attempt to develop a Motown Alumni Association.
In 1989, Broadnax tried to organize his own version of the Motown Alumni Association, however, he ran into resistance along the way.
Billy Wilson, president of the current Motown Alumni Association, stated 'Nax was frustrated and gave up because nobody was really interested in being a part of the organization at that time. I started this organization in 1995, and found out he existed. I proceeded to contacted Nax to find out why he discontinued the effort.'
Morris Broadnax was a community activist, raising awareness for quality education for Detroit Public Schools students.
He received many awards, including the Award of Merit from Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young, the Spirit of Detroit Award and recognition from Black Parents for A Quality Education.
Morris Broadnax passed away on the Tuesday the 17th February 2009 from congestive heart failure.
The services were held at:
Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God & Christ
19190 Schaefer Hwy , Detroit, MI 48235
(On the corner of Schaefer and 7 mile)
Church #: (313) 864-7170
In addition to Irel Broadnax, Morris' survivors include daughters Laura Mott and Glenda Broadnax-McCoy; five sons, Raqueeb Qahar, Jon, Matthew, Michael Renaud and Morris; 20 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and a brother, Clarence.