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respect 2022...







'What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others'. Pericles (495 - 429 b.c.)









december 2022



thom bell


Thom Bell


b. Thomas Randolph Bell, 27th January 1943, Kingston, Jamaica.


d. 22nd December 2022, Bellingham, Washington, U.S.A.


The American record producer, arranger and songwriter, Thom Bell, has died. Thom was 79.

He is best remembered for the Philadelphia sound in the 1970s epitomised by his writings (along with the late, Linda Creed) with the likes of the Delfonics, the Stylistics, Jerry Butler, Archie Bell & The Drells, Jerry Bell, The O'Jays, Dusty Springfield and the Detroit Spinners.

Thom was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006.

In 2016, he was also inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.

Born in Jamaica, his family relocated to Philadelphia whilst he was a child.

Classically trained, as a teenager, he sang with Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Daryl Hall.

Early in his career he played as a session player and arranger at Cameo Records in Philadelphia.

He later went on to work with The Delfonics, producing ‘La-La (Means I Love You)’ and ‘Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)’.

As a songwriter, along with the Philadelphia-born songwriter, Linda Creed the duo penned ‘Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)’, ‘You Are Everything’, ‘Betcha by Golly, Wow’, ‘Break Up to Make Up’, ‘You Make Me Feel Brand New’, and ‘I’m Stone in Love with You’.

Thom and Linda’s career went on to produce hits for the Detroit Spinners, including ‘I’ll Be Around’, ‘Could It Be I'm Falling in Love’, ‘Games People Play’, and ‘The Rubberband Man’.




thom bell page at soulwalking


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bertha barbee-mcneal


Bertha Barbee McNeal


b. Bertha Barbee-McNeal, 12th June 1940, Flint, Michigan, U.S.A.


d. 16th December 2022, U.S.A.


The founding member of Motown girl group The Velvelettes. Bertha Barbee-McNeal, has died. Bertha was 82.

Hailing from Flint, Michigan, Bertha was a very talented child.

She began playing the piano and organ from an early age.

Berta attended Kalamazoo’s Western Michigan University, where she met Mildred Gill, (her sister) Carolyn and friend Betty Kelly along with Bertha’s cousin Norma Barbee.

The group became known as the Velvelettes (due to the sound Bertha developed with the singers).

Spotted by Motown talent scout, Robert Bullock, the group were signed to Motown as a trio, initially.

The Velvelettes group began a collaboration with producer Norman Whitfield.

They recorded the hit single, ‘Needle In A Haystack’, which was followed by ‘He Was Really Sayin’ Something’, ‘Lonely, Lonely Girl Am I’ and ‘These Things Will Keep Me Loving You’.

The group disbanded in 1967.

Bertha eventually went into the educational system and achieved  a Master’s Degree in music education at Western Michigan University.

She went on to teach in the local public school system.


the velvelettes page at soulwalking


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j.j. barnes


J.J. Barnes


b. James Jay Barnes, 30th November 1943, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.


d. 10th December 2022


The American R&B singer and songwriter, J.J. Barnes, has died. James was 79.

In 1960, J.J. Barnes released several singles on the Mickay and Ric-Tic imprints, including ‘Just One More Time’ and ‘Please Let Me In’.

After signing to the Motown label, his career there began initially as a songwriter.

James was a member of a group called the Holidays, who were a trio (whose line-up included Edwin Starr and Steve Mancha).

The Holidays had an R&B hit in 1966 with ‘I’ll Love You Forever’.

James’ biggest hit single came in 1967 with ‘Baby Please Come Back Home’.

The song reached No. 9 on the US Billboard R&B chart and was followed with the further releases including ‘Black Ivory’.

James then relocated to the U.K., recommended by his fellow group member, Edwin Starr, during the Seventies.

He, subsequently, signed a deal with the U.K. label Contempo Records.

James became a favourite artist of the UK Northern soul scene, and often performed in the UK.

His early singles, including, ‘Please Let Me In’ and ‘Real Humdinger’, were re-released in the UK on the Tamla Motown label.

Contempo Records went on to release several singles and an album.

In the Eighties he released his version of the Frank Wilson evergreen, ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’ for the Motor City imprint.


j.j. barnes page at soulwalking


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jim stewart


Jim Stewart


b. James F. Stewart, 29th July 1930, Middleton, Tennessee, U.S.A.


d. 5th December 2022, U.S.A.


One half of the founding siblings of Stax Records, Jim Stewart, has died. Jim was 92.

Jim was an American record executive and record producer who co-founded Stax Records.

Along with his sister, Estelle Axton, (the pairs surnames formed the first two letters of name of the company (ST-AX), Stax Records became one of the foremost recording companies during soul and R&B music's emerging years.

Born in Middleton, Tennessee, Jim Stewart moved to Memphis in 1948 after graduating from high school.

He, later, worked at Sears and the First National Bank.

Jim was then drafted into the United States Army for two years, and returned to his job as a bank clerk in Memphis.

He was also a performer a local country music group, the Canyon Cowboys.

Jim was also employed as a banker at Union Planters Bank.

In late Fifties, he formed his own record label called Satellite Records.

His sister, Estelle Axton, mortgaged her home to invest in her brother's venture by buying an Ampex 300 tape recorder.

At the end of the Fifties, the label moved into the former Capitol Theatre in Memphis and became Stax Records.

The auditorium was converted into a studio space, (the stage was made into the control room).

Jim left the floor on an incline (creating the room’s own acoustics, leading to a heavier, bassier sound).

Stax was eventually to go bankrupt in 1976.

Afterwards, Jim kept a low profile.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, (his daughter,Jennifer, accepted the award on his behalf).


stax records page at soulwalking


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november 2022


noel mckoy


Noel McKoy


b. Noel McKoy, 1960, Clapham, South London, England, United Kingdom.


d. 3rd November 2022, United Kingdom.


The singer, Noel McKoy has died. He was 62. There are no details regarding his passing available at this point.

Noel McKoy was born in Clapham, South London.

After his aunt Winnie emigrated to the US in the 1940s, Noel stayed with her and later arranged for the rest of her family to follow.

In 2015, he joined Junior Giscombe, Leee John, Don-e, and Omar in the newly formed British Collective.


noel mckoy page at soulwalking


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joe tarsia


Joe Tarsia


b. Joseph Tarsia, 23rd September 1934, Philadelpha, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.


d. 1st November 2022, Philadelpha, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.


The engineer for Philadelphia International Records, Joe Tarsia, has died. He was 88.

Joe was the founder and owner of the Sigma Sound Studios, home of of Gamble and Huff's Philadelphia International Records.

Early in his career, Joe was employed by the research department of the Philco Corporation.

He went on to become a service technician for several Philadelphia recording studios.

After relocating to New York in 1961, he took an audio engineering position with Cameo Parkway Records.

Cameo’s roster included the likes of Dee Dee Sharp and Bunny Sigler.

Joe became the record label's chief engineer.

In 1967, he sold many of his possessions, purchased a lease on the second floor of the 212 North 12th Street Building in Philadelphia (which was Sound Plus Studios), and upgraded the studio equipment from 2-track to 8-track.

His studio opened in 1968.

By 1970, the Studio’s had gradually become fully employed as a ’TSOP’ operation.

The Sigma Sound Studio’s had become an award winning operation, winning awards for producing records by the likes of Jerry Butler, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, the O'Jays, the Stylistics, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, David Bowie, and the Four Tops.

The Philadelphia studio's success helped launch three studios in New York, which were also named ‘Sigma Sound Studios of New York’.

Here they recorded sides by the likes of Whitney Houston, Madonna, Billy Joel, Steely Dan, Ashford and Simpson and Paul Simon.

In 1990, Michael Tarsia (Joe’s son) became president of Sigma.

In later life, Joe went on to become a lecturer and participant in educational programs.
The New York studio closed in the early 1990s and Joe sold the original Philadelphia studio in 2003.
In 2016, he was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.


philadelphia international page at soulwalking


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october 2022


geraldine hunt


Geraldine Hunt


b. Geraldine Milligan, 10th February 1945, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.


d. 27th October 2022, U.S.A


The Soul singer, Geraldine Hunt, has died. She was 77.


Geraldine's death was announced by her son. Further details to follow.


geraldine hunt page at soulwalking


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bettye crutcher


Bettye Crutcher


b. Bettye Jean Crutcher Barnes, 16th September 1939, Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, U.S.A.


d. 20th October 2022, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.


Stax songwriter, Bettye Crutcher, has died. She was 83. Bettye had been ill, following a series of health issues.

Bettye wrote for many of the label’s stars including Johnnie Taylor, The Staple Singers, Sam & Dave, and Albert King, amongst others.

She began writing at the age of seven, initially penning poetry, which later went on to become melodies.

In the Sixties she became a working full time nurse and raised a family of three children on her own, whilst trying to break into the music business.

In 1966, she was enlisted by Stax Records whilst the label developed writing teams to provide material for its roster of artists.

Working with Homer Banks and Raymond Jackson, the trio would become known as We Three.


We Three


we three: homer banks, bettye crutcher and raymond jackson


Bettye wrote Johnnie Taylor’s single, ‘Somebody’s Sleeping in My Bed’, which climbed the Top 40 of the R&B charts.

She also penned ‘Who’s Making Love’, the following year, which topped the R&B charts, reaching the national Top 5.

In 2014 Bettye taught a summer songwriting class to the students of the Stax Music Academy, and in 2019 she celebrated her 80th birthday with an event at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.


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joyce sims


Joyce Sims


b. Joyce Sims, 6th August 1959, Rochester, New York, U.S.A.


d. 14th October 2022, U.S.A.


The American singer and songwriter, Joyce Sims, has died. She was 63.

The cause of her passing is yet to be disclosed.

Her biggest hit single, ‘Come into My Life’, reached the top 10 in both the U.S. Billboard R&B Chart and the UK Singles Chart in 1987.

From New York, Joyce formally studied music in college, becoming a multi instrumentalist.

In 1986, Sims signed with Sleeping Bag Records, where she released ‘(You Are My) All and All’ in 1986.

In 1988 she released ‘Come into My Life’, which was followed by her remake of the song ‘Love Makes a Woman’.

In 1994, she released the single ‘Who's Crying Now’ on Warlock Records and in 2006 she released the single ‘What the World Needs Now is Love’.

In 2009, ‘Come into My Life: the Very Best of Joyce Sims’, a double-CD of her greatest hits and remixes was released.

In 2014, Joyce released the album ‘Love Song’, which includes a duet with  Maxi Priest.


joyce sims page at soulwalking


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ivy joe hunter


Ivy Joe Hunter


b. George Ivy Hunter, 28th August 1940, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.


d. 6th October 2022, U.S.A.


The American R&B songwriter, record producer and singer, Ivy Joe Hunter, has died. He was 82.
George was primarily associated with his work for Motown Records in the 1960’s.

His songs included the likes of The Spinners' ‘Truly Yours’ and ‘Sweet Thing’, The Temptations' ‘Sorry Is a Sorry Word’, The Isley Brothers' ‘Behind a Painted Smile’ and ‘My Love Is Your Love (Forever)’, and ‘Ask the Lonely’ and ‘Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever’ for the Four Tops.

He co-wrote the Martha and the Vandellas hit ‘Dancing in the Street’ in 1964.

George wrote songs for Motown artists including The Velvelettes (‘That's a Funny Way’), The Contours (‘Can You Jerk Like Me’), The Marvelettes (‘Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead’ and ‘I’ll Keep Holding On’), Gladys Knight & the Pips (‘The Stranger’) and for Marvin Gaye he produced the Top 40 hit single ‘You’ in 1968.


ivy joe hunter page at soulwalking


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september 2022


pharaoh sanders


Pharaoh Sanders


b. Farrell Sanders, 13th October, 1940, Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.A.


d. 24th September 2022, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.


The American jazz saxophonist, Pharaoh Sanders, has died. He was 81.

His label said 'He died peacefully surrounded by loving family and friends in Los Angeles earlier this morning'.

Part of John Coltrane’s ensemble during the Sixties, he will be fondly remembered amongst Soul fans, for his work throughout the Seventies, with the likes of Norman Connors.

From Little Rock, Arkansas, as a young man, he developed his career, becoming an accomplished clarinetist.

On leaving school, Farrell relocated to Oakland, California.

He then moved to New York City in 1961and became a member of John Coltrane's band.

His first solo album was ‘Pharoah's First’, followed by ‘Tauhid’ in 1966.

In the early 1970s he was signed to Impulse Records, where he worked with Leon Thomas, Lonnie Liston Smith and Cecil McBee.

In the Nineties he worked with Bill Laswell and Jah Wobble, and was featured on several Tisziji Muñoz albums which include Rashied Ali.

Huge on the Acid Jazz music scene is his 1980 album ‘Journey To The One’, which featured his evergreen ‘You Got To Have Freedom’.


pharaoh sanders page at soulwalking




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marva hicks


Marva Hicks


b. Marva Denise Hicks, 5th May 1956, Petersburg, Virginia, U.S.A.


d. 16th September 2022, New York City, New York, U.S.A.


The Soul singer, actress, and composer, Marva Hicks, has died. She was 66.

The cause of death is not yet known.

Marva signed with Polydor in the late 1980s and her debut LP, ‘Marva Hicks’, followed in 1991.

Her best selling single ‘Never Been in Love Before’, was written and produced by Jimmy Scott.


Marva Hicks


As an actress she played T'Pel, the wife of Tuvok, in three episodes of ‘Star Trek: Voyager’.

She also sang the gospel song ‘There's No Hiding Place Down Here’ in the Babylon 5 episode ‘And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place’.


marva hicks page at soulwalking


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ramsey lewis


Ramsey Lewis


b. Ramsey Emmanuel Lewis Jr., 27th May 1935, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.


d. 12th September 2022, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.


The American jazz composer and pianist, Ramsey Lewis, has died. He was 87.

Ramsey died, peacefully, at his home in Chicago.

He recorded over 80 albums and received five gold records and three Grammy Awards during his career.


ramsey lewis page at soulwalking





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inez foxx


Inez Foxx


b. Inez Foxx, 9th September 1942, Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.A.


d. 25th August 2022, West Compton, California, U.S.A.

The singer, Inez Foxx, one-half of the brother-sister duo Inez & Charlie Foxx has died. She was 79.

Inez & Charlie Foxx were best known for the top 10 hits ‘Mockingbird’ in 1963.

The siblings were born in Greensboro, North Carolina to John and Peggy Fox.

They changed their professional names to Foxx with a double 'x'. The duo began performing as a Gospel act, but had a break when they auditioned for Sue Records head Henry Murray, performing their arrangement of the children's song ‘Hush Little Baby’.

The song became their first release and was followed by ‘(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days’ and ‘You Are The Man’ in 1967.

Over the next decade, they continued to work, both together and separately, as well as writing for other artists. Charlie Foxx died in 1998 of leukemia.

For those wishing to pay their respects to Inez Foxx, her funeral will be in Greensboro, NC on September 17th at 11:00 at:

Reid Memorial CME Church
1010 Bennett Street
Greensboro. NC 27406

Cards, letters, telegrams, etc should be addressed to Inez's surviving sister, Mrs. Jean Wade, 2112 N. Pannes Ave, East Compton, Ca. 90221
Flowers can be sent to Regional Memorial Cremations and Funeral Services, 1026 E. Lindsay Street, Greensboro, NC 27405


charlie and inez foxx page at soulwalking


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august 2022


lamont dozier


Lamont Dozier


b. Lamont Herbert Dozier, 16th June 1941, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.


d. 9th August 2022, Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.A.


The Soul singer, songwriter and record producer, Lamont Dozier, has died. He was 81.

The news was confirmed by his son Lamont Dozier Jr.

No news as to the cause of death has been released as yet.

Lamont had co-written and produced 14 U.S. Billboard number 1 hits and 4 number ones in the UK.

He was a member of the trio of writers, Holland–Dozier–Holland, the songwriting and production team responsible for many hit records by the likes of Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes, The Four Tops, and The Isley Brothers.

Lamont served as the team's musical arranger and producer, whilst Brian and Eddie Holland were the engineers and producers.

Lamont’s wife, Barbara, passed away last year.




lamont dozier page at soulwalking


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sam gooden


Sam Gooden


b. Samuel Gooden, 2nd September 1934, Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A.


d. 4th August 2022, Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A.


Original member of the group The Impressions, Sam Gooden, has died. Sam was 87.

Along with the lead singer, Curtis Mayfield, and Fred Cash, Sam can be heard on many of the group’s landmark recordings, including ‘It's All Right’.

Sam and the group recorded and performed up until his passing.

He was inducted with the group in 1991 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


the impressions page at soulwalking


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july 2022


michael henderson


Michael Henderson


b. Michael Scott Henderson, 7th July 1951, Yazoo City, Mississippi, U.S.A.


d. 19th July 2022, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.


The bassist, singer/songwriter, producer and arranger, Michael Henderson, has died. He was 71.


Michael passed away at home in Atlanta, Georgia.


michael henderson page at soulwalking




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william 'poogie' hart


William 'Poogie' Hart


b. William ‘Poogie’ Hart, 17th January 1945, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.


d. 14th July 2022, Philadelpia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.


Founding group member for the Delfonics, William ‘Poogie’ Hart, has died. He was 77.

William was having some trouble breathing, and was taken to Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.
He died from complications undergoing surgery.

William was the co-writer (with Thom Bell) for the song ‘La La Means I Love You’.

He was with the group between the years 1965 until his death in 2022.




delfonics page at soulwalking


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reginald 'sonny'burke


Sonny Burke

b. Reginald Waymond Burke, 1945, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.


d. 4th July 2022, Flossmoor, Illinois, U.S.A.


The R&B organ, clavinet, synthesizer player, arranger, producer and songwriter, Reginald ‘Sonny’ Burke has died. Sonny was 76.


During his career, Sonny worked with many artists including Stanley Turrentine, Dizzy Gillespie and John Handy.

He also penned many songs for the likes of  Earth Wind & Fire, Dusty Springfield, Margie Joseph, Smokey Robinson.


Funeral arrangements are:


Thursday - July 14 - Wake


Leak & Sons Funeral Home
7838 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
Chicago, IL. 60619
(773) 846-6567
Wake - 6:00 pm -8:00 pm

Friday - July 15 - Viewing & Funeral


Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church
4130 S. Indiana Ave.
Chicago, IL. 60653
(773) 624-6722


Viewing - 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Homegoing Celebration - 11:00 am - 1:00 pm 
Interment - Immediately following funeral service
Mount Hope Cemetery
11500 S. Farfield
Chicago, IL. 60655
(708) 371-2818




many thanks to Sonny's brother, Kirkland, for the information here. Sonny's musical arrangements can be heard on this Dusty Springfield song:



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june 2022


patrick adams


Patrick Adams


b. Patrick Peter Owen Adams, 17th March 1950, Harlem, New York City, New York State, U.S.A.


d. 22nd June 2022, New York City, New York State, U.S.A.


The disco and soul producer, arranger, songwriter and musician, Patrick Adams, has died. He was 72.


Patrick passed away following a long illness.


patrick adams page at soulwalking




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may 2022


bernard wright


Bernard Wright


b. Bernard Charles Wright, 16th November 1963, Jamaica, Queens, New York, U.S.A.


d. 19th May 2022, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.


The American funk and jazz keyboardist and singer, Bernard Wright, has died. He was 58.


Early reports say that the artist died as a result of a traffic accident.


Bernard began his career as a session musician, later releasing four solo albums.

Further details to follow.


bernard wright page at soulwalking


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april 2022


charles e. mccormick



b. Charles E. McCormick, 8th May 1946, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.


d. 13th April 2022, U.S.A.


The lead vocalist and bass guitarist for the group, Bloodstone, Charles E. McCormick, has died. Charles was 75.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1946, he went on to co-create the R&B group in 1962.

The group were originally called the Sinceres and also performed under the name the Soulful Emeralds.

At the end on the Sixties, the Sinceres/the Soulful Emeralds comprised of Melvin Webb, Roger Durham, Charles Love, Harry Williams, Willis Draffen and Charles McCormick.

Charles was the lead vocalist on the groups 1972 hit single ‘Natural High’, and also penned and wrote the group’s, 1974 single ‘My Little Lady’.


bloodstone page at soulwalking


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joe messina


Joe Messina


b. Joe Messina, 13th December 1928, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.


d. 4th April 2022, Northville, Michigan, U.S.A.


The guitarist for the Motown backing band the Funk Brothers, Joe Messina, has died. Joe was 93.

Joe died on the 4th of April 2022 at his son’s home in Northville, Michigan.

His guitar appeared on recordings by Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder amongst others.

Joe was often called ‘the white brother with soul’ and received two Grammys in 2003 for the soundtrack to the documentary ‘Standing in the Shadows of Motown’.

He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award, (along with the other Funk Brothers members).

Born in Detroit in 1928, Joe started playing guitar in his teens and by his twenties, playing professionally.

He performed with the likes of Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie.

Berry Gordy brought Joe to the Motown in 1958.

At Motown, his guitar could be heard on several hits, including Martha and the Vandellas’ ‘Dancing in the Street’, the Four Tops’ ‘I Can’t Help Myself’, the Temptations’ ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’ and Stevie’s ‘For Once in My Life’.

When Motown relocated to Los Angeles in 1972, Joe stopped playing guitar for 30 years.

He remained in Detroit, throughout his life, until his passing.


Joe Messina


funk brothers page at soulwalking


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march 2022


timmy thomas


Timmy Thomas


b. Timmy Thomas, 13th November 1944, Evansville, Indiana, U.S.A.


d. 11th March 2022, U.S.A.


The soul singer, keyboardist, songwriter and record producer, Timmy Thomas, has died. He was 77. Details will follow shortly.


timmy thomas page at soulwalking


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richard d. pratt


Richard Pratt


b. Richard D. Pratt, 30th June, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.


d. 1st March 2022, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A.


One of the founding members of the vocal group Blue Magic, Richard Pratt, has died.
At this stage, details regarding Richard’s passing, are unknown. Further details to follow.
In recent years, a couple of versions of the group still toured. Richard was the bass singer in the group.


Blue Magic


blue magic page at soulwalking


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february 2022


betty davis


Betty Davis


b. Betty O. Mabry, 16th July 1944, Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A.


d. 9th February 2022, Homestead, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.


The Soul singer, Betty Davis, has died. Betty was 77.

She died at her home in Homestead, Pennsylvania, from natural causes.

During her life, she was married to Miles Davis from September 1968 until 1970 (this was Miles’ second marriage).

Famous for her live performances, Betty spent her early years growing in Durham, North Carolina, (her family, later moving to Pittsburgh).

She left Pittsburgh and relocated to New York City where she attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, which led to Betty becoming a model.

In New York, she met Jimi Hendrix and also Sly Stone during this period.

Lou Courtney produced her first single, ‘The Cellar’, which was followed by one of her own compositions ‘Uptown (to Harlem)’ becoming rewarded by the Chambers Brothers.

By 1968, when Betty began recording with Hugh Masekela.

The following year she met Miles Davis, the pair were together for a two year period, after which, the pair went their separate ways and Betty moved to London.

Her run of albums began at this time, beginning with ‘Betty Davis’, in 1973.

‘They Say I'm Different’, (followed in 1974) and ‘Nasty Gal’ (in 1975).

Betty went on to have success in Europe, however, in the U.S. she was barred from performing on television because of the X-rated nature of her stage performances.

Carlos Santana recalled Betty as ‘indomitable’. She also dated Eric Clapton at one stage.

In later life, she later returned to Pittsburgh, where she lived peacefully.


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syl johnson


Syl Johnson


b. Sylvester Thompson, 1st July 1936, Holly Springs, Mississippi, U.S.A.


d. 6th February 2022, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.


The Blues & Soul singer and music producer, Syl Johnson, has died. Syl was 85.

In the 1950’s, Syl sang and played with several Blues artists, including Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and Howlin' Wolf.

Syl’s own recording career began with Jimmy Reed at Vee Jay Records in 1959.

In the Sixties, Syl recorded at Twinight Records in Chicago, where he had his first hit with ‘Come On Sock It to Me’ in 1967.

After he left Hi, Syl recorded two LPs for his own label Shama Records.

These included a surprise hit ‘Ms. Fine Brown Frame’, released on Boardwalk Records in 1982).

The Blues artists, Jimmy Johnson and Mack Thompson are Syl’s brothers.


syl johnson page at soulwalking


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january 2022


lew kirton


Lew Kirton


b. Llewelyn Randolph Kirton, 1948, St Michaels, Barbados, West Indies.


d. 22nd January 2022, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.


The singer, Lew Kirton, has died. Lew was 74.

At this moment in time, details regarding Lew's passing aren't currently available.

More details will be posted here shortly.

Lew's page at Soulwalking is here:


lew kirton page at soulwalking


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freddie hughes


Freddie Hughes


b. Fred Willie Hughes Jr., 20th August 1943, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.


d. 18th January 2022, Kaiser Oakland Hospital, Oakland, California, U.S.A.

The U.S. American soul singer. Freddie Hughes, has died. Freddie was 79.

Freddie died from leukemia and Covid 19 complications at the Kaiser Oakland Hospital.

He will probably be best remembered for the songs ‘Send My Baby Back’ (co-written, produced, and arranged by Lonnie Hewitt), ‘(a cover of the Carole King song) ‘Natural Man’, ‘Tonight I'm Gonna See My Baby’ and ‘He’s No Good’.

‘Send My Baby Back’ reached number 20 on the R&B charts and number 94 on the pop charts.

During 1965, he achieved two Top 20 R&B singles with ‘Oo Wee Baby, I Love You’ and ‘You Can't Take It Away’.

During his career, Freddie recorded for the Wand, Melotone, Vee Jay, Brunswick, Ifgam and Blues Express Inc. imprints.

He was one of the last successful artists on Vee Jay Records before the label folded in the mid-Sixties.

During his career, Freddie collaborated with many artists, including Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Etta James, and Ike and Tina Turner.

He is the father of the Be4Real recording artist, Derick Hughes, who sang with Tower Of Power.

Freddie is survived by his brother, Wayne Hughes of Oakland; five children, Sonia Hughes Farmah of Hanford, Derick Hughes of Oakland, Derene Hughes Jones of Alameda, Lena Hughes, and Jelani Hughes; 23 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren.




freddie hughes page at soulwalking


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gregory webster


Greg Webster


b. Gregory Allen Webster, 4th January 1938, Dayton/Hamilton, Ohio, U.S.A.


d. 14th January 2022, Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.


The American drummer for the Ohio Players, Greg Webster, has died. Greg was 84.
His grandson, Mitchell Webster, confirmed his grandfather died at the Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.
He said his grandfather’s death was not expected, though he had been in the hospital since New Year’s Eve.
Webster was the Ohio Players’ original drummer from 1964 to 1973.


ohio players page at soulwalking


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fred parris


Fred Parris


b. Fredericke Lee Parris, 26th March 1936, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.


d. 13th January 2022, U.S.A.

The lead singer & songwriter for the groups, The Scarlets, The Restless Hearts, The New Yorkers and The Five Satins, Fred Parris, has died. Fred was 85.

He often collaborated on songs alongside with Sam Goldman.

As Fred Parris and the Satins, the group recorded for the imprints, RCA, Buddah and Elektra, between 1958 until 1982.

The group will, probably, be best remembered for their 1956 hit single ‘In the Still of the Night’.


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r dean taylor


R Dean Taylor


b. Richard Dean Taylor, 11th May 1939, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


d. 7th January 2022, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.


The Motown artist, R Dean Taylor, has died. Richard was 82.

He died at home on the 7th of January 2022 and had been ill since contracting COVID-19 the previous year.

At the time of his death he had been married for 52 years to his wife Janee.


r dean taylor page at soulwalking


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ronnie spector


Ronnie Spector


b. Veronica Yvette Bennett, 10th August 1943, Washington Heights, Manhattan, U.S.A.


d. 12th January 2022, U.S.A.


The lead vocalist for the group the Ronettes, Ronnie Spector, has died from cancer. She was 78.

Ronnie was born Veronica Yvette Bennett in Washington Heights, Manhattan, and was the daughter of an African-American-Cherokee mother and Irish–American father.

In 1957 she formed the girl group The Ronettes along with her elder sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley.

The record producer Phil Spector produced the majority of their recording output and were later married in 1968 and separated in 1972. These songs included:

‘Baby, I Love You’, ‘Be My Baby’, ‘Do I Love You’, ‘I Can Hear Music’, ‘Walking In The Rain’, along with their contributions to the Phil Spector, classic, Christmas album ‘Frosty The Snowman’, ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’ and ‘Sleighride’.

She later married her manager, Jonathan Greenfield.
They lived in Danbury, Connecticut with their two sons, Austin Drew and Jason Charles.


the ronettes page at soulwalking


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james mtume


James Mtume


b. James Forman, 3rd January 1946, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

d. 9th January 2022, South Orange, New Jersey, U.S.A.


The songwriter, producer and performer, James Mtume, has died. James was 76.

James died following a long battle with cancer.

James’ father was part of the group The Heath Brothers.

He collaborated with Miles Davis on his album ‘On the Corner’.
James was raised by his stepfather & his mother, James Forman, a jazz pianist who had played with Charlie Parker, and his mother, Bertha Forman.
He was a champion swimmer in high school and attended Pasadena City College on an athletic scholarship.
James joined Miles Davis’s band in 1971 and stayed until 1975.
When Miles stopped performing, James and the guitarist Reggie Lucas, another member of the Miles Davis group, joined Roberta Flack’s band.
Their composition ‘The Closer I Get to You’, which she recorded as a duet with Donny Hathaway, reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978.
In 1988, James denounced hip-hop’s reliance on sampling, calling it ‘Memorex music’ and complained that the originators were ignored.
By the 1990s, James had grown dissatisfied with the music business and moved into talk radio.

Mtume will, probably, be best remembered for the Eighties hit song ‘Juicy Fruit’.
Along with his collaborator, Reggie Lucas, (who played in the Miles Davis group), they penned many successful sides, including Stephanie Mills’ ‘I Never Knew Love Like This Before, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s ‘The Closer I Get To You’ & ‘Back Together Again’, Eddie Henderson’s ‘Prance On’, Gary Bartz’s ‘Music’, Phyllis Hyman’s ‘You Know How To Love Me’, The Heath Brothers ‘Dreamin’, Roy Ayers’ ‘Hot’ amongst hundred’s of other tunes.


He is survived by his wife, Kamili Mtume; his brother, Jeffrey Forman; two sons, Faulu Mtume and Richard Johnson; four daughters, Benin Mtume, Eshe King, Ife Mtume and Sanda Lee; and six grandchildren.


mtume page at soulwalking




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...those who left us in 2021...









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