Today, we tip our hats to a dignitary of the Motown era, Frank Wilson.
Wilson was an imperative member of the ’60s blues-soul movement that helped define some of music’s most celebrated singers and groups such as The Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Blood, Sweat, and Tears. VIBE is sad to report that Wilson died of a lung infection on September 27 in Duarte, California.
He continued to practice his role as a minister since the 70s. Some of his greatest hits include “Love Child”, “Chained”, “All I Need”, and “Keep On Truckin’ (Part 1)”. Wilson also produced and sung his own records, and his most prized single was “Do I Love You” which was an “underground sensation” in England but was never released in America.
Born in 1940, the Houston, the Texas talent was the third of six children, and it was his mother that taught him how to play the piano, as legend has it, by ear first. His first foray into singing was with his uncles, The Gibbs Five. He joined Berry Gordy’s iconic Motown Records in 1964 at their L.A. offices, and migrated to Detroit with Gordy in 1966. He began to feel a “huge spiritual void” later in his career and was when he starting drifting away from the music business. While he felt he found greener pastures as a minister, the good times and hit records he produced would still inspire him, as he contributed to the book, 2001’s “Motown: The Golden Years”.
Wilson is survived by his six grandchildren, a sister, three brothers, and six children of his own.
Check out a video of The Supremes performing the Wilson-produced hit, “Love Child” in 1968