Wormz Obituaries

Maurice White

Band: Earth, Wind & Fire

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Maurice White died aged seventy-four from the ephoto of Maurice Whiteffects of Parkinson's disease at his home in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. on 4th February 2016 surrounded by his wife, Marilyn White; sons Kahbran and Eden; daughter Hamia ; brothers Verdine, Fred, Monte, and Ron; and sister Jeri. He was the eldest of nine siblings and his brother Verdine posted the following on Facebook:
My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep. While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life-changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well-wishes.
Maurice White was born in Memphis, Tennessee,U.S.A. on 19th December 1941 and grew up in South Memphis, where he lived with his grandmother in the Foote Homes Projects and was a childhood friend of Booker T Jones and David Porter. Along with Jones, Maurice White formed a "cookin' little band" while attending Booker T. Washington High School. He also made frequent trips to Chicago to visit his mother, Edna, and stepfather, Verdine Adams, who was a doctor and occasional saxophonist. During his teenage years, Maurice White moved to Chicago where he studied at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, and played drums in local nightclubs. By the mid-1960s he found work as a session drummer for Chess Records. While at Chess, he played on the records of artists including Etta James, Chuck Berry, Sonny Stitt, Muddy Waters, the Impressions, the Dells, Betty Everett, Sugar Pie DeSanto and Buddy Guy. Maurice White also played the drums on Fontella Bass's "Rescue Me", Billy Stewart's "Summertime" and Jackie Wilson's Higher and Higher. In 1962, along with other studio musicians at Chess, he was a member of the Jazzmen, who later became the Pharaohs.
By 1966, Maurice joined the Ramsey Lewis Trio, replacing Isaac "Red" Holt as the drummer. As a member of the Trio, Maurice played on several of their albums. One of these was 1966's Wade in the Water. The album track "Hold It Right There" went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Group Performance, Vocal or Group . With the Trio, Maurice White also played on 1966's The Movie Album and Goin' Latin of 1967. He also performed on The Trio's 1968 LPs Dancing in the Street, Up Pops Ramsey Lewis and Maiden Voyage. While in the group Maurice White was introduced in a Chicago drum store to the African thumb piano or kalimba. With this so the track "Uhuru" upon the Trio's 1969 LP Another Voyage' featured the first recording of Maurice White playing the kalimba.
In 1969, Maurice White left the Trio and joined his two friends, Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead, to form a songwriting team who wrote songs for commercials in the Chicago area. The three friends got a recording contract with Capitol Records and called themselves the Salty Peppers. They had a moderate hit in the Midwest area with their single "La La Time", but their second single, "Uh Huh Yeah", was not as successful. Maurice White then moved from Chicago to Los Angeles, and altered the name of Earth, Wind and Fire to Earth, Wind & Fire, Earth, Wind and Fire's new name reflecting the elements in his astrological chart.
With Maurice as Earth, Wind and Fireleader and producer of most of Earth, Wind and Fire's albums, EWF earned legendary status winning six Grammy Awards out of a staggering 17 nominations, a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame, and four American Music Awards. The group's albums have sold over 90 million copies worldwide. Other honors bestowed on Maurice as a member of Earth, Wind and Fire included inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, The Songwriters Hall of Fame and The NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame.
Maurice White brought the kalimba into mainstream use by incorporating its sound into the music of Earth, Wind & Fire. He was also responsible for expanding the group to include a full horn section at first being the Phenix Horns and then the Earth, Wind & Fire Horns. Maurice White eventually retired from touring in 1996. He retained executive control of Earth, Wind and Fire and was still very active in the music business, producing and recording with Earth, Wind and Fire and other artists.
A website entitled www.Startalk.org was also set up in 1999 in honour of Maurice. Maurice later spoke of an ongoing affliction with Parkinson's disease. Artistes such as Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Isaac Hayes, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine posted messages upon the site for Maurice White.[24]
From time to time he appeared on stage with Earth, Wind & Fire at several events such as the 2004 Grammy Awards Tribute to Funk. He also performed alongside Alicia Keys at Clive Davis's 2004 pre-Grammy awards party where they performed Earth, Wind and Fire's 1978 hit "September".[25][26]
With Maurice as Earth, Wind and Fireleader and producer of most of Earth, Wind and Fire's albums, EWF earned legendary status winning six Grammy Awards out of a staggering 17 nominations,[20] a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame, and four American Music Awards.[6] The group's albums have sold over 90 million copies worldwide.[1][6] Other honors bestowed on Maurice as a member of Earth, Wind and Fire included inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, The Songwriters Hall of Fame and The NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame.[21][22]
Maurice White brought the kalimba into mainstream use by incorporating its sound into the music of Earth, Wind & Fire.[18] He was also responsible for expanding the group to include a full horn section at first being the Phenix Horns and then the Earth, Wind & Fire Horns. Maurice White eventually retired from touring in 1996. He retained executive control of Earth, Wind and Fire and was still very active in the music business, producing and recording with Earth, Wind and Fire and other artists.
A website entitled www.Startalk.org was also set up in 1999 in honour of Maurice. Maurice later spoke of an ongoing affliction with Parkinson's disease.
From time to time he appeared on stage with Earth, Wind & Fire at several events such as the 2004 Grammy Awards Tribute to Funk. He also performed alongside Alicia Keys at Clive Davis's 2004 pre-Grammy awards party where they performed Earth, Wind and Fire's 1978 hit "September".
Maurice White also worked with several other famous recording artists. As such he played the drums on Minnie Riperton's 1970 debut album, Come to My Garden. Maurice White also went on to produce Ramsey Lewis' 1975 & 1976 albums Sun Goddess and Salongo. He also guested on Weather Report's 1978 album Mr. Gone. Maurice White went on to collaborate with gospel artist Walter Hawkins's on his 1980 album The Hawkins Family. Additionally he co-wrote the song "Only In Chicago" with Barry Manilow from his 1980 platinum album Barry. He also guested on the Tubes 1982 album Outside Inside.
Maurice White produced Jennifer Holliday's Grammy nominated 1983 LP Feel My Soul. As a composer he worked with English band ABC on their debut 1983 album The Lexicon of Love which went Gold and platinum in the UK and US respectively. Maurice White also produced Barbra Streisand on her 1984 Platinum album Emotion, Atlantic Starr on their 1986 Platinum LP All in the Name of Love and Neil Diamond on his 1986 Gold album Headed for the Future.
Maurice White also produced Ramsey Lewis's 1985 album Fantasy. The album reached number 13 on the Cashbox Jazz Albums chart. He later served as a guest artist on Lee Ritenour's Grammy nominated 1986 album Earth Run and Cher's 1987 self-titled platinum LP. As well he played percussion and coproduced Ramsey Lewis's 1987 album Keys to the City. Maurice White later featured on singer Eleanor's 1988 single "Adventure" which rose to number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.
As well he produced Ramsey Lewis's 1993 album Sky Islands. The album rose to number 6 on the Billboard Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. Maurice White went on to produce the debut album of the jazz group Urban Knights released in 1995 by GRP Records. Urban Knights I featured Ramsey Lewis, Brazilian percussionist Paulinho Da Costa, and American jazz saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr.. The album rose to number five on the Billboard Jazz Albums charts. The group's sophomore album Urban Knights II was also produced by Maurice. Urban Knights II featured appearances by Ramsey Lewis, Paulinho Da Costa, EW&F's bassist Verdine Maurice White, singer-songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Butler and jazz saxophonist Najee. The album got to number seven on the Billboard Jazz Albums charts. Maurice White also arranged for the British girl group Cleopatra on their 1998 album Comin' Atcha!. Comin' Atcha peaked at number 20 on the UK albums chart and was certified Silver in the UK by the BPI.
Maurice White also executively produced the group Xpression's 2000 album Power. This LP was the first to be released on his own record label, Kalimba Records. He also featured as a guest artist on Jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum's 2003 album Into My Soul. As well Maurice White guested with French jazz band Nojazz on the tracks "Nobody Else" and "Kool" off their 2006 album Have Fun. "Kool" marked the first time Maurice White collaborated with his friend Stevie Wonder.
Maurice White was executive producer for jazz musician Brian Culbertson's album Bringing Back The Funk which was released in 2image of Maurice White008. The album features, among others, Maurice White, former EW&F member Larry Dunn, Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham, Ledisi, Musiq Soulchild, Maceo Parker and Gerald Albright. Bringing Back
In 1985, Maurice White released a solo album entitled Maurice White. The album rose to number 12 in the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Appearing upon the LP was a cover of Ben E. King's "Stand by Me". With a guest appearance by jazz saxophonist Gerald Albright. Maurice White's version of "Stand by Me" got to numbers 6 and 11 on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles and Adult Contemporary Songs charts respectively.
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song:'Believe In Magic' by Maurice White