Henry (Hank) Cosby

Soulful Detroit Forum: Archives: Henry (Hank) Cosby
Top of pageBottom of page   By John Lester (213.1.135.17 - 213.1.135.17) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 06:26 am:

I have just read the most terrible news. My idol, Henry (Hank) Cosby has passed away. The Motown Alumini Association broke the news.

Not much in the way of detail is known at present but it is most unlikely that they would get it wrong.

All thoughts must go out to loved ones at this time.

BUT a personal message from me to my idol.

Thanks Hank........for 37 years....you have been my life.....I could never have made it to here without your music to keep me going.

John Lester (London) 23 January 2002

Top of pageBottom of page   By david, glasgow, scotland (213.123.65.16 - 213.123.65.16) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 08:32 am:

more bad news.

there just seems to be no end to this.

how do you feel about doing a tribute on this forum john?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London (62.31.40.173 - 62.31.40.173) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 03:21 pm:

It is always a blow to hear sad news like this. It never seems to end. John, write a few words about him, it would be appreciated.

Carl Dixon

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph Terrana (209.240.222.130 - 209.240.222.130) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 04:14 pm:

This is truly sad news. So few of the original musical pioneers left. A terrible loss. Hank was a great guy.

Top of pageBottom of page   By John Lester (213.122.194.156 - 213.122.194.156) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 08:38 pm:

I WILL say something...maybe later on....this has really choked me inside - more than I expected....Hank was my raison d'etre and I never even got the chance to thank him personally.

The Hearts Of Stone may have said "Yesterday's Love Is Over" but my love for Mr Cosby will never be over.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Dave Moore (193.165.192.184 - 193.165.192.184) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 09:09 pm:

Another inspirational artist has now left us. The thing I think about at times like this is that all the late great Motown people must meet and greet each other at the pearly gates and hold a reunion. Imagine Mr DeWalt, Marvin, Tammi, Flo, James Jamerson, Levi, etc etc waiting to greet you. Hank......gone but never forgotten, the music and the spirit lasts forever.......hope you enjoy the reunion....you are now part of God's Band.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Cal/Carolyn Gill Street, Lead Singer for the Velvelettes (141.218.243.179 - 141.218.243.179) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 09:21 pm:

I am very saddened with the news of Hank Cosby's passing. He will always be remembered for his gentleman qualities and kind heart. His warm smile and interpersonal qualities will serve as an example of how a talented musician should be. Hank and his wife, Pat, were an admirable couple whom we always respected. Hank was a very talented person and and the Velvelettes enjoyed working with him both in the studio and live shows. Hank is, indeed, a loss to us, but he is also a gift to God. God bless Hank's family in this time of great sorrow.

Top of pageBottom of page   By John Lester (213.1.129.33 - 213.1.129.33) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 11:48 pm:

Thank you for those kind words Cal and for coming on here to acknowldege this great man.

Hank was with Motown almost from inception (1962 to 1973). He started out as a musician and in those early days played tenor sax on Eddie Holland's "Candy To Me" and "Leaving Here", Marvin's "Can I Get A Witness" and the Darnells "Come On Home". Hank worked with John Lee Hooker on his first recording date in Chicago whilst playing on tour for Jackie Wilson.

But Hank was talented - he proved it as a writer and producer through his association with Stevie Wonder...just look at these titles...Uptight, Nothing's Too Good For My Baby, Ain't That Asking For Trouble, Pretty Little Angel, I Was Made to Love Her, For Once In My Life, Shoo Bee Doo Be Doo Da Day, I'm Wondering, My Cherie Amour, Thank You Love, Be Cool Be Calm (and Get Yourself Together), Angel Baby, I'd Cry, Everytime I See You I Go Wild, Never Had A Dream Come True......it goes on and on. I have to mention my own additonal personal Stevie favourites - I'm More Than Happy (I'm Satisfied), Somebody Knows, Somebody Cares, Give Your Love, I've Got You, Stevie's "My Girl", I Can't Let My Heaven Walk Away, Why Don't You Lead Me To Love...

But Hank didn't work with just Stevie.....he worked with Martha (I Should Be Proud) Jr Walker (Home Cookin') Brenda Holloway (Hurt A Little Everyday), Edwin Starr (Love Is My Destination), Miracles (Tears Of A Clown), Supremes (No Matter What Sign You Are), Marvelettes (I Should Have Known Better) Dalton Boys (I've Been Cheated).....and with my dear Velvelettes (and also the Vandellas) on "I'm In Love (and I Know It)". He is also a credited producer on Earl Van Dyke's "That Motown Sound".

Much later, he worked with Jonah Jones, Claude Francois, Hearts of Stone and lots more and let's not forget that it was Hank's idea to group Motown's top people to form "The Clan" for "Love Child".

Cal has spoken about Hank the person. I come here to acknowledge the music that Hank gave me, you and all of us.

Rest in peace Hank....I shall miss you...

John Lester

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie (62.254.0.6 - 62.254.0.6) on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:17 pm:

I think the messages here prove that Hank's passing will not go unnoticed, at least among those who look further than the artist's name on a record. One title in your list of Stevie's songs seems quite appropriate in this situation: Somebody Knows, Somebody Cares. We do.
--Ritchie--

Top of pageBottom of page   By david, glasgow, scotland (213.122.209.155 - 213.122.209.155) on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:52 pm:

7 of hank's songs picked up BMI awards.

fingertips
i'm living in shame
i was made to love her
my cherie amour
never had a dream come true
shoo be doo be doo da day
uptight

one can only imagine how stevie wonder is feeling about hank's passing.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph Terrana (209.240.222.130 - 209.240.222.130) on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 04:25 pm:

Good point about Stevie David.Hank was extremely instrumental in shaping Stevie's early career.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay McMurray (64.108.57.62 - 64.108.57.62) on Friday, January 25, 2002 - 02:39 pm:

I got a call from Hank's wife Pat on Tuesday and knew deep inside that it was a call I did'nt want to return because ordinarily it was always Hank himself who would call me. Last year Hank cut his last session at my Studio in Detroit on a young lady he came out of retiremnet to record,because he felt so strong about her potential. The song which Hank also co-wrote was called "A Kiss In The Dark" and I had the pleasure of engineering the date and sitting with Hank once again as he
conducted the live(real musicians)throughout the date. I was beaming as I watched Hank do his thing just like he did at Motown and I could see
he was enjoying doing it from scratch once again.
He called it a demo,but Hank did'nt cut demo's he made records and what we did those few days was
nothing short of his excellence. I tried to encourage him to continue cutting and we had planned to do more work together,because he felt good working in my room,which is similiar to the size and makeup of the one and only Motown studio
still located on West Grand Blvd. My memory of Hank will forever be etched in my mind and heart as my priviledge of working on the last project of one of Motown's greatest musicans,producer,
writer,arranger,a&r director,good guy and mentor.

Hank, you were special that's why God sent you home to look after the cats and the kittens(Jameson,Benny,Bongo,Dave,Robert,Earl,Marvin,
Ronnie,David,Eddie,Melvin,Lawrence,Maurice,Choker,Beans,Sammy,Shorty,Joe,Ty,Herschel,Fuller,Tom, Frankie,Florence,Mary,Sandy,Tammie,Johnnie Mae and any others that I'm sure only you'll remember.

Great Work My Friend,Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By david, glasgow, scotland (62.252.128.5 - 62.252.128.5) on Friday, January 25, 2002 - 04:29 pm:

thanks to clay for that special tribute.

the detroit news are currently working on their own tribute.

watch this space.

Top of pageBottom of page   By John Lester (213.1.135.149 - 213.1.135.149) on Friday, January 25, 2002 - 09:05 pm:

Clay

How poignant....and said like a true friend...

Thank you from me too.....

I hope I can get to hear that session with Hank someday.......I worship that man

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London (62.31.40.173 - 62.31.40.173) on Monday, January 28, 2002 - 01:30 pm:

The Metropolitan soul all nighter, Saturday/Sunday just gone here in London, promised to mention/dedicate something connected with Hank Cosby. Ian Levine confirmed they would and no doubt they did. Sadly the sound system may have disguised it, as it was quite poor in my opinion. I know they played 'The Next in Line' by Hoagy Lands proceeded by a possible tribute too. Even though I left early, but tempted into the record bar on the way out, it was a great night and good venue, apart from the sound quality in the upstairs room. Downstairs in the modern room was excellent. My wife and I had the enormous pleasure of meeting 'Ade' who had ventured down from Glasgow with his chums. Noticing a number of 'well dressed' soul all nighters mulling about and itching to get dancin', I approached them to ask whether or not they were who I thought they were!! Indeed they were! On that note, I must say, that this forum has been the 'soul' reason why a number of things are happening in my life at the moment. I have in the last three weeks realised that our passion reaches far beyond what anyone can imagine. Meeting you Ade, would never have happened and indeed me venturing to my first all nighter and seeing with my eyes the immense interest in music from our soulful friends in the USA. Had you not mentioned it, I doubt I would have even known about it. I saw records selling for £400 each and a spirit of togetherness with all ages there for a good time. Thank you Soulfuldetroit and to those making wonderful contributions that make 'logging on' even more worthwhile. The Tera Shirma story is super and if we could persuade Mike Terry for a few comments too it would be great. If not, we still love his great contribution to the music we love. After all, we hear it every day! I still think a 'Tera Shirma' tee shirt would go down a treat at the next all nighter Ade!! What do you think?? I now have Motown, Gordy and Sigma shirts too. They are starting to wear a little as I am always wearing them.

Thanks

Carl Dixon

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph Terrana (209.240.222.130 - 209.240.222.130) on Monday, January 28, 2002 - 07:16 pm:

Carl,
A TERA SHIRMA TEE SHIRT????
This just keeps getting more amazing.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ade (193.129.220.205 - 193.129.220.205) on Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 07:04 am:

Carl et al.

They played the dalton boys (after a further request!) just after 4am! The numbers had dramatically reduced by that time and by 6am there were probably only about 200 in the hall. On the whole though it was a great night (nice to meet some more fellow forum folk) and there were a great number of awesome tracks played ("Because of you" got another airing David, along with the customary 500 people clapping in time - hairs on the back of the neck stuff). Southern based users should keep their eyes peeled for some mention of the night on the TV as there were at least two press teams there!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London (62.31.40.173 - 62.31.40.173) on Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 07:49 am:

TV - that could be embarrasing. At least an acknowledgement for the talents of Mr Cosby was secured. Ade, I still think we need to discuss the amount of buttons on your trousers. Do you carry a needle and thread around with you?

Top of pageBottom of page   By david. glasgow, scotland (213.122.95.61 - 213.122.95.61) on Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 08:46 am:

hank cosby obituary now online at detroit news...
http://detnews.com/2002/entertainment/0201/31/d01-402910.htm

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie Hardin (62.254.0.5 - 62.254.0.5) on Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 08:56 am:

David - thanks for that. Nice tribute.

I can't believe that early Funk Brothers picture is the only photo of Hank. (I currently have it up as the club picture at Soulsville, but that's only because I didn't have anything else.)

Top of pageBottom of page   By John Lester (213.1.165.82 - 213.1.165.82) on Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 02:20 pm:

There are not many about...I do have something different but I have no scanner.

Top of pageBottom of page   By david, glasgow, scotland (62.7.53.9 - 62.7.53.9) on Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 04:21 pm:

i can hear someone saying....'well get your ass out and buy one'!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By John Lester (213.122.193.204 - 213.122.193.204) on Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 08:36 pm:

I can't hear that at all....maybe I should get an ear trumpet too!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie Hardin (62.254.0.5 - 62.254.0.5) on Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 09:27 pm:

Ear trumpet? I wouldn't bother, John. I bought one and can't get a damn note out of it!

Top of pageBottom of page   By david, glasgow, scotland (62.252.128.5 - 62.252.128.5) on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 05:54 pm:

someone at the uk's 'independent' newspaper has been asking the detroit news for info on hank cosby for purposes of an obituary.

if anyone reads the article perhaps they could let us know what it was like.

spencer lee may be the name.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Bob Olhsson (68.53.120.100 - 68.53.120.100) on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 06:25 pm:

My fondest memory of Hank Cosby is the time I ruined a rhythm session of his. He was totally supportive of my need to learn when he had every right to be angry as hell with me.

Hank and Pat are among my idols, proof that really nice people can be successful. Hank lives on in many of our hearts.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Bob Olhsson (68.53.120.100 - 68.53.120.100) on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 06:54 pm:

What the article doesn't say is that Hank was also a Motown executive with responsibilities that included finding songs, signing artists, and hiring musicians and arrangers. He managed our A&R department and additionally filled in as a band leader and an arranger. When something needed to be done, Hank was often the person who made it happen. Hank Cosby was our resident music expert exactly as Mike McLean was our resident technology expert.

I don't think any individual besides Berry Gordy himself fulfilled as many different roles as Hank did in the day to day operations of the company.

Top of pageBottom of page   By david, glasgow, scotland (62.252.128.5 - 62.252.128.5) on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 07:31 pm:

setting the record straight.

thanks for that bob.

Top of pageBottom of page   By John Lester (213.122.204.96 - 213.122.204.96) on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 09:31 pm:

Bob....why did he leave....

I missed Hank's music terribly...and I had to wait for him to work with Ronnie Dyson and then Martha Reeves

Top of pageBottom of page   By Bob Olhsson (68.53.120.100 - 68.53.120.100) on Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 01:11 am:

I have no idea, I think I left before he did.


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