Producer Frank Wilson has died
Just announced, Frank has died of cancer. So very sorry to hear this
I have always enjoyed his work. He was a tremendously talented man. Great job Frank! Thanks and rest in peace.
A huge blow to the memory of Motown.
He is on Facebook as well.
Deepest sympathy to his family.
Rest in peace, Mr. Wilson. I am so thankful for his musical legacy. He was an extraordinary talent.
He had been in remission for prostate cancer for a good while so we were all hoping. He was raised in my hometown of Baton Rouge. His work on the Supremes, Tops and Eddie K will always be standouts. He has gone Up The Ladder To The Roof
Sad news indeed .. here is his classic recording .. "Do I Love You (Indeed I do)"
RIP Frank and thanks for the music .....
My prayers and best wishes go out to the family of Motown legend Mr. Frank Wilson.
As the bible rightly states "God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away and he will live in forever in eternal glory with our Heavenly Father."
Mr. Wilson is now free of pain in living in that Mansion in the Kingdom called Heaven.
Come with me
And we shall run across the sky
And illuminate the night
O-h-h-h, I will try and guide you
To better times and brighter days
Don't be afraid...
Come up the ladder to the roof
Where we can see heaven much better
Come up the ladder to the roof
Where we can be (where we can be) mmm...
(where we can be)...closer to heaven
Last edited by R. Mark Desjardins; 09-27-2012 at 08:50 PM.
Beautiful R. Mark Desjardins. Just real beautiful. May I print this out and frame it for my Motown wall at home?
Originally Posted by R. Mark Desjardins
Yours with every good wish.
I'm sorry to learn of this. Frank was a good friend to me many years ago and remains one of my brother's favorite producers to work with .
I remember reading that Frank and his wife Bunnie had become Ministers or Evangilists some years ago?
I am saddened to hear this bit of news. As a writer/producer Mr. Wilson leaves behind an impressive body of work. I have been reborn recently, however whenever I heard Mr. Wilsons lyrics from way back, I would connect with his lyrics on a very spiritual level. A Man of Faith, who I understand walked away from the secular into what was a more enriching life, he truly blessed us with his time on this earth.
From front to back, the LPs "Still Waters Run Deep," "Changing Times," and "Nature Planned It" are responsible for a lot of joy, comfort, and change in my life. For years, "Nature Planned It" has stood as my favorite song. I didn't know Mr. Wilson, but I feel his loss. RIP....
I believe Frank became an ordained minister. All this probably happened during his Gospel production years.
Ralph, I believe you are right. When you think about it, look back at some of Frank's most memorable work. It had a spiritualness about it. For example "Stoned Love" a soulful hymn if I ever heard one. "That's the Way Nature Planned It" with definite spirtual overtones, "Still Waters (Love)! Forget about it. That was Gospel Rock/Soul all the way. I personally did not know Frank, but people I know that knew him said he was a real good guy. A good man.
Originally Posted by ralpht
Yes you may reproduce this. You share lot on this board, and I am only too pleased to give back to you. Some background - the photo was taken on the lower east side of Vancouver, Canada on the outside wall of a social service "drop in center" for the homeless. Someone painted this and I had previously posted it on my Facebook page to honor a recently deceased friend. I now see just how appropriate it is for Frank Wilson. His loving "Touch" to the work of the later day Supremes will live on!
A Frank Wilson master production! "Stoned Love" y'all....
My brother Bruce informed me that he visited Frank just yesterday at The City Of Hope. Bruce did a lot of work with Frank out here in the 70's and always held Frank in the highest esteem. Bruce ran into Stevie Wonder as he was leaving the hospital. Nice that they both got to see their old friend before he passed.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to use this beautiful artwork R. Mark Desjardins. I'll frame it and place it on my Motown wall and every time I look at it I shall think of Frank Wison and you and I'll pray for the homeless that seek refuge in the shelter for Jesus said to them:
Originally Posted by R. Mark Desjardins
“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Thank God the homeless in Vancouver have this place to lay their heads.
God bless you.
Yes, he DID become an ordained minister...a number of folks on Facebook referred to him as 'Pastor Wilson'.
I just found out about this via FB...very sad news indeed. RIP, Pastor Wilson, and thank you for the great music...
RIP Frank! You may have left us, but your music will never die!
So sad. A remarkable talent indeed. He took the Motown sound and spirit, and took it up and away with his work with the Supremes, Tops and Eddie, and many others, in the Seventies.
This record was the first time I ever saw his name on a Motown label...
I was so saddened to hear this news early yesterday evening from Ian Levine in the UK, Frank was another who became a real Hero in the UK, Ian may have his critics but he stayed loyal to many artists when no other record company would release material.
It is sad to lose another great Artist but he has left us such warm musical memories, Thanks Frank, May You Rest in Peace!
I didn't fully appreciate Mr. Wilson's contribution to the Motown legacy until much later. Now that I have a better understanding of his work, I commend him. This is sad to hear. And a reminder that we are all getting older. But his work will be forever immortalized. R.I.P. Mr. Wilson.
Very sorry to hear this. Loved his work with The Supremes and Eddie Kendricks. RIP Frank Wilson.
Here is a little reminder of SOME of Frank Wilson's productions and songs written:
1963: "Stevie" - Patrice Holloway
1965: "Castles In the Sand" - Stevie Wonder
1965: "Somebody Else Somewhere Needs Me" - Tina Turner
1965: "I'm So Thankful" - Ikettes
1965: "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) - Frank Wilson
1966: "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" - Chris Clark
1966: "Whole Lot Of Shakin' In My Heart (Since I Met You)" - The Miracles
1966: "It's Easy to Fall in Love With a Guy Like You" - Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
1966: "McArthur Park" - Four Tops
1967: "You've Made Me So Very Happy" - Brenda Holloway, later covered by Blood, Sweat & Tears
1967: "All I Need" - The Temptations
1967: "I Can't Turn Around" - The Marvelettes
1968: "All Because I Love You" - The Isley Brothers
1967: "Chained" - Marvin Gaye
1967: "Every Now and Then" - Marvin Gaye
1967: "Temptations in a Mellow Mood" - The Temptations
1968: "Love Child" - Diana Ross & the Supremes
1969: "Diana Ross and the Supremes Join the Temptations" _ Diana Ross & the Supremes & the Temptations
1969: "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" - Diana Ross & the Supremes and The Temptations
1969: "I'm Livin' in Shame" - Diana Ross & the Supremes
1970: "Up the Ladder to the Roof" - The Supremes
1970: "Everybody's Got The Right To Love" - The Supremes
1970: "Still Water (Love)" - Four Tops
1970: "Stoned Love" - The Supremes
1970: "It's Time to Break Down" - The Supremes
1970: "Bridge Over Troubled Water" - The Supremes
1971: "It's the Way Nature Planned It" - Four Tops
1971: "Nathan Jones" - The Supremes
1971: "Touch" - The Supremes (Mary Wilson shared vocals with lead singer Jean Terrell)
1971: "This Is The Story" - The Supremes
1971: "Here Comes The Sunrise" - (The Supremes - Written by Clifton Davis)
1971: "Can I" - Eddie Kendricks
1971: "If You Let Me" - Eddie Kendricks
1972: "Girl You Need A Change of Mind"- Eddie Kendricks
1973: "Love Train" - The Supremes
1973: "Come Back Home" - Eddie Kendricks
1973: "Keep on Truckin'" - Eddie Kendricks
1974: "Boogie Down" - Eddie Kendricks
1975: "Going Down to Lovetown" - The Originals
1977: "If I Didn't Have You" - Lakeside
1977: "I'll Be There Knocking" - Lakeside
1977: "It Must Be Love"-Alton McClain & Destiny
1978: "Anatole`" - Frank Wilson
1977: "Deeper" - New Birth
1977: "Choosing You" - Lenny Williams
1977: "Love Magnet" - Freda Payne
1978: "Cause I Love You" - Lenny Williams
1978: "Stare & Whisper"-Renee Geyer
1978: "Be There in the Morning" Renee Geyer
1978: "You Got Me Running" - Lenny Williams
1978: "When I'm Dancing" - Lenny Williams
1977: "The Two of Us" - CD Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.
1994: "Motown Comes Home" - CD Various Artists
2002: "Lights, Action, Camera" - Mr. Cheeks
2006: "Each Day Gets Better" - John Legend
He was one of my all time favorite writers. I'm very sorry to hear this. RIP, Frank...
So very sorry to hear about Frank Wilson. Thanks for the news.
Frank Wilson was one of the best producers around, what a great talent he was. I listen to his work more times than I can count, and most importantly, NEVER get tired of it!
Sad news R.I.P Frank Wilson,you will alway be remembered as a supreme talent
Frank was such a big part of the Motown Machine,will never tire of his productions especillially DRATS-TEMPTATIONS COMBO,4 tops ,The Supremes and Eddie's beautiful CAN I, A wonderful man, God Bless Frank.
So much of what Mr. Wilson (Pastor Wilson) recorded on The Supremes after Diana left and the Four Tops really spoke to me, and still does. He did some amazing work and offered so much of himself through the music he made. Thank you, RIP.
The only video of Frank performing....... RIP
And an interesting demo of Frank with the Miracles....
Last edited by MIKEW-UK; 09-28-2012 at 02:23 PM.
Another legend gone,frank wilson was tha man with so many great productions...r.i.p.
RIP, Frank Wilson
We likes a genre of music whose most important artists, musicians, producers, etc. are sadly aged around 70-90 years old and, subsequently, we should to learn one sad notice after another... It is a "law of life" (or not!), but ever is so sad.
I don't have here my vynils, but i'm almost sure that one of my all time favorites, The Mighty Clods Of Joy's "Truth Is The Power" is writed and /or produced by Frank.
A good article on Frank Wilson published on the BBC website. It's a shame that the BBC used the wrong Supremes' picture.
Wilson seemed like a beautiful person, and was such a talented producer. He brought out great things in the Supremes, the Tops, Kendricks and others at critical times in their respective careers. He was one of the first producers whose work I would recognize and seek out even as a teenager hearing much of the music for the first time. It had a definite sound and feel, just as did Smokey Robinson's and Ivy Jo Hunter's. What a great talent.
I love the painting, also. Very beautifully rendered.
As I recall Frank Wilson was named Producer of the Year by Billboard Magazine more than once. He had consecutive major hit records on various Motown artists from 69-73. If memory serves me, only Eddie's Keep On Truckin' made it to No. 1. (I'm Gonna Make You Love Me was No. 1 Cashbox).
He did a great track post-Motown on Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. called Look What You've Done To My Heart. He also did a good lp for Motown toward the end of his days there on a still rather unknown singer called Kathe Green. Her Love City single still rocks
I am so sad to hear of Frank's passing. Frank was one of my favorite producers with Motown and his productions were top-notch. I still feel that his recording of "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" is one of the top 5 Motown songs ever recorded. I understand that Frank wanted to focus on writing and producing instead of becoming a singing artist, but Motown should have released the single regardless. To me, it was the biggest mistake Motown ever did in not releasing a song.
I feel that the 70's Supremes would not have been as successful on the charts if they didn't have Frank behind them. I think that he was the group's 2nd best writer/producer (the 1st being Holland-Dozier-Holland). His work on Still Waters Run Deep, New Ways But Loves Stays, and Nature Planned It contain some of the best work Motown ever put out.
He will sorely missed...
I'm sorry to hear of the passing of Frank Wilson.
A truly talented individual, who surely must rank as one of Motown's top writers and producers.
And he wasn't too bad a singer either!
A very nice man!
Our best and prayers to Frank's family.
An interesting, thorough read. Thanks for posting jobeterob.
Frank was an affable man with both a generous heart and a Motown soul. My heartfelt condolences to his wife, Bunny, and his children. His music lives on ,,, throw a record on an old stereo and give it a spin as a tribute to a gentleman.
Frank Wilson's Chart Legacy: From the Supremes and Marvin Gaye to the Miracles & Stevie Wonder (Videos)
October 01, 2012 | By Fred Bronson, Los Angeles
Motown producer/songwriter/artist Frank Wilson, who died on Sept. 27 after a long battle with prostate cancer, is one of the label's unsung heroes, having produced hits for almost every major Motown artist, including Diana Ross & the Supremes, the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Eddie Kendricks and Stevie Wonder. During his tenure with the label he also worked with Martha & the Vandellas, the Marvelettes, Brenda Holloway and the Originals.
'Motown: The Musical' to Open on Broadway in April
Wilson was born Dec. 5, 1940, in Houston, Texas and moved to Baton Rouge, La., to attend college but only stayed one year before relocating to Los Angeles, where he met independent label owners Hal Davis and Marc Gordon. They were interested in recording Wilson's wife, Barbara, and discovered that Frank was in a group called the Gospel Harps and was also a songwriter. When Berry Gordy asked Davis and Gordon to head-up a new Motown west coast office, they duo recruited Wilson to be part of their team. They collaborated on a track for a 1964 Stevie Wonder album titled "Stevie at the Beach." Released as a single, "Castles in the Sand" gave Wilson his first berth on the Hot 100.
"Not long after 'Castles in the Sand,' Berry asked me if I would move to Detroit," Wilson told Billboard in 2005. "When I got there - I mean literally I dropped my bags at the hotel and went right to Motown - Eddie Holland said there was a push on Smokey Robinson because Berry said we've got to have a hit. He asked me if I had anything and I had this little chord running through my mind and he said, 'Sing a little bit of it.' So I sang, 'Whole Lotta Shakin' in My Heart.' He said, 'I like that. How long is it going to take you to finish writing it?' Within two days I had a meeting with Smokey and I went over the verses with him. I didn't have the chords yet. Didn't have the bridge. I told him I'd have that that night. And so we rehearsed. We recorded the song the next day. Recorded Smokey's vocals the day after that and it became a single."
Wilson then worked with one of Motown's west coast artists, Brenda Holloway, producing and co-writing "Just Look What You've Done" and "You've Made Me So Very Happy," which was even more successful when covered by Blood, Sweat and Tears.
More hits followed, including "All I Need" for the Temptations and "Chained" for Marvin Gaye. The former gave Wilson his first top 10 hit on the Hot 100, but the latter stalled for an unusual reason. Wilson recalled: "'Chained' was doing great and then they dropped the album. There was another track on the LP that everybody went on it right away and killed 'Chained.'" That other track was "I Heard It Through the Grapevine."
Next up was an album teaming Diana Ross & the Supremes with the Temptations. Motown executive Suzanne de Passe brought Wilson a song written by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Jerry Ross. "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" had already been recorded by Dee Dee Warwick and Madeline Bell, but Wilson's production had far more success, peaking at No. 2 on the Hot 100.
At the same time, Gordy wanted to return Diana Ross & the Supremes to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard singles chart. "Berry told us to go away for a weekend and not come out until we had a hit for Diane. And so we went to a suite at the Pontchartrain Hotel and got cocktails and didn't sleep. We just kept coming up with ideas and thoughts," said Wilson, who was in the suite with R. Dean Taylor, Pam Sawyer, Deke Richards and Henry Cosby. They came up with "Love Child," which returned Motown's leading femme trio to pole position.
When Ross exited the Supremes for a solo career, Wilson was charged with producing the first album with replacement vocalist, Jean Terrell. Wilson: "The pressure was on to make certain that the asset that the Supremes represented was not diminished because they lost their lead. The idea was to take advantage of the name and see how much mileage we can get out of it if we put out a great song."
Wilson discovered a talented songwriter in New York named Vincent DiMirco. "He was writing with a guitar and most of our stuff had been done with a piano," Wilson said in the Billboard interview. "I liked the idea of a song that was more influenced by guitar. So I flew to New York, visited him at his house with his family and we just wrote." It only took them one day to compose "Up the Ladder to the Roof," which became the first post-Ross Supremes single. It soared to No. 10 on the Hot 100 and was followed by a string of Wilson-produced hits: "Everybody's Got the Right to Love," "Stoned Love" and "Nathan Jones."
In 1973, Wilson returned to the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 when he worked with Eddie Kendricks, who stepped out of the Temptations for a solo career. "Keep On Truckin' (Part 1)" occupied the penthouse for two weeks. A year later, Kendricks' "Boogie Down" peaked at No. 2. Wilson also produced the Four Tops and the Originals in the '70s.
While Wilson will be remembered for being a producer and a songwriter, he was also briefly a Motown artist. His single, "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" is an important part of Motown history, but not for being a hit. The legend is that only 250 promo copies were pressed and then, when Gordy decided not to release it, destroyed. But a few copies survived, and in 2009 one of those rare singles sold in the U.K. for £25,742 (about $41, 575).
Wilson became a born-again Christian and left the music industry in 1976, until he met a vocal group, Lakeside, in Bible studies, and produced them along with Freda Payne, New Birth, Lenny Williams from Tower of Power and Billy Davis, Jr. & Marilyn McCoo. In 1979, Wilson had a hit with Alton McClain & Destiny. "But the passion wasn't the same," Wilson admitted. "Before, I'd stay up all night and the idea was to have a number one record. If it wasn't a number one record, I'd throw it away. This time, it wasn't the same and I knew it."
Wilson almost returned to the music business one more time. "I came back to do a project for Motown because I thought there were a lot of artists who worked in the church who would love to express themselves musically. I convinced [then president and CEO] Jheryl Busby of it and he agreed. But other than that I don't even have the desire. In terms of writing, I would probably be a far better writer today because I have a greater understanding of songwriting," Wilson said during that 2005 Billboard interview. "Back then, the songwriting was driven by production. I would think production and writing almost simultaneously. Now I only think of a great song."
Below is a list of Frank Wilson's top 20 Hot 100 hits as a producer. The ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from each era, certain time frames were weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those years.
FRANK WILSON'S TOP 20 HITS AS A PRODUCER ON THE HOT 100
(Position-Title-Artist-Peak Position on Hot 100-Year)
1 Keep On Truckin' (Part 1), Eddie Kendricks, No. 1 for 2 weeks (1973)
2 Love Child, Diana Ross & the Supremes, No. 1 for 2 weeks (1968)
3 Boogie Down, Eddie Kendricks, No. 2 (1974)
4 I'm Gonna Make You Love Me, Diana Ross & the Supremes and the Temptations, No. 2 (1969)
5 Stoned Love, The Supremes, No. 7 (1970)
6 All I Need, the Temptations, No. 8 (1967)
7 Up the Ladder to the Roof, the Supremes, No. 10 (1969)
8 Shoeshine Boy, Eddie Kendricks, No. 18 (1975)
9 Still Water (Love), Four Tops, No. 11 (1970)
10 I'm Livin' in Shame, Diana Ross & the Supremes, No. 10 (1968)
11 Nathan Jones, the Supremes, No. 16 (1971)
12 Everybody's Got the Right to Love, the Supremes, No. 21 (1970)
13 It Must Be Love, Alton McClain & Destiny, No. 32 (1979)
14 Chained, Marvin Gaye, No. 32 (1968)
15 MacArthur Park (Part II), Four Tops, No. 38 (1971)
16 You've Made Me So Very Happy, Brenda Holloway, No. 39 (1967)
17 Down to Love Town, the Originals, No. 47 (1976)
18 (It's the Way) Nature Planned It, Four Tops, No. 53 (1972)
19 Whole Lot of Shakin' in My Heart (Since I Met You), the Miracles, No. 46 (1966)
20 Castles in the Sand, Little Stevie Wonder, No. 52 (1964)
Read more at http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/indus...3Yj6yd4MqYT.99
Heard from Bruce who attended Frank Wilsons funeral today. He tells me that the service was jam packed. Saw many west coast music personalities, many of them he hasn't seen in years. Yes, Rev Wilson will be missed.
RIP Frank Wilson, thank you for all the wonderful music.