Verdine White

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Verdine White
Verdine White 2010.jpg
White with Earth Wind, and Fire performing in 2010 in the Netherlands
Background information
Birth name Verdine White
Born (1951-07-25) July 25, 1951 (age 63)
Chicago, Illinois,
United States
Genres R&B, funk, soul, jazz fusion
Occupations Musician
Record producer
Instruments Bass guitar
Years active 1969–present
Associated acts Earth, Wind & Fire
Level 42
Website Official website

Verdine White (born July 25, 1951) is the bassist for Earth, Wind & Fire and the younger brother of band founder Maurice White. White is known for his high energy and dancing while playing his bass guitar during Earth, Wind & Fire concerts.

Early life[edit]

Verdine was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 25, 1951. His father, Verdine Sr., was a doctor who also played the saxophone. He grew up listening to recordings of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and other jazz musicians. He was also influenced by his two drummer brothers, Fred and Maurice White, the Motown sound, and the Beatles. When he was 15, he saw a Double bass in his high school orchestra class and decided that he wanted to play bass.

He soon got a red electric bass and, taking the advice of brother Maurice and his father, took private lessons from Radi Velah of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, learning the Bille double bass method[clarification needed], and on weekends learned the electric bass with Chess Records session bassist and trombonist Louis Satterfield, who would later become a member of Earth, Wind & Fire’s famed horn section, The Phenix Horns. Verdine says he learned everything about the bass guitar from Louis Satterfield, and some of his early bass influences were James Jamerson, Paul McCartney, and Gary Karr.

Moving toward a newly bought Fender Telecaster bass instead of the upright bass, Verdine began working the Chicago club scene with local bands. Meanwhile, brother Maurice, who was a former session drummer at Chess Records and a member of pianist Ramsey Lewis’s trio, had formed the Salty Peppers, scoring a local hit that caught the ears of Capitol Records. In early 1970 Maurice moved to Los Angeles, hoping to record the group, which he had renamed Earth, Wind & Fire and called up Verdine asking whether he would like to join, which he did, arriving in Los Angeles on June 6, 1970.

Earth, Wind & Fire[edit]

White performing in the Netherlands, 1982

As Earth, Wind & Fire's bassist since the band's inception, White has won six Grammy Awards, has been Grammy nominated seventeen times and has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame to name a few honors. The band has also earned more than 50 gold and platinum albums and have sold over 90 million albums worldwide.[1][2]

In November 2008 White was presented with Bass Player magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award by Nathan East.[3] On Friday, February 26, 2010 Verdine was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity at the ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, California.[4]

Philanthropy[edit]

In 2007 Verdine was inducted into the Boys and Girls Club's Alumni Hall of Fame.[5][6] White is also the co-founder of the Verdine White Foundation which aims to provide musical education to underprivileged and gifted students.[7]

Personal life[edit]

He lives in Cary Grant’s old Los Angeles neighborhood, in a house built in 1919 with his wife of 35 years Shelly (Michelle) Clark of the R&B group Honey Cone.[8]

Solo discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Larry Dunn Biography on Allmusic.com
  2. ^ Maurice White Biography on Allmusic.com
  3. ^ "BASS PLAYER LIVE! Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients". Bass Player Magazine. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2011-12-17. 
  4. ^ "PHI BETA SIGMA GOES HOLLYWOOD". pbs1914.org. Retrieved 2011-12-17. 
  5. ^ "2007 Annual Report - Inspiring a Generation". bgca.org. Retrieved 16 June 2009. 
  6. ^ "Alumni Hall of Fame". bgca.org. Retrieved 16 June 2009. 
  7. ^ "The Verdine White Foundation". verdinewhite.org. Retrieved 16 June 2009. 
  8. ^ "Shining Star Verdine White". bassplayer.com. Retrieved November 2005. 
  9. ^ "Verdine White - Credits". allmusic.com. Retrieved 9 June 2009. 

External links[edit]