Deke Richards

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Deke Richards
Birth name Dennis Lussier
Also known as Deke Lussier
Born (1944-04-08)April 8, 1944
Los Angeles, California, United States
Died March 24, 2013(2013-03-24) (aged 68)
Bellingham, Washington, US
Genres Rhythm and blues, pop
Occupation(s) Record producer, songwriter
Labels Motown
Associated acts Debbie Dean, The Jackson 5, Diana Ross and the Supremes, etc.

Deke Richards (born Dennis Lussier,[1] April 8, 1944 – March 24, 2013), also known as Deke Lussier,[2] was an American songwriter and record producer, one of many white musicians/songwriters who were affiliated with Motown.[3] He is notable for being a member of both The Clan and The Corporation, the latter being a hitmaking production team that wrote and produced The Jackson 5's early hits,[3] including "I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", "Mama's Pearl", and "Maybe Tomorrow".


He was born in Los Angeles, California;[4] his father was the screenwriter Dane Lussier. Deke Lussier portrayed one of the band members in the movie Eegah in 1962.[2] He later used the stage name Deke Richards. While playing in a band that backed singer Debbie Dean, he wrote a song for her, and met Berry Gordy when The Supremes played at the Hollywood Palace in 1966. Gordy was impressed, and signed Richards to a contract as record producer and songwriter.[4]

As well as working with the Jacksons, he also wrote and produced for Bobby Darin, Martha and the Vandellas, The Blackberries, and Stacie Johnson, among others,[2] and produced Diana Ross and the Supremes after Holland, Dozier and Holland left Motown in 1968.[4] He co-wrote the US no.1 hit "Love Child" for the Supremes, and was solely responsible for "I'm Still Waiting", a UK no.1 hit, for Diana Ross.[5] He and fellow writer Sherlie Matthews also formulated the vocal sextet Celebration, which released an album on Motown's Mowest label, in an attempt to replicate the success of the 5th Dimension.

Richards died of esophageal cancer on March 24, 2013 at age 68.[5]


  1. ^ BBC News, Jackson 5 producer Deke Richards dies aged 68, March 26, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Weaver, Tom (2005). Earth vs. the sci-fi film makers. McFarland. p. 176. ISBN 0-7864-2210-6. 
  3. ^ a b "From Motown to LA, Michael Jackson left a lasting mark". Detroit News. June 26, 2009.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  4. ^ a b c Hollywood Reporter, Deke Richards, Motown Songwriter and Producer, Dies at 68, March 25, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  5. ^ a b The Detroit News, Deke Richards, of Motown's The Corporation, dies, March 25, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013.

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