Don Myrick

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Don Myrick (April 6, 1940 – July 30, 1993) was a saxophonist.

He played alto, tenor and soprano sax and was a member of Earth, Wind & Fire's original horn section, The Phenix Horns Esq. from 1975 through 1982. Previously, Myrick had been a member of the musical group The Pharaohs. Myrick is also credited as a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM)[1]

Some of his most famous saxophone solos include Phil Collins' "One More Night", even featuring Myrick performing the sax solo in the official music video, filmed in a London pub. Another was the live recording of "Reasons" featured on the Earth Wind & Fire Gratitude album, and "After the Love Has Gone" from the album I Am. He performed with many prominent musicians including Grover Washington, Jr. and Carlos Santana.[2] Myrick appeared on albums by artists including Bobby “Blue” Bland, The Dells, Regina Belle, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, and Heaven 17.

Earth, Wind & Fire's single "Runnin'" earned him the 1977/78 Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental.[2]


Myrick was fatally shot in Los Angeles, California by a Santa Monica policeman during a narcotics investigation.[3] While attempting to serve a search warrant, Police Officer Gary Barbaro mistook a butane lighter in Myrick's hand for a weapon. He fired a single bullet that hit Myrick in the chest. Myrick died in the hospital shortly afterwards, aged 53 years.[4]

Following a funeral service at a Baptist church, his body was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles County.

Myrick was survived by his mother, Antoinette Myrick-Carr (now deceased), wife Barbara (now deceased), and three daughters; Shani, Lauren, Shirika Myrick, and a cousin, Elliot Myrick. In 1995, their wrongful death lawsuit against the city was settled for $400,000.[5]

Decades after his death, he still lies in an unmarked grave (Lot 1034, Grave B, West end of plot) in the 'El Portal' section of the Inglewood Park Cemetery[6] in the South Los Angeles community of Inglewood, California.


With Jack McDuff


  1. ^ Ervin, Mike (1994). Hey Donald (Media notes). Roscoe Mitchell. 
  2. ^ a b "Saxophonist Donald Myrick fatally shot in drug probe", Jet, 23 August 1993.
  3. ^ Chazanov, Mathis. Obituary. The Los Angeles Times, 15 August 1993.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Associated Press. "Lawsuit settled in Donald Myrick’s death", 4 August 1995.
  6. ^

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