Frank Wilson (musician)

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Frank Wilson
Background information
Birth nameFrank Edward Wilson[1]
Born(1940-12-05)December 5, 1940
Houston, Texas
DiedSeptember 27, 2012(2012-09-27) (aged 71)
Duarte, California
GenresSoul, gospel
Occupation(s)Songwriter, record producer
Years active1965–2012
LabelsMotown Records

Frank Edward Wilson (December 5, 1940 – September 27, 2012)[1] was an American songwriter, singer and record producer for Motown Records.


In 1963, Berry Gordy asked the producers Hal Davis and Marc Gordon to set up an office of Motown in Los Angeles. Wilson accepted an offer to join the team. In December 1963, "Stevie" by Patrice Holloway (V.I.P. 25001) was the first single released from the West Coast operation and featured Wilson in the songwriting credits. Asked by Gordy to re-locate to Detroit, Wilson went on to write and produce hit records for Brenda Holloway, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, the Miracles, the Four Tops, the Temptations, Eddie Kendricks, and more. He became particularly important after Holland-Dozier-Holland left the company. Additionally, after leaving Motown, Wilson produced a gold disc earning album by Lenny Williams, former lead singer for Tower of Power, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr., former members of the Fifth Dimension, Alton McClain & Destiny, New Birth and the Grammy nominated album, Motown Comes Home.

He also launched his own publishing firms, Traco Music and Specolite Music, Ascap and BMI companies. During the next four years, Wilson recorded, released and published more than 40 copyrighted compositions, including, "It Must Be Love", by Judy Wieder & John Footman, "Stares and Whispers" by Terry McFadden and John Footman, "Star Love" by Judy Wieder and John Footman, and "You Got Me Running" by Judy Wieder and Clay Drayton. Earlier, Wilson had also tried his hand at being a recording artist himself, recording the single "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" for release on the Motown subsidiary label 'Soul.'[2] Supposedly 250 demo 45s were pressed, but by that time Wilson decided he would rather focus on producing and he had the demos trashed. Somehow at least two known copies survived, one of which fetched over £25,000 in May 2009.[3]

Because of the scarcity of the original single and the high quality of the music (it was one of the most popular records in the Northern soul movement),[4] it is one of the rarest and most valuable records in history[5] (along with other extremely rare records by such acts as Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, and the Five Sharps).

Wilson left Motown in 1976 and became a born again Christian.[2] He became a minister, traveling and writing books with his wife Bunny Wilson, and was also involved in the production of gospel music as well.[2] In 2004, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Vision International University in Ramona, California, and founded the New Dawn Christian Village in Los Angeles.


Wilson is the author of The Master Degree-Majoring in Your Marriage and Unmasking the Lone Ranger, a best seller for men. Both were published by Harvest House Publishers. He conducted Unmasking the Lone Ranger and Master's Degree seminars nationally and internationally based upon his books. Wilson has also appeared on numerous television talk shows including, Two on the Town, The Other Half, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.[2]

Early and personal life[edit]

Wilson was born on December 5, 1940, in Houston, Texas, to James Wilson and Samanther Gibbs.[6] Wilson attended Southern University in Baton Rouge but only for one year; he had participated in a civil rights protest and lost his scholarship in his sophomore year.[6] While still in his teens, he moved to Los Angeles, California.

His first marriage was to singer Barbara Jean Dedmon, however she died in 1966.[6] His second wife was Bunny Wilson, together they had four daughters including the author, Fawn Weaver. He also had one son from a prior relationship.[6]

Wilson died on September 27, 2012, in Duarte, California, after a long battle with prostate cancer, at the age of 71.[1][7][6]


Frank Wilson performances
Year Title Album title Album type Notes
1965 Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) Single L.P. Approx. only 250 demo 45s of the song were pressed
1966 Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) / Sweeter As The Days Go By L.P. 7" Soul Records
1978 Anatole
1999 Songs Of Dayspring (album) Songs Of Dayspring Audio CD Gospel album, Ava-Avalon Label Group
2002 "My Sugar Baby" A Cellarful of Motown! (various artists) Audio CD Previously unreleased Motown Records recording, issued on album A Cellarful of Motown! (UK only)
2016 "My Sugar Baby" Northern Soul All-Nighter (various artists) Audio CD boxset On the album Northern Soul All-Nighter, various artists
2016 "I'll Be Satisfied" One Track Mind! (various artists) Audio CD Kent Records UK. Previously Unreleased Motown recording cut in L.A. with the Wrecking Crew.

Songwriting and song production highlights[edit]


Year Album production title Artist Notes
1967 The Temptations in a Mellow Mood The Temptations
1968 Diana Ross & the Supremes Join The Temptations Diana Ross & the Supremes and The Temptations
1970 New Ways but Love Stays The Supremes
1971 Touch The Supremes
1977 The Two of Us Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. Frank Wilson as album composer.[8]
1994 Motown Comes Home Various artists Motown Record Company


Year Songwriting title Artist(s) Notes
1963 "Stevie" Patrice Holloway
1965 "Castles In the Sand" Stevie Wonder [2]
1965 "Somebody Needs You" Ike & Tina Turner Catalog number Loma 2015
1965 "I'm So Thankful" Ikettes [2]
1965 "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) Frank Wilson
1965 "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" Chris Clark
1966 "Whole Lot Of Shakin' In My Heart (Since I Met You)" The Miracles [2]
1966 "It's Easy to Fall in Love With a Guy Like You" Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
1967 "Just Look What You've Done" Brenda Holloway
1967 "You've Made Me So Very Happy" Brenda Holloway, later covered by Blood, Sweat & Tears [2]
1967 "All I Need" The Temptations [2]
1967 "I Can't Turn Around" The Marvelettes [2]
1967 "Chained" Marvin Gaye [2]
1967 "Every Now and Then" Marvin Gaye
1968 "All Because I Love You" The Isley Brothers
1968 "Love Child" Diana Ross & the Supremes [2]
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 [2]
1970 "Up the Ladder to the Roof" The Supremes [2]
1970 "Everybody's Got The Right To Love" The Supremes
1970 "Still Water (Love)" Four Tops [2]
1970 "Stoned Love" The Supremes [2]
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 [2]
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
1972 "If You Let Me" Eddie Kendricks
1972 "Girl You Need A Change of Mind" Eddie Kendricks
1973 "Love Train" The Supremes
1973 "Darling Come Back Home Eddie Kendricks
1973 "Keep on Truckin'" Eddie Kendricks [2]
1974 "Boogie Down" Eddie Kendricks [2]
1975 "Down to Love Town" The Originals
1977 "If I Didn't Have You" Lakeside
1977 "I'll Be There Knocking" Lakeside
1977 "It Must Be Love" Alton McClain and Destiny
1977 "Deeper" New Birth
1977 "Choosing You" Lenny Williams
1977 "Love Magnet" Freda Payne
1978 "Cause I Love You" Lenny Williams
1978 "Stares and Whispers" Renee Geyer
1978 "Be There in the Morning" Renee Geyer
1978 "You Got Me Running" Lenny Williams
1978 "When I'm Dancing" Lenny Williams
2002 "Lights, Camera, Action" Mr. Cheeks
2006 "Each Day Gets Better" John Legend
2012 "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" Angelica


  1. ^ a b c "BBC News - Frank Wilson, Motown producer and singer, dies". BBC News. September 28, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Hamilton, Andrew (December 18, 2000). "Frank Wilson - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  3. ^ "Record price for rare Motown disc". BBC. May 1, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2009.
  4. ^ Maconie, Stuart (2004). Cider With Roadies (1st ed.). London: Random House. pp. 68–69. ISBN 0-09-189115-9.
  5. ^ Perrone, Pierre, "Frank Wilson: Motown writer and producer behind the world's rarest record" (obit)," The Independent, October 2, 2012
  6. ^ a b c d e Kaufman, Leslie (October 3, 2012). "Frank Wilson, Motown Songwriter and Producer, Dies at 71". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  7. ^ "Frank Wilson : Duarte, California : Dec 5, 1940 – Sep 27, 2012 (Age 71)". March 24, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  8. ^ "The Two of Us - Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr. Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved June 29, 2018.

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