Frank Wilson (musician)
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|Birth name||Frank Edward Wilson|
December 5, 1940|
|Died||September 27, 2012
|Genres||Soul music, gospel music|
|Occupation(s)||Songwriter, record producer|
In 1965, 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 1965, "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.' 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.
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), it has been championed as one of the rarest and most valuable records in history (along with other "impossible to find" records by such acts as Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, and the Five Sharps).
Wilson left Motown in 1976 and became a born again Christian. 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. 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.
Some of the books he has authored includes, 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.
Early and personal life
Wilson was born on December 5, 1940 in Houston, Texas to James Wilson and Samanther Gibbs. Mr. Wilson attended Southern University in Baton Rouge but only for one year, he had participated in a civil rights protest and during his sophomore year he lost his scholarship. 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. 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.
- Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)/Sweeter As The Days Go By (1966) - Soul Records
Production and songwriting highlights
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- 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: "MacArthur Park" - Four Tops
- 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
- 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 (album)
- 1968: "Love Child" - Diana Ross & the Supremes
- 1969: Diana Ross and the Supremes Join the Temptations - Diana Ross & the Supremes & the Temptations (album)
- 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
- 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
- 1974: "Boogie Down" - Eddie Kendricks
- 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 & 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: "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
- 1977: The Two of Us - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (album)
- 1994: Motown Comes Home - Various Artists (album)
- 2002: "Lights, Camera, Action" - Mr. Cheeks. "My Sugar Baby" - Frank Wilson. Previously unreleased Motown recording issued on A Cellarful of Motown! CD (UK only)
- 2006: "Each Day Gets Better" - John Legend
- 2012: "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" - Angelica
- 2016: "I'll Be Satisfied" - Frank Wilson Kent Records UK. Previously Unreleased Motown recording cut in L.A. with the Wrecking Crew.
- "BBC News - Frank Wilson, Motown producer and singer, dies". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- Hamilton, Andrew (2000-12-18). "Frank Wilson - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "Record price for rare Motown disc". BBC. May 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- Maconie, Stuart (2004). Cider With Roadies (1st ed.). London: Random House. pp. 68–69. ISBN 0-09-189115-9.
- Perrone, Pierre, "Frank Wilson: Motown writer and producer behind the world's rarest record" (obit)," The Independent, October 2, 2012
- Kaufman, Leslie (2012-10-03). "Frank Wilson, Motown Songwriter and Producer, Dies at 71". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-01.