Tuesday, March 26, 2013

R.I.P.: Motown Songwriter Deke Richards

Deke Richards
Motown songwriter and producer Deke Richards, best known for co-writing the Jackson Five's first three chart-toppers, died of esophageal cancer on March 24th.

Richards, whose given name was Dennis Lussier, lived out his final days at Bellingham, Washington's Whatcom Hospice House.

Richards played a substantial part in launching Motown's late-'60s "L.A." sound, heading up the songwriting/production team dubbed "The Corporation," which also included label chief Berry Gordy, Jr., Alphonzo Mizell, and Freddie Perren.

Richards will always be remembered for co-writing the Jackson Five's Number Ones "I Want You Back," "ABC," and "The Love You Save" -- as well as their other classics "Mama's Pearl," "Maybe Tomorrow," and "Goin' Back To Indiana," among others.

Richards also co-wrote Diana Ross & The Supremes' Number One hit, "Love Child." Richards' final project was the mixing of eight unreleased tracks by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, for the three-CD box set 50th Anniversary: The Singles 1962-1972, which will be released on April 5th.

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