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Funk Brother Eddie Willis Dies
By Angela George, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Funk Brother Eddie Willis Dies

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DETROIT (CelebrityAccess) Eddie Willis, 82, one of the last of Motown’s studio phenomenon The Funk Brothers, died Monday, Aug. 20, at his home in Gore Springs, Miss.

His daughter said he had been suffering complications from a childhood bout with polio, according to the Detroit Free-Press. Willis’s death means only guitarist Joe Messina and percussionist Jack Ashford remain from the core lineup of the Funk Brothers.

Standing in The Shadows of Motown (2002) from Gerrard Wistanley on Vimeo.


Willis began his career at Motown in 1959 but also spent much of his time as a touring guitarist for Eddie Kendricks and the Four Tops.

Despite the Funk Brothers’ lack of recognition, “he knew he was loved,” daughter Terez Willis told the Free-Press. “You knew that a lot of people in the industry loved him. That’s what he talked about when I saw him two weeks ago.”

Just a few of the hundreds of songs Willis played on are “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes, “The Way You Do the Things You Do” by The Temptations, “You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes, and “I Was Made to Love Her” by Stevie Wonder.

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