Sad News Frank Wilson Has Died

 by ady croasdell      views   16517   comments 103 in Soul News on

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H B Barnum told me he had passed in the last hour or so.


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He was born to James Wilson and Samantha Gibbs. While still in his teens, he moved to Los Angeles, California.

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. 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, 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", "Stare and Whisper", "Star Love" and "You Got Me Running." 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

Wilson left Motown in 1976 and became a born again Christian. He is now a minister, traveling and writing books with his wife Bunny Wilson, and is 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.

Wilson passed away on September 27, 2012 after a long battle with prostate cancer.


  • JohnR likes this


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Second Issue

DaveNPeteSep 27 2012 09:54 PM

Sad news indeed - he was a lovely chap, as well of course as being a production genius.
    • miss nancy likes this

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Ironside - DIY That Will Blow Your Mind

Peter99Sep 27 2012 09:55 PM

Another musical legend departs.

Sad news indeed.
    • HJ SOULBOY and miss nancy like

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Cant Get Enough

Alison HSep 27 2012 09:57 PM

Oh my gosh !! What a week it's been :(

Rest in Peace Mr Wilson

Sending love & comfort to his family & friends

Alison x
    • miss nancy likes this


Getting spins again

AGENTSMITHSep 27 2012 09:57 PM

truly one of the greatest songwriter/producers the world has ever known, an absolute colossus at motown with a phenomenal repetoire and the man who gave us possibly the most universally known northern soul anthem of all-time " do i love you"....for that frank, indeed we do....god rest your wonderful soul.
    • jordirip, Ste Brazil, Peter99 +9 more like

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Getting spins again

epicSep 27 2012 10:00 PM

Sad news indeed - multi talented - thankyou for the music Sir - may you rest in peace & reflect on a job well done.
    • Alison H likes this

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Getting spins again

binsySep 27 2012 10:00 PM

Really sad mate, so many great memories attributed to Frank.

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Massive everywhere

Marc ForrestSep 27 2012 10:02 PM

RIP Frank Wilson...some hate it, some love it in public, some behind locked doors.Whatever the situation for everyone I am sure Do I Love You will forever be one of the definitions of a whole genre, scene.
    • SteveSmith, binsy, Rob Wigley +2 more like

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Mick Jay

mickjay33Sep 27 2012 10:05 PM

sad sad news another legend gone rip mr wilson

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Going Big

The Golden 101Sep 27 2012 10:09 PM

A close friend who wrote the foreword to my book. He appeared for me at the Cala Gran Weekender in 2000 and performed in our Do I Love You karaoke competition at SoultripUSA 2004 in Los Angeles.
A master songwriter and producer, he had a wicked sense of humour who called Berry Gordy and handed me the phone.....the one moment in my career I will never forget.
God bless you Frank....

    • Rob Wigley, BIGSOULMAN, andybellwood +8 more like


Getting spins again

AGENTSMITHSep 27 2012 10:10 PM

RIP Frank Wilson...some hate it, some love it in public, some behind locked doors.Whatever the situation for everyone I am sure Do I Love You will forever be one of the definitions of a whole genre, scene.

in total agreement mark, a pivotal moment for the scene, a landmark discovery that has driven its own stellar value and its own feted storyline and, as is usually the case, the instigator knew not of its existance or subsequent could have been a frank's smiling thinking of that prospect!
    • Peter McBride likes this



BIGSOULMANSep 27 2012 10:12 PM

A sad day, I too saw him at The Cala Gran in 2000 and he was the perfect gentleman

A wonderful talent.

RIP Frank
    • WendyTinley likes this

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Getting spins again

Dave FlemingSep 27 2012 10:13 PM

Sad news....R.I.P Frank..

Dave f...

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Wigan Oldies Fanatic

wiganer1Sep 27 2012 10:22 PM

rip frank

imagine do i love you at stoke - what a tribute that could be!!!!

someones gotta play it - chris king i bet..
    • MrC likes this

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"Listen, mate, 'life' has surface noise."

Tony FosterSep 27 2012 10:34 PM

Very sad news, R.I.P Frank, thank you for the memories.
    • WendyTinley likes this

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IanPSep 27 2012 10:34 PM

very sad . I'm off to listen to a certain intro , that culminates with a rim shot that would wake an army. what a record, what a producer and what a genius. RIP Frank Wilson
    • WendyTinley likes this

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Second Issue

WendyTinleySep 27 2012 10:35 PM

Very sad... RIP Mr Wilson and thank you so very much for the music.

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Semi known gem

JOEfromupnorthSep 27 2012 10:35 PM

Sad news.........great record he will always be remembered for but for me one that does'nt wear well from being overplayed,anyone like me just want to lock some records up and make everyone wait to hear them again,this would be one.
    • chris likes this

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Going Big

Nige BrownSep 27 2012 10:38 PM

RIP Frank Wilson.


N x
    • WendyTinley likes this

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Semi known gem

upthejunctionSep 27 2012 10:44 PM

RIP Frank Wilson.


N x

God Bless and R.I.P. Frank Wilson, you brought much to our scene

    • WendyTinley likes this

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Second Issue

Panda PatSep 27 2012 10:51 PM

Will the angels -"Love You"-"Indeed they will" R.I.P .....^0^ xxx

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VINCE SSep 27 2012 10:56 PM

frank wilson r. i. p. your music will live on with so many x



IANCSLOFTSep 27 2012 10:57 PM

Our thoughts & prayers are with Franks family and close friends at this sad time
A true legend in every sense brought so much joy to so many people with his wonderful music and outstanding talent.
Gone but forever in the hearts of so many
Ian Cunliffe & Jane Hamilton

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Neil RushtonSep 27 2012 11:02 PM

Oh no, what terrible news.

A lovely man, was a privilege to sit down and listen to him talk, he had a great perspectve on life.

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Second Issue

stevefrostSep 27 2012 11:03 PM

maybe overplayed but i guarantee we all slapped on a copy of Do I Love You when we saw the news.....looking forward to hearing the reception at Saturday's 100 Club anniversary.

thanks for the great music Frank, RIP

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Going Big

maccaSep 27 2012 11:07 PM

Not a nice start to the weekend. So many milestone tracks under his belt at Motown, a man who has certainly left his mark on all of us. RIP Frank.
    • swilliams likes this

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Mike Wilks

wilxySep 27 2012 11:08 PM

R.I.P Sir....

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"Born With Wings"

PhillySep 27 2012 11:08 PM

Really sad news .. Did we love him ... indeed we did :wub: rest in peace xxx
    • nubes and Alison H like

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Future Classic

Winnie :-)Sep 27 2012 11:14 PM

RIP Frank Wilson x

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Second Issue

Peter McBrideSep 27 2012 11:15 PM

Frank Was An Icon, wether we/he liked it or not. You'll live in our hearts . May you Rest in Peace. Your Music made a lot of people Happy. Your music made me Happy. Your music spread around the World Frank and Landed in the North West of England into the Souls of Many. Goodnight Lad and God Bless. X X X.
    • IanP likes this

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do not judge me untill you know me

night nurseSep 27 2012 11:16 PM

sad loss did we love him indeed we did :(

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Semi known gem

douglaschipSep 27 2012 11:19 PM

Sad day - imagine hearing do I love you again for the first time - great writer producer too - rest easy!

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allnightandySep 27 2012 11:20 PM

Do we love you ? Indeed we do
R I P Mr Wilson !

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Leeds Central-Still on top!

Northern Soul UKSep 27 2012 11:24 PM

I offer my condolences to Franks family and friends
He will be missed by more people than he could have ever imagined!
    • nubes and scottie like

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Tape swappers fav

eddiepSep 27 2012 11:26 PM

R. I. P. Frank Wilson....

The man's legacy will continue to be played around the world, and like it or not, "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" is the pinacle of the Northern Soul scene musically and always will be.
Not because of the price tag for IT becoming the rarest soul 45 ever!
But because...
It was a magical moment in so many people's lives when they remember that feeling that surged through them when this was played and they heard it for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or more time.
It caused adrenalin to pump round the veins of young teens up and down the country and fight for space on the dance floors.
(It still does for many of today's middle aged people !)
It became the reason to get involved in the rare soul scene and turn us into the soul junkies we all are some 30 or 40+ years on.

It's worth noting that Frank Wilson also was more than someone who worked at Motown and in various roles in the music industry.
He branched out in his life and helped other's in more than just the musical sense and contributed in numerous ways to help people (of which if you take the time to look and do some homework) you'll discover the man's belief's no doubt guided his humanitarian path.

A talent many will miss. A human being the world will miss.
Even though I never met you I will never forget you for how you changed my life. Thank you Frank Wilson.

God bless...
    • Rob Wigley, Godzilla, nubes +7 more like

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Rampaging force of nature

GodzillaSep 27 2012 11:27 PM

Much more than his most famous record and that in no way detracts from the significance of that particular recording.
The band upstairs now have a producer.

RIP Frank.
    • Mark Jones and kevinsoulman like

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Second Issue

CarolinaSep 27 2012 11:31 PM

Sad news...RIP Frank and very well put Eddiep

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giantSep 27 2012 11:53 PM

R.i.p Frank you are a legend and will be missed.

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Going Big

Hitsville ChalkySep 27 2012 11:57 PM

RIP frank wilson ....a true legend and do i love you love you indeed i do ..sir ...thank you for introducing myself to the soul which i listened to your track many many times ....all Elgins shows will be dedicated to yourself for the fantastic work and songs you gave our uk scene ...god bless frank.

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Floor Filler

Sean HampseySep 28 2012 12:27 AM

Sorry to hear this sad news. Frank passed away after a long battle with prostrate cancer.

So many magnificent pieces of work from this fantastic producer.

To hear him at his very best, take a moment to listen to the Four Tops 'Still Water' to hear a genius at work.

Seminal music that will live on forever.



    • daved, nubes, andybellwood +4 more like

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Tape swappers fav

Mark JonesSep 28 2012 12:33 AM

Night Frank and a big Northern Soul thank you from all of us.
    • selmackie likes this

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Getting spins again

DennisoulSep 28 2012 01:07 AM


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Kris HolmesSep 28 2012 01:25 AM

sad news RIP, will have to play some FW this weekend

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Getting spins again

tomangoesSep 28 2012 04:33 AM

R.I.P Sir....

Wow. In LA now and just read this. Met FW in 2004 at the Soul USA first trip and what an incredible experience to be in his company. Thanks for the memories and next time Im down at the New York Stadium and the are playing DILYIID, for sure it will bring a tear at this sad news.


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Tape swappers fav

Big GordySep 28 2012 04:45 AM

I met him at briefly at the Cala Gran Weekender in 2000, said hello and shook his hand. I could tell in those two minutes alone that he was a top top man.

"Do I Love You" is my fiancee's favourite record of all time as well.

R.I.P. Frank and thanks for one of the greatest records ever.

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someone to watch over me

nubesSep 28 2012 06:42 AM

How sad very sad...Do I Love You.....i can still remember that feeling when i heard it for the first time at Wigan's 6th...and the reaction it got from the nice if it gets played out this weekend as a tribute....Delxxx

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I refuse to conform, I have my own mind.

WallySep 28 2012 06:45 AM

Sad news, another legend passes over.

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Tape swappers fav

soulfulmickSep 28 2012 07:04 AM

RIP Frank A true legend who will be sorely missed.

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Going Big

billywhizzSep 28 2012 07:14 AM


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Rob WigleySep 28 2012 08:08 AM

Another one of the "Old school" passes on..a fantastic songwriter and producer and leaving us with the rarest record our scene has ever known ! RIP Frank.

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Second Issue

SoulScooterSep 28 2012 08:23 AM

Sad news. I didn't know he'd co-writen Stoned Love. :thumbup: