Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.

Jump to content
  • Sign Up
 

Hermon Weems Obituary

Hermon Weems Obituary cover

Hermon Weems Obituary

 

 

 

Native Detroiter Hermon Weems was born on February 21st 1938. He began his musical career as a teenage member of a street corner group known as The Sparrows during the early 50's.

 

The groups other members were Al Hamilton, Charles Harris, Paul Leslie and Phil Townsend. The Sparrows were regular performers on the city wide talent show circuit, with their biggest night coming with their appearance at the city recreation centre on Davison. Where they appeared on the same bill as, Clyde McPhatter, Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke.

 

Hermon along with the Hamilton Brothers, Bob, Al (Kent) and Ronnie (Savoy) later went on to work for Anna records. That was until Berry Gordy later released them from his employment. Undeterred, the foursome soon hooked up with local Detroit entrepreneur Ed Wingate. Where they went on to play integral part in the success of the Golden World, Wingate, and Ric Tic record labels.

 

Hermon's song writing credits can be found on such classic recordings as Al Kent's "The Way You Been Acting Lately" and "You've Got To Pay The Price" as well as many other Ric Tic releases by the Detroit Emeralds and the Fantastic Four.

 

Such was the quality of the releases emanating from the Golden World studios that they soon became serious rivals to Gordy's Motown Corporation. After several failed attempts Gordy eventually made Ed Wingate an offer he couldn't refuse and eventually bought out the Golden World and Ric Tic studios.

 

Hermon now found himself working for Gordy for a second time. Hermon's talents extended further than just that of a musician he was a talented artist and soon found himself working in the art department at Motown. With some of his most accomplished works being the covers for the Temptation's "Psychedelic Shack" and "Cloud Nine" albums.

 

ccs-1-044475400 1282224716_thumb.jpg

 

 

In 1972 Hermon composed the in demand "Why Can't There Be Love" for Detroit soulstress Dee Edwards which would to go on to be a local hit around Detroit, gaining a release on two separate labels, BumpShop and GM respectively and was produced by Dee's husband Floyd Jones. "Why Can't There Be Love" also gained a release in many European countries, and now 38 years later, it is once again, back in vogue, as the soundtrack for a Adidas trainers advertisement.

 

ccs-1-011053800 1282224724_thumb.jpg

 

 

In 1975 Hermon joined forces with Evans Clark and his old friend J.J Barnes to compose the sublime "I Think I've Got A Good Chance" which they recorded on J.J and released on their own independent Organic label.

 

During the 80's, Hermon was the victim of a armed robbery at his home and was shot several times. All the bullets were removed except one which periodically caused Hermon to be laid up when it rubbed against a certain nerve. Hermon later diversified his talents as a artist into the occupation of a sign writer to find work during leaner times in the music business.

 

In 2005 Hermon was once again re-united with his childhood friend and former Sparrow Phil Townsend. Phil had song writing credits on the Little Foxes "Love made To order" (Okeh) and Ortheia Barnes "Heartbreaker, Soulshaker" (Coral).Phil later became more involved within the promotion side of the business before leaving the recording industry altogether to become a car salesman. At the age of 62, Phil once again returned to the recording studio, to cut a tribute cd album which he dedicated to black womanhood entitled "Beautiful Black Lady", and it was to Hermon that Phil turned, to design the album cover.

 

A further recording project followed in 2006, with Hermon co-writing and producing

 

Bruce Jackson on the soul ballad "Does Your Mother Know About Me" a whole album was recorded but was reputedly lost in the unforeseen closure of the pressing plant prior to manufacture.

 

ccs-1-021552000 1282224685_thumb.jpg

 

 

Hermon a diagnosed diabetic, sadly passed away on the evening of June 27th 2010 due to complications that followed an operation to remove an eye and amputate one of his legs.

 

His funeral service was held on Saturday 3rd July at 11.00 am at the Barksdale Funeral Home on 11/20 East State Fair, Detroit. With his final resting place being the

 

Metropolitan Memorial Garden cemetery, 48/300 Willow Road, Belleville, Michigan.

 

 

 

David Welding

 

 

 

With acknowledgements to: Don Mancha, Pete Mashaw. And the personal memoir's of Hermon himsellf,

 

 

site notes

 

thanks to Doug Coombe for the ok for use of photos can check out more here

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/funkytreetown/sets/72157606822759891/with/2775957767/

 

can also find a detroit metrotimes article on his recent artistic work with Peoples Records

 

ccs-1-000055400 1282224699_thumb.jpg

 

http://www.metrotime...ry.asp?id=13220

 

Peoples has the power: Owner Brad Hales (left) with artist Hermon Weems, who painted the store's signs and many of the 45 boxes inside

 

 

Also the blog below features some photos of the boxes mentioned above

 

 

http://parkaavenue.b...rn-soul-in.html

 




  1. 7 Day Lovers

  1. Article Comments

Forum Activity


Members Comments

Recommended Comments

Hi Dave

Thats sad news. He was a great guy, used to work in Brad's shop from time to time. He painted a whole bunch of record boxes for his shop, they look so cool.

He also did the artwork for a few of the early classic funky sleeves for Parliment/Funkadelic.

Alround nice guy.

Dave

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very sad news the way youve been acting lately to me was the soulful highlight of ric-tic its immense as was his talent -Thanks Dave for putting this up!! The pics are fantastic !!

BAZ A

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a lovely tribute you posted there... well done and thanks.

RIP Hermon Weems... sad news but he left some great music behind. The Supremes version of "You've Got To Pay The Price" is one of my all time favs.

Edited by isis

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Folks

For all your comments, the credit for the photo's must go to Mike.

Hermon's family where supposed to send me some photo's and a copy of the funeral programme, but there wasn't enough programmes printed to go around all the people that attended the funeral. So as yet nothing has turned up.

Dave Welding

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

nah not me

the main photos were by Doug Coombe who ok'd the use

if you check the flickr link (below) he has also got some of Melvin Davis, LJ Reynolds, Andre Williams and more up there thumbsup.gif

link here

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dave,,,,,,,,,,,,,,thanks fot the information. I presume that Hermon was the co-writer of Sam & Kitty's Northern Soul classic - 'I've got something good' - with an L Dandridge being the other writer. All in all a talented Writer, Musician, and Artist, who will be very sadly missed. R.I.P. Hermon, your talets uplifted me.!

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

WELL DONE KID,

WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET PEOPLE LIKE HERMON...............WHO CONTINUE TO GIVE US SUCH PLEASURE & NEVER RECEIVED THE RECOGNICIAN THEY DESERVED.

HIS WORK WILL LIVE FOREVER.

WE HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE OF VISITING BRAD HALES @ PEOPLES RECORDS 5 YEARS AGO WHEN WE ON HOLIDAY FOR MY 50th. BIRTHDAY.

HE IS DETERMINED TO KEEP THE SPIRIT OF THE M.C. ALIVE & KICKING & THANKS TO HIM PEOPLE LIKE HERMON WILL GET THE RESPECT THEY DESERVE.

RIP BROTHER HERMON

ORFANSFROMDETROIT

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Comment now!

Comments are members only

Sign Up

Join Soul Source - Free & easy!

Sign up now!

Sign in

Sign in here.

Sign in now!

Related Soul Music Links



×