On May 19, 2018, Reginald Grant Lucas aka Reggie Lucas died aged 65. He was songwriter, musician (guitar) and record producer. As musician he has recorded and performed with Miles Davis, Carlos Garnett, Babatunde Olatunji, Norman Connors, Flora Purim, Lonnie Liston Smith, Hubert Eaves, Roberta Flack, Urszula Dudziak, James Mtume, Gary Bartz, Zbigniew Seifert, John Lee, Gerry Brown and Masabumi Kikuchi. As producer Lucas worked with Madonna, Mtume, Models, Randy Crawford, Rebbie Jackson, Bunny DeBarge, The Four Tops, John Adams, The Weather Girls, Elisa Fiorillo and Nick Scotti. In 1981, Lucas and James Mtume won a “Grammy Award” for “Best R&B Song” for their composition “Never Knew Love Like This Before”, which was performed by Stephanie Mills. As leader, Lucas has recorded two albums.
On December 13, 1977, “Atlantic” label released “Blue Lights in the Basement”, the sixth Roberta Flack studio album. It was recorded 1976 – 1977, and was produced by Rubina Flake, Joe Ferla and Gene McDaniels.
- Roberta Flack– vocals, keyboards, arrangements
- Paul Griffin– keyboards
- Ronnie Foster– keyboards, background vocals
- Don Grolnick– keyboards
- Rob Mounsey– keyboards
- Leon Pendarvis– keyboards, background vocals, musical arrangements
- Harry Whitaker – keyboards, musical arrangements
- Reggie Lucas– guitar
- Hugh McCracken– guitar, musical arrangements
- Jeff Mironov – guitar
- David Spinozza– guitar
- John Tropea– guitar
- Michael Kamen– oboe solo, musical arrangements
- Anthony Jackson– bass guitar
- Basil Fearrington – bass
- Will Lee– bass guitar
- Gary King– bass, musical arrangements
- Steve Gadd– drums
- Allan Schwartzberg– drums
- Jimmy Wong – drums
- Howard King – drums
- Idris Muhammad– drums
- Crusher Bennett – percussion
- David Carey – percussion
- Jimmy Maelen– percussion
- James Mtume– percussion, background vocals
- Jim Gilstrap, Lani Groves, Gwen Guthrie, Yvonne Lewis, Gene McDaniels, Zach Sanders, Brenda White, Deniece Williams– background vocals
- Why Don’t You Move in with Me – Gene McDaniels
- The Closer I Get to You – Reggie Lucas, James Mtume
- Fine, Fine Day – Rachel Perry
- This Time I’ll Be Sweeter – Pat Grant, Gwen Guthrie
- 25th of Last December – Gene McDaniels
- After You – Michael Masser, Ron Miller
- I’d Like to Be Baby to You – Morgan Ames
- Soul Deep – Wayne Carson
- Love is the Healing – Gene McDaniels
- Where I’ll Find You – David McHugh
On June 25, 2006, Arif Mardin died aged 74. He was music arranger and producer, worked at Atlantic Records for over 30 years, before moving to EMI. Mardin worked with many famous artists including Aretha Franklin, Queen, Anita Baker, Dionne Warwick, Bette Midler, Roberta Flack, Wilson Pickett, Average White Band, The Bee Gees, Chaka Khan, Laura Nyro, Hall & Oates, Phil Collins, Barbra Streisand and Norah Jones. Mardin won eleven “Grammy Awards”.
On September 11, 2014, Bob Crewe died aged 83. He was songwriter, singer, manager, and music producer, owner of the record label “DynoVoice Records”. He recorded by the name Bob Crewe Generation, and had hit recordings with the Rays, Diane Renay, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Freddy Cannon, Lesley Gore, Oliver, Michael Jackson, Bobby Darin, Roberta Flack, Peabo Bryson, Patti LaBelle and Barry Manilow.
On August 1, 1973, “Atlantic” label released “Killing Me Softly”, the fifth Roberta Flack album. It was recorded 1972 – 1973, and was produced by Joel Dorn. “Killing Me Softly” won the 1974 “Grammy Award for Record of the Year”. In 2006, the album was certified 2 x Platinum in US by the “RIIA”.
- Roberta Flack – arranger, piano, vocals
- Deodato– conductor, string arrangements
- William Eaton – brass arrangement
- Alfred Ellis – brass arrangement, conductor
- Kermit Moore – arranger, cello
- Don Sebesky– conductor, horn arrangements, string arrangements
- Eric Gale– guitar
- Ron Carter– bass
- Grady Tate– drums
- Ralph MacDonald– congas, percussion, tambourine
- Bob Liftin, Gene Paul– engineer
- Barry Diament – mastering
- Rod Dyer – design
- Burt Goldblatt – photography
- David Redfern – inside photo
- Jack Shaw – associate producer
- Killing Me Softly with His Song – Charles Fox, Norman Gimbel
- Jesse – Janis Ian
- No Tears (In the End) – Ralph MacDonald, William Salter
- I’m the Girl – James Alan Shelton
- River – Gene McDaniels
- Conversation Love – Terry Plumeri, Bill Seighman
- When You Smile – Ralph MacDonald, William Salter
- Suzanne – Leonard Cohen
On March 28, 2013, Hugh C. McCracken died aged 70. He was guitarist, harmonica player, arranger and producer, best known as session musician who has performed on albums of famous musicians, including Graham Parker, Yoko Ono, Eric Carmen, Loudon Wainwright III, Lou Donaldson, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, The Four Seasons, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Hank Crawford, Jerry Jemmott, Dr. John, Gary Wright, Donald Fagen, Jimmy Rushing, Billy Joel, Roland Kirk, Roberta Flack, B. B. King, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, The Monkees, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Idris Muhammad, James Taylor, Phoebe Snow, Bob Dylan, Linda McCartney, Ron Carter, Rusty Bryant, Marlena Shaw, Deodato, Carly Simon and Andy Gibb. From 1969-1972, McCracken was member of Mike Mainieri’s White Elephant Orchestra.
On May 25, 1984, Eric J. Gale died aged 55. Being jazz and session guitarist, as a leader he recorded twelve albums, and has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names of the music scene, including Clark Terry, Oliver Nelson, Jimmy McGriff, Benny Golson, Van Morrison, Bernard Purdie, Herbie Mann, Yusuf Lateef, Chico Hamilton, Sonny Stitt, Quincy Jones, Al Kooper, Lena Horn, Gabor Szabo, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Esther Philips, Chuck Rainey, Johnny Hammond, Stanley Turrentine, David Newman, Hank Crawford, Grover Washington, Jr., Roberta Flack, Stanley Turrentine, Hubert Laws, Bob James, Joe Higgs, Van McCoy, Ron Carter, George Benson, Phil Upchurch, Tom Scott, Idris Muhammad, Ashford & Simpson, Cedar Walton, Stanley Turrentine, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Paul Butterfield, Joe Cocker, Lalo Schifrin, Randy Crawford, Rainbow, Lalo Schifrin, Patti Austin, Maynard Ferguson, Ralph MacDonald, Essra Mohawk, Carla Bley, Pee Wee Ellis, Art Farmer, Tom Scott, Jeremy Steig, Joe Farrell, Kenny Loggins, David Matthews and David Ruffin.
On July 29, 2014, Leo Morris aka Idris Muhammad died aged 73. He was drummer whose drumming crossed over several musical styles including funk, jazz, and rhythm and blues and has performed and recorded extensively with many famous musicians, including Pharoah Sanders, Gene Ammons, Fats Domino, Roberta Flack, Grover Washington, Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield, Lou Donaldson, Bob James, Randy Weston, Bobbi Humphrey, Andrew Hill, Bob Stewart, Sonny Stitt, Ahmad Jamal, John Scofield, George Coleman, Paul Desmond, Grant Green, Stanley Turrentine, Joe Lovano, Tisziji Munoz, Roots, Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, Reuben Wilson and Leon Spencer.
On January 13, 1979, Donny Edward Hathaway died aged 34. Being jazz and soul vocalist and musician, Hathaway started successful career after signing contract with “Atlantic Records” in 1969 and after releasing his first single for the “Atco” label, “The Ghetto, Part I”. The “Rolling Stone” magazine “marked him as a major new force in soul music” in 1970 and his collaboration with Roberta Flack won him the “Grammy Award” for “Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals” for the duet, “Where Is the Love” in 1973. On January 13, 1979, Hathaway’s body was found outside the luxury hotel “Essex House” in New York City; his death was ruled a suicide.