2018-04-05 18:34:12 UTC
R.I.P. legendary soul hitmaker Ron Dunbar
(April 4, 2018) In the annals of soul music, there are the great ones who became household names, and then there were legends behind the scenes, who were instrumental in bringing fans some of the greatest music of all time. Ron Dunbar was a giant in the latter category, and he gave us songs that will live for generations to come. He has died at age 77.
Dunbar was a songwriter and producer supreme, best known for his work with the post-Motown Holland-Dozier-Holland label Invictus and with the P-Funk world of George Clinton. Over the period of 1970-75 Dunbar co-wrote countless classics, including “Band of Gold” for Freda Payne, “Give Me Just a Little More Time” for the Chairmen of the Board, “Mind, Body and Soul” for The Flaming Ember, and “Patches,” which ultimately hit #1 for Clarence Carter and won a Grammy Award for Dunbar and General Johnson. [Note: That Grammy Award became the subject of a 2011 episode of the television show Pawn Stars, where someone tried to sell it]
As the Invictus and Hot Wax labels went under in the mid-70s, Dunbar went on to work with Clinton and his crew, co-writing such funk hits as “Agony of De Feet” for Parliament and “Never Buy Texas From a Cowboy” for the Brides of Funkenstein. By the 1990s Dunbar became an independent producer again and also worked with the Holland brothers.
Ron Dunbar played a huge role in one of the most important eras of soul music history, and the wonderful songs he wrote are familiar to three generations of music fans. He will be missed, but his will always remain intact.