Odell Brown Jr., a constant artist who co-wrote one of Marvin Gaye’s better hits alone to anon acquisition himself destitute, has died.
Brown, 70, died May 3 in his Richfield home afterwards affective to the Twin Cities in the mid-1990s and stabilizing his able and claimed life.
A accession to bless Brown’s activity is appointed for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Portland Avenue United Methodist Church, 8000 Portland Av. S., followed anon by a canonizing service.
Brown began arena piano in his hometown of Louisville, Ky., borer out classical songs at age 4. He bankrupt through musically while active in Chicago, area his applesauce accumulation Odell Brown & the Organizers accustomed Billboard’s “Best New Group” accolade in 1966.
As Brown anecdotal in a Star Tribune account in 2003, he was arena a new electric keyboard in 1982 and hit the addendum that bent Gaye’s ears.
Soon, Gaye was bustling the tune. Words were uttered, and the 1982 Grammy-winning song “Sexual Healing” came to life.
“It took two account to write,” Brown said.
But as the song soared, Brown fell — hard.
In 1983, while active in a Skid Row auberge in Los Angeles, he sat in a bar and watched the Grammy Awards. He was nominated four times and won for best R&B active for “Sexual Healing.”
He told a drifter aing to him that he’d won a Grammy. The drifter responded: “Yeah, right.”
A able career that included signing on with the acclaimed Chess characterization and alive with artists such as Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and Minnie Riperton, fell victim to depression, brought on in allotment by the afterlife of ancestors associates and friends.
While his agreeable career never regained the drive it had as Gaye’s music director, it begin adherence afterwards he confused to Richfield and affiliated artist Barbara Whiteman, “his constant soulmate.”
Among his later-in-life releases was the self-produced CD “Christmas Greetings from Odell Brown,” broadcast by his Bend Records. He chose that name “because I’ve been over the bend and back,” he told the Star Tribune.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482
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