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Motown producer and songwriter Deke Richards passes away

Motown producer and songwriter Deke Richards passes away

THE Motown producer and songwriter Deke Richards has passed away. He was 68.

Mr. Richards, who was born Dennis Lussier, had joined the Motown label in the mid-sixties. He began as a member of The Clan — a hit-making team which wrote Love Child for Diana Ross & The Supremes.

He then went on to lead The Corporation, another writing team within Motown which included Berry Gordy, Alphonzo Mizell and Freddie Perren. They wrote and produced many hits for The Jackson 5 including the group’s first three hit singles, among them I Want You Back (see below).

The Corporation’s other hits included I’m Still Waiting for Diana Ross (see below), as well as Mama’s Pearl, Maybe Tomorrow and Goin’ Back to Indiana for The Jackson 5.

Mr. Richards was also involved in producing and writing for other artistes, including Martha Reeves and The Vandellas and Bobby Darin.

He continued to be involved in musical projects up until months before his death. This work included producing the album Come and Get It: The Rare Pearls (2012), which featured rare and unreleased tracks from The Jackson 5. His final project involved him mixing eight previously unreleased tracks from Martha Reeves and The Vandellas for a box set 50th. Anniversary: The Singles 1962-1972 which will be released in April, 2013.

Mr. Richards had been suffering from oesophageal cancer and passed away at a hospice in Washington state. He is survived by his wife Joan.

To see footage of The Jackson 5 performing I Want You Back, click here.

To see Diana Ross singing I’m Still Waiting, click here.

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