Was Motown producer of Supremes, Temptations

Motown record producer and songwriter Frank Wilson, who worked with the Temptations, the Supremes and Marvin Gaye, died of lung infection complications on Sept. 27 in a hospital in Duarte, Calif. He was 71.

Born in Houston, Wilson briefly attempted a career as a singer, joining Motown’s new Los Angeles outpost in 1965, but it was as a producer and a songwriter that his talents fully blossomed. Moving to the label’s Detroit headquarters in 1966, Wilson wrote or co-wrote such hits as “Love Child” for Diana Ross and the Supremes, Gaye’s “Chained” and “All I Need” for the Temptations.

After Eddie Kendricks left the Temptations, Wilson produced his 1973 No. 1 hit “Keep on Truckin’ (Part 1).” Wilson also helped write “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” a 1967 top 40 single for Motown’s Brenda Holloway that soon became an even bigger hit for Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Wilson retired from music in the mid-’70s to become a pastor, and served in a number of Los Angeles ministries over the next several decades.

Though he never officially released any material as a performer, a shelved 1965 recording of Wilson singing his own composition “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” later became an unexpected touchstone of Britain’s Northern Soul movement, with an original pressing of the single selling for nearly $40,000 at a 2009 auction.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more