Soul-blues singer Marvin Sease, whose lubricious songs made him a star on the Southern chitlin circuit in the ’80s and ’90s, died Feb. 8 in Vicksburg, MS. He was 64. Unconfirmed reports said he succumbed to pneumonia.
South Carolina-born Sease got his start in gospel, and led a sacred unit that also included his three brothers. He abandoned gospel for R&B, and recorded an eponymous album that he issued on his own Early label. The set, which included the popular track “Ghetto Man,” was reissued on London/Mercury, which signed Sease in 1987.
The re-released “Marvin Sease” was augmented by a new 10-minute track, “Candy Licker.” Without the benefit of airplay, this almost single-entendre celebration of sex became a smash hit, and Sease took its title as his professional nickname.
Sease never took an album or a single into the upper reaches of the charts, and his success never rivaled that of his contemporary Johnnie Taylor, but his funky, unblushing songs cemented his status as an enduring attraction on the black club circuit.
He cut close to 20 down-and-dirty albums for major labels London, Mercury, Jive and Silvertone, and ended his career on the Jackson, MS-based R&B indie Malaco. His last album, “Who’s Got the Power,” was released in 2008.