Hamilton Bohannon, one of the great musicians of the disco era, died on Friday. He was 78.
The Newnan Times-Herald, a local newspaper in Newnan, Ga., where Bohannon was born, reported the news on Saturday after speaking with several members of his family.
Bohannon played the drums for Stevie Wonder in 1964, and that gig led him to getting hired as a bandleader by Motown Records. His group Bohannon & The Motown Sound toured with several stars, including Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations and the Four Tops.
Eventually, he began a solo career and released his debut album “Stop & Go” in 1973. By the end of the 1980s, he made 18 more records. His music was popular in the ’70s disco era, but only one of his songs, “Good Stompin Music,” reached the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975.
His funk music endured the years and has been sampled by artists like Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg. In 2019, his song “Save Their Souls” appeared on the soundtrack for “Just Mercy,” the real-life legal drama starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson. His most recent single, “Bohannon Combination Gumbo Mix,” was released in February.
Bohannon is survived by his son Bohannon II and his daughter April.