Founder of the band "Earth Wind & Fire"
December 19, 1941 - February 3, 2016
Just read the sad news online that Maurice White of Earth Wind & Fire (my favourite all time group) has passed.
Last night at his Los Angeles home, he died peacefully in his sleep at 74 years old.
On the band's Facebook page, his brother Verdine White wrote the following:
The tears are falling."My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep. While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes."
I have loved EWF from the time when I discovered and fell totally in love with their music as a teenager. I have fond memories of saving all my allowance for weeks on end in order to buy their music.
I have ALL their albums in cd format and ALL their released concerts on dvd too...the never ending fan.
I listen to their music whenever I can. It's clean and crisp and my ears are never assaulted with swear words.
As I type this, their album The Best of EWF is playing in the background.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, I don't think Maurice ever had any idea when he founded the band how many music lovers worldwide (including me in Barbados) would become lovers of the music forever.
Maurice founded the nine member band with his brother Verdine, Philip Bailey (falsetto) and other members back in the 1960's and made sure it included a horn-driven section. It was named Earth Wind & Fire after the three elements in his astrological chart.
Maurice was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease back in 1992 and he ceased performing with the band in 1995.
He announced it publicly at the band's induction to the Hall of Fame.
He played all the band instruments, but I especially loved when he played the African thumb piano...the kalimba.
Earth, Wind & Fire have sold more than 90 million albums worldwide with hits like September, Fantasy, Reasons, Boogie Wonderland, Shining Star and After the Love has Gone.
I had the opportunity to attend two of their concerts. The first occurred one weekend while driving many many miles and crossing the Canadian/US border to get to the Fox Theatre in Detroit to see the guys in action....it was a magical night....one I would never forget.
The second time was when they performed in Barbados, my friends and I were practically first in line to attend the show.....another wonderful night for me.
Earth Wind & Fire - The Elements
The exuberant band members wear flashy outfits and really enjoy themselves on stage when they perform their music mix of jazz, funk, gospel and Big Band.
If you have never experienced a GOOD horn-section, check them out....the guys are GREAT!!
Maurice's words in an AP interview back in 2000 are a reflection of the genuine spirit that he was:
He didn't just want to entertain, he wanted Earth, Wind & Fire's music to inspire people as well.
"That was the whole objective, to try to inspire young people to believe in themselves and to follow through on their ideas."
"We've touched so many people with these songs," he said.
In another interview with Newsweek he said :"We live in a negative society, "Most people can't see beauty and love. I see our music as medicine."
The world has indeed lost another musical legend.
Rest in peace Maurice...I will miss you and your beautiful smile....your beautiful music will continue to shine on in my heart.
Here is a link to their special kind of music.
All images are respectfully borrowed from Google Images