Friday, 7 October 2016
From Grimsby to the Grammys
"He had a very small flat, so everything had to be done within one room and he had piles of washing, with the TV on top of the organ. It was a nightmare... he had trams running outside... but he made it, he just absorbed himself in the music and Rod seemed to come up with these amazing songs."
We bade a sad farewell this week to one of the most successful - yet largely unpublicised [or probably more likely "not a seeker of publicity"] - songwriters of the latter part of the 20th century, Mr Rod Temperton [probably the most famous person ever to have come from the Lincolnshire seaside town of Cleethorpes!].
Originally a full-time member of the archetypal 70s groove band Heatwave [and prior to joining them, employed in a frozen fish-packing factory in Grimsby], Mr Temperton's writing and arranging skills soon came to the notice of the big music producers in the USA, and he was "air-lifted" into the big time by none other than Quincy Jones. The result of that fortuitous collaboration? Michael Jackson's much-lauded "comeback" album Off The Wall. Mr Temperton and Mr Jones went on to produce Jacko's biggest-selling-in-the-world-ever album Thriller, and by then neither of them probably ever needed to work again.
During his long career, Rod Temperton wrote or co-wrote myriad funky, soulful and dancefloor classics [several featured here, usually at the climax of the week], including: for Heatwave - Boogie Nights, The Groove Line, Always and Forever, Gangsters of the Groove, and many more; The Brothers Johnson - Stomp!; James Ingram and Michael McDonald's Yah Mo B There; The Manhattan Transfer - The Spice of Life; and Donna Summer's Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger). He also worked with Lionel Richie, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Mica Paris, Patti Austin, Herbie Hancock, Stephanie Mills, Karen Carpenter and Aretha Franklin...
...and found the time to write these two!
George Benson - Give Me the Night:
...and Quincy Jones - Razzamatazz:
Thank Disco It's Friday - and thank Rod for the music!
Rodney Lynn Temperton (9th October 1949; death announced 5th October 2016)