Thursday, October 28, 2021

WE REMEMBER: Soulful Bass Singer/Co Founder of The Dramatics Willie Ford Dies At 68

willie ford - getty

*Just like that we’ve lost an other soul legend. And like the last one to pass, Melvin Edmomds (of After 7), he wasn’t especially known by casual music fans. We’re speaking of singer Willie Ford of The Dramatics. He was 68.

Unfortunately, at this time we don’t have specific details of his health prior to his passing except that he had just had surgery, according to legendary singer, writer and producer, Michael Henderson who spoke to EUR’s Lee Bailey.

When asked his thoughts about Ford’s passing, Henderson tributed Ford with this compliment:

“He was one the greatest bass singers of all time … along with Melvin Franklin of The Temptations.”

Henderson, who was shaken by his friend’s death, said that it was only a couple of days ago that he was speaking with Ford who was resting at home. He says the basso profondo told him he was ready to get back to work.

If he had gone back to work, it most likely would’ve been as part of one of two traveling groups touring under the Dramatics name. One led by L. J. Reynolds (and featuring Kelly, Donald Albert and Leon Franklin) and the other, newer group was led by Ford, according to Soul Tracks.

In our musical tribute to Ford, scroll down and watch his performance as he leads off the beginning of The Dramatic’s cover of Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones” and several of the group’s other hit songs.

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Willie Lee Ford, Jr. Profile:
Soul – funk singer
Born on 07-10-50 in LaGrange, Georgia, Died on 05-28-19.
Moved to Detroit, Michigan as an infant.
As a youngster in Detroit, he lived right around the corner from Smokey Robinson.
Sang with the The Capitols prior to joining the The Dramatics in 1968.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. the iconic Dramatics! for those of us who grew up with the legendary groups of the 1970’s the Dramatics were right there at the head of class absolutely brilliant performers & songwriters I remember spending my 21st bday w/them at the “Total Experience” nightclub on Crenshaw bl. in 1979 when Willie Ford belted out that deep bass voice & melted every female in the room! those were some super bad brutha’s

  2. I remember Willie’s bass voice as we sang in the Young Adult Choir at New Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church when we were kids. Then later when he joined the Dramatics, with Ron Banks (our paper boy), Larry Demps (loved my sister), and R.J. Reynolds–these kids, some from Pershing High School, Detroit. Remember when the original group did the TNT Talent show in 1965. They were good then, and went on to be great. When and where are funeral arrangements?

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