*Just 24 hours after the passing of Danny Ray, the legendary “Cape Man” for James Brown, we learn of the passing of Gil Saunders, best known as the decade-long lead singer of the legendary act Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Saunders died today (02-04-21) after long battles with M.S. and, more recently, lung cancer.
Here’s more via Soul Tracks:
The Philadelphia born Saunders boasted a powerful, gruff voice that was the near-perfect touch to handle both the group’s 70s hits on tour, and also the lead on The Talk It Up album. The LP was released on the Philly World label to tepid response in the U.S., but become a moderate hit in other parts of the world, managing to chart three singles, “Today’s Your Lucky Day”, “Don’t Give Me Up” and “I Really Love You.” It became the Blue Notes’ final charting album.
Saunders left the Blue Notes in the mid-90s and progressed to a solo career, not long before Melvin’s untimely death in 1997 at age 57. Saunders continued to record singles into the 00s, with some local success for the songs “I Beg You to Stay,” “In the Heat,” and “Let’s Turn In.”