The Supremes' Motown Producer, 'Love Child' Writer Frank Wilson, Dies at 71
Frank Wilson Also Wrote Hits for Stevie Wonder and The Temptations and Set a Record for the Most Expensive Record Ever Sold
Probably only true music buffs know the name Frank Wilson, who died Sept. 27 from complications of a lung infection, but his impact on music history is huge.
Wilson, who was 71 when he died in Duarte, California, wrote and produced Motown hits like Diana Ross and the Supremes' "Love Child," "Chained" by Marvin Gaye, "All I Need" by The Temptations, "Keep On Truckin' (Part 1)" for Eddie Kendricks and "You've Made Me So Very Happy" for Brenda Holloway and Blood, Sweat and Tears.
But the Houston-born talent started his career as a performer himself. He recorded "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" in 1965, and records were pressed and ready to be shipped when Motown founder Berry Gordy told Wilson he had to choose: did he want to be a singer or a writer and producer?
Wilson chose writing and producing, and most of the copies of the record he'd made were destroyed. But a few copies remained, and when one of them made its way to England, the song became a huge underground hit, the Los Angeles Times reports.
And in 2009, a very rare copy of the single "Do I Love You" set a record for the most expensive music single ever sold at an auction, going for $39,294.
Wilson had a born-again experience in 1974, the New York Times reports, and in 1976 he quit Motown, and the music industry, to form a ministry for entertainers. In 2004, he and his wife P. Bunny Wilson founded the New Dawn Christian Village Church in Los Angeles.
Wilson, who had been taught by his mother to play the piano by ear and who lost a college scholarship to Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After he joined a civil rights protest, is survived by his wife, five daughters, a son, three brothers, a sister and six grandchildren.
Listen to Wilson's record-setting single "Do I Love You" below: