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Legendary Motown Songwriter Deke Richards Dead At 68

You may not know the name Deke Richards, but I’ll bet you’ve heard his music. He was the head of Motown Records‘ songwriting and arranging team. He was also the label’s top producer. Richards passed away Sunday. He was 68.

Richards’ real name was Dennis Lussier He’d been fighting cancer of the esophagus, according to a spokesperson.
The team Richards headed up was nicknamed “The Corporation.” His team of writers, producers and arrangers powered Motown’s hit producing machine, along with a legendary group of session musicians known as “The Funk Brothers.” Their credits include many of the Jackson 5′s  hits, “I Want You Back,” ”ABC,” “The Love You Save”, and more.
Richards co-wrote “Love Child” for Diana Ross & The Supremes. He was also involved in writing or producing hit songs for Bobby Darin, and Martha Reeves & the Vandellas.

Deke Richards
Courtesy of Universal

To quote the Righteous Brothers, “If there’s a Rock ‘n Roll Heaven, you know they got a hell of a band.”  Now they got a great writer, producer & arranger, too!

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