Friday, October 17, 2008

Soul Heaven

Levi Stubbs (1932-2008)
Recently, soul music has mourned the losses of Isaac Hayes and Motown producer Norman Whitfield. Now we mourn the loss of Levi Stubbs, one of the finest ambassadors of soul music. The lead singer of The Four Tops died this morning in his hometown of Detroit. He was 72. The group formed in 1954 and included Levi, Abdul 'Duke' Fakir, Renaldo 'Obie' Benson and Lawrence Payton. The groups' name was inspired by their desire to reach the 'top.' Without a doubt, they reached the top. Fakir is the only surviving member, Payton died in '97 and Benson passed away in '05. Levi has been described as a 'church-based soul shouter and pure singer' who could have enjoyed tremendous success as a solo act but the thought of leaving the group never crossed his mind. He understood the meaning of loyalty. 'It's The Same Old Song,' 'Bernadette,' 'Reach Out I'll Be There,' 'Standing In The Shadows Of Love,' 'Keeper of the Castle,' 'Ain't No Woman (Like the One I Got)'--and the list goes on. Thanks Levi.