Photo: Lionel decoster

Gap Band Founder Ronnie Wilson: Dead At 73

Founding member of R&B mega-group The Gap Band, Ronnie Wilson (pictured in the middle of the top row: below), has died at the age of 73.

Ronnie Wilson (top row second from left) with The Gap Band circa 1980

According to a Facebook post published on Tuesday (11.02) by his wife, Linda Boulware-Wilson.”The love of my life was called home this morning, at 10:01am. Please continue to pray for The Wilson, Boulware, and Collins family, while we mourn his passing.” “Ronnie Wilson was a genius with creating, producing, and playing the flugelhorn, Trumpet, keyboards, and singing music, from childhood to his early seventies. He will be truly missed!!!”

Wilson formed The Gap Band in the late 1960s along with his brothers Charlie and Robert. Originally named The Greenwood Archer Pine Street Band – after three streets in a Black area of their hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was targeted by a White mob during the 1921 Tulsa race massacre – the siblings later abbreviated the name to The G.A.P. Band and finally The Gap Band.

The group rose to fame in the late 1970s and early 1980s, opening for bands such as The Rolling Stones. And their best-known songs include “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” “Party Train,” “Burn Rubber on Me,” and “Outstanding,” (which has been sampled by more than 150 artists, according to the band’s website.)

Most recently Ronnie Wilson’s brother, Charlie Wilson, was featured on ‘Do What I Do’ with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis from their current artist album Jam & Lewis Vol I.

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: Lionel decoster