Levi Stubbs, Lead Voice of The Four Tops, Has Died
Oct 17, 2008 at 6:12 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

DrBenway

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Sad news has just come to me from the BBC, via my PortaPros. Levi Stubbs, the unforgettable lead voice of The Four Tops, has died.

The Four Tops were, of course, one of the cornerstone groups of the Motown sound, and their hits, including "Reach Out (I'll Be There)," "The Same Old Song," "Standing In the Shadows of Love," and "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I Got)" were highlights of the soundtrack of the 60s and 70s.

The Tops's trademark harmonies were topped off by Stubbs huge, versatile voice; he could croon a sensitive ballad or belt out rockin' soul with equal aplomb. His vocals carried the authority that only a true originator can bring.

May he rest in peace.

Addendum:

The NYT has published Mr. Stubbs obit; it's well worth reading. It includes a number of facts that I didn't know, or had forgotten I knew:

-- Levi Stubbs was Jackie Wilson's cousin!

--The original four members of the Tops were together for more than 40
years. I knew that they had a pre-Motown career, and that they were
loyal to each other for decades, but that's just breathtaking.

--His younger brother, Joe, sang with The Contours ("Do You Love Me," "First
I Look at the Purse"), and The Falcons ("You're So Fine"). I don't know if
he sang on the original hits, but that's an impressive resume nonetheless.

--He was married to his widow, Clineice, for 48 years. Together they had five
children and 11 grandchildren.

What a life!
 
Oct 18, 2008 at 1:05 AM Post #4 of 6

tru blu

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Yeah, he'd been sick for quite awhile. A huge loss, but now he's resting a bit easier. In addition to the Tops' hits, hearing about his passing made me wanna hear Billy Bragg's "Levi Stubbs' Tears"?
 
Oct 18, 2008 at 11:41 AM Post #6 of 6

DrBenway

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wareagle69 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I had the pleasure of seeing the Four Tops at the "top" of their game in 1969. Great concert. RIP Levi Stubbs.


Wow, I'm envious. I'm just a few years too young to have seen the artists from that era in their prime. What a great memory that must be!

Quote:

Originally Posted by tru blu /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yeah, he'd been sick for quite awhile. A huge loss, but now he's resting a bit easier. In addition to the Tops' hits, hearing about his passing made me wanna hear Billy Bragg's "Levi Stubbs' Tears"?


When I heard that he had died, I of course thought of and listened to the tracks that have always meant so much to me. I also thought of how the Motown sound has permeated so deeply into rock, R&B, and all manner of other pop music.

I even remembered his bizarre turn in the movie version of Little Shop of Horrors. He somehow managed to steal the show, while voicing...a giant, singing plant. That was some voice.
 

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