Ronnie Wilson, 1/3 of the Wilson brothers who made up legendary R&B/funk group The Gap Band, has died after a long illness.
For more than a decade the Gap Band rode at the top of the R&B charts, creating great music that has increased in stature over time. Their work influenced a new generation of artists who have liberally borrowed from the Gap sound in creating modern soul and hip-hop albums.
Formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the early 70s by brothers Charlie, Ronnie and Robert Wilson, the Gap Band often mimicked musical pioneers George Clinton, Stevie Wonder and Earth Wind & Fire before developing their own distinctive sound in the early 80s that propelled them to the forefront of soul and funk music. Named as an acronym for three streets in Tulsa, the Gap Band spent most of the 70s as backing musicians or as the warm-up act for visiting artists ranging from the Rolling Stones to Willie Nelson.
The Gap Band’s next albumwas its biggest. IV became one of 1982’s most notable soul albums and popped out three top 10 crossover smashes, “Outstanding,” “Early In the Morning” and the group’s signature hit, “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” – a song that has since been sampled by other artists countless times. About that time the Gap Band was also becoming a great touring funk band, and the group spent the remainder of the 80s topping bills around the world while also maintaining its Soul radio popularity with hits such as “Big Fun,” “Party Train,” “Beep A Freak” and a #1 remake of the Friends of Distinction’s “Going In Circles.” Charlie Wilson also established himself as one of the most distinctive lead singers in soul music, as his slightly raspy, strong baritone powered also not only Gap hits, but also songs of other artists (most notably Zapp’s “Computer Love”).
Monica, I’m so saddened by the loss of Michael, if I could…
I’d wipe your tears;
If I was Almighty- because I’m human I’d bring him back;
I would say it’s going to be alright
Id say say “hold on” to God’s unchanging hand
I’d say God knows best
I’d say God knows best
If I were you and folk said that to me I’d be like shut up – she’s gone and it hurts and I’d question everything I did whether wrong or right – it would all be wrong
So what I’ll say is I love you and I’m here for you…
Dear God, I bring Monica a grieving parent into your throne of grace. Lord, she is going through a lot of pain after the loss of her child Michael. It is not an easy thing for a parent to bury their child. Father comfort her. Help her to continue being faithful to you even through the pain. Lavish her with your love and fill the void left in her heart with your unconditional love. In the name that is of Jesus Christ, I believe and pray. Amen.
You think about the moment it will happen after you reach a certain age. You think of all the things you’re going to do and say. You imagine those precious moments where it’s just the two of you and the smile you receive after you have taught a valuable lesson you hope it will last for years to come. You think of all the things you did wrong, all the wrong turns you took in your own life. You think of all the things you should have done and said. You remember those awful moments you had in your life – those mistakes that try to haunt you forever. Then the moment comes when your daughter says, “Mom, I’m pregnant!” You hear her say it and you’re filled with joy and pain simultaneously. You see my story isn’t so pretty, with great memories of a husband, a baby shower, a college fund, and great outings with grandparents. I made some very wrong turns in my life and it took me – for what seems like a lifetime to recover. Just when I thought I had it all together, the enemy came in like a flood and took me back to those long dark nights of pain. Then I escaped with the hand of God. Yeah, so when I heard those words I was frightened, fearful and joy was trying it’s hardest to seep through the darkness. One day – I smiled and thought to myself I’m going to be the best grandma ever! I thought about all the things I was going to say, the many times I would go against my daughter’s wishes and spoil that baby (just like my mother did). I thought about the times I would have to be a strong tower of faith for those moments when her child would give her grief. I wanted to do for that baby what I missed doing for my baby girl…
I watched her take great care dressing the warmer. She was so loving and thoughtful. I was both in awe and cringing with regret – you see I didn’t always deliver such loving and tender moments with my daughter. The enemy had me caught in the grips of addiction and fear. I watched her gently ask my daughter questions about her desires for the pictures and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how she delivered the disclosure about “next steps” as only someone who embodied great love and compassion for another human. Oh my, the floodgates have finally been released as I try and finish this story…
You see I just want to thank God even for the not so good moments – especially after my daughter delivered a still born baby.
By Bob Collins Eagle Guest Writer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjP-IeA-K1E WHITE PLAINS, New York – Dr. Olivia J. Hooker, a survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre, has passed away, her goddaughter Janis confirmed. Janis said Dr. Hooker passed away at her home in White Plains, New York Wednesday, Nov.21, and she will be buried in New York. In 1945, Olivia Hooker became the first African-American to join the U.S. Coast Guard. She later earned a doctorate degree in psychology and became a professor at Fordham University. And she is said to be the last survivor of the infamous burning of “Black Wall Street” in Tulsa, Okla., although there was some dispute about that fact earlier this year when NPR ran a story about her. “My father’s store was destroyed,” Hooker told Radio Diaries. “There was nothing left but one big safe. It was so big they couldn’t carry it away, so they had to leave it — in the middle of the rubble.” The Burning of Black Wall Street in 1921 is considered one of the worst racial atrocities in American history, although it was rarely taught in any history class. Over two days, 300 African Americans were killed. She campaigned to allow black women into the military, but then she was frustrated that nobody was joining. “If I go and I survive, maybe someone else will come,” she said. So she tried to join the Navy but was refused on “a technicality” that was never revealed to her. She joined the Coast Guard Semper Paratus “Always Ready” (SPARs) instead in 1945. When the Coast Guard dedicated a wing of its training center in her honor, she shared her philosophy. “Love all, trust few, and do right.” Her death was announced by her nephew on a Facebook page dedicated to her.