Maurice King Obituary - December 1992 Apr 29, 2007 11:57:49 GMT -5
Post by HitsvilleSoul on Apr 29, 2007 11:57:49 GMT -5
Performance coach, manager nurtured many Motown stars
December 29, 1992
BY KAREN JACOBS Free Press Staff Writer
Associated Press contributed to this report
Gladys Knight and the Pips, Martha Reeves, the Four Tops, the Spinners and other Motown singing stars gathered Monday at the Union Baptist Church in River Rouge to memorialize longtime Motown Records manager Clarence Maurice King Sr.
Mr. King, 81, of Detroit died of a heart attack Friday at the Michigan Health Center. For six decades, he was a mentor and consultant to many musicians.
Born in Greenwood, Miss., Mr. King attended Fisk and Tennessee A&I universities before moving to Detroit in 1937. In the 1940s, he was musical director, coach and tour manager for The World's Greatest All Girl Dance Band.
He became Motown's performance coach and a manager in 1963, helping the Supremes, Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and other acts.
"He was a perfectionist," said Knight, who had worked with him since her childhood. "He helped to shape your entertainment future."
Mr. King conducted and arranged for singers Jackie Wilson, Della Reese, Sam Cooke, B.B. King and Billie Holiday. He was musical director of the Fox Theatre during the 1960s. He left Motown as an employee in the 1970s, but continued to work with the company as an independent musical director, said Esther Edwards, director of the Motown Museum.
Mr. King's survivors include his wife, Nellie Foreman-King; daughter, Karen Lane; stepdaughter, Felicia Gray; sons Clarence Jr. and Evans; 13 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.
Mr. King was buried in Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit.