Richard 'Popcorn' Wylie, Detroit Keyboardist, songwriter created Motown magic
Oralandar Brand-Williams / The Detroit News
DETROIT -- Richard "Popcorn" Wylie was among Motown Records' most prolific musicians and songwriters.
He played keyboards on the label's hit records "Please Mr. Postman," a tune recorded by the Marvelettes and Smokey Robinson, and The Miracles' first big hit record, "Shop Around."
Mr. Wylie, a Detroit resident, died Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008. He was found unresponsive in his bed, said his daughter Patrice Nelson. He was 69. She said her father had suffered from congestive heart failure, but the official cause of death has not yet been determined, Nelson said.
Born Richard Wayne Wylie into a musically inclined family in Detroit, Mr. Wylie attended Northwestern High School, where he formed a band named Popcorn and the Mohawks.
Nelson said her father got the name "Popcorn" because of the quick way he would pop out of the football team's huddle when he was a high school football player.
In 1959, he joined Motown as an artist, musician, bandleader and songwriter. He and his group released three songs for Motown, including "Money."
Nelson said her father wrote and contributed musically to some of the record label's greatest hits.
"He wrote the song 'With This Ring' for my mother. The song was recorded by The Platters," said Nelson.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Greater Miller Memorial Church of God In Christ, 4439 E. Nine Mile, Warren. The family hour will be at 10 a.m.
Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.
Last Edit: Oct 26, 2008 16:42:46 GMT -5 by Motorcity