Deke Richards, Motown songwriter, has died.
Richards was one of the four members of The Clan, and - after the Clan disbanded - was one of the four members of The Corporation - alongside Berry Gordy, Alphonzo Mizell and Freddie Perren. Both groups of songwriters were created by Berry Gordy, desperate to avoid the creation of more "back room superstars" after Holland-Dozier-Holland grew too large for the label.
Although only partially successful at burying the characters of the team, both groups did well as creative forces. The Clan was short-lived, but produced a couple of outstanding tracks for Diana Ross & The Supremes:
The Corporation were even more powerful creatively:
The team was disbanded in 1972 - their main focus had been writing for the Jackson 5, a role that was being taken on by Hal David. Subsequently, Motown relented and allowed their group credit to be replaced by the names of the individuals involved.
Last year, Richards was involved in selecting and polishing a collection of Jackson 5 rarities, Come And Get It.
Deke Richards had been suffering from oesophageal cancer. He died March 24th, at the age of 68.