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date: 12 December 2019

Earth, Wind & Firelocked

  • John Piccarella

Extract

Rhythm-and-blues and funk group formed by the brothers Maurice White (b Memphis, TN, 19 Dec 1941 vocals, songwriting, drums, and production) and Verdine White (b Chicago, IL, 25 July 1951; bass guitar and vocals). Their brother Fred White joined the group on drums in 1974. Other principal members were Philip Bailey (vocals), Roland Bautista (guitar), Larry Dunn (keyboards), Ralph Johnson (vocals and percussion), and Andrew Woolfolk (saxophone). Its lineup has changed frequently.

Maurice White began playing drums in Memphis with his schoolmate Booker T. Jones (who later led Booker T. and the MGs). He studied in Chicago, first at Roosevelt University, then at the Chicago Conservatory. In the early 1960s he worked as a session drummer for Chess Records, and in 1966 he became the drummer for Ramsey Lewis. He formed the Salty Peppers in 1969 and the group had some local success. After moving to Los Angeles in ...

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