Earth, Wind & Fire

For my research paper I will be writing about the band Earth, Wind & Fire. They were a band from 1969. The members of the band that I chose to write about are Maurice White, Verdine White, Larry Dunn, and Al McKay. Maurice was 74 when he was on Earth, WInd & Fire, and his parents were Verdine White Sr. and Edna Parker. Verdine White was 66 and his parents was also Verdine White Sr. Larry Dunn was 64 and Lawrence Dunn was his father. Al McKay was 70 when he was on Earth, Wind & Fire.
In Maurice’s early life he was a singer, songwriter, producer and drummer. He was born on December 19, 1941, in Memphis, Tennessee. After studying at Chicago Conservatory of Music, in 1963 he worked as a session drummer for Chess Records. Four years later, he began playing with the Ramsey Lewis Trio. After, that in 1969, he formed his own band in Chicago, which was called the “Salty Peppers”. Verdine was born on July 25, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois. He grew up listening to pop, jazz and classical music. Over the years he turned into a talented bass player.
Verdine was born in Lawrence Dunhill on June 19, 1953, in Denver, Colorado. He grew up loving music and began playing keyboards in a band when he was a teenager. After the group split up, his former bandmate, singer Philip Bailey, moved to Los Angeles and joined Earth, Wind ; Fire. Earth, Wind ; Fire then needed a keyboardist, Bailey recommended Dunn, who moved to Los Angeles and became a member in 1972. Al McKay was born on February 2, 1948, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a skilled guitar player and he landed a number of gigs in California including joining Charles Wright ; the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm. He was on a group known for the popular classic “Express Yourself” (1970)—before he became a member of Earth, Wind ; Fire in 1972.

Before Earth, Wind ; Fire Maurice White was studying at the Chicago Conservatory of Music. Later he found work in 1963 as a session drummer for Chess Records. Four years later, he began playing with the Ramsey Lewis Trio. In 1969, he formed his own band in Chicago, which was called the Salty Peppers. Verdine White grow up listening to pop, jazz and classical music. His father was a doctor but he didn’t want to go that route.
So, Verdine followed in the footsteps of other family members, like his grandfather and his older brother, Maurice White, and pursued music. Over the years, he turned into a talented bass player. Larry Dunn grew up loving music and began playing keyboards in a band when he was a teenager. Al McKay was a skilled guitar player. After he kept practicing for a long time and he landed a number of gigs in California. Verdine White just practiced be a bass player for different bands.
After a move to Los Angeles, White renamed his band as Earth, Wind & Fire. He also invited his younger brother, Verdine White, to join the group, and that’s how it all began. When their first albums didn’t break out, White shuffled the band’s members.
Newcomers included singer Philip Bailey and keyboardist Larry Dunn, soon guitarist Al McKay became a bandmate as well. The band began mixing jazz, R;B, funk, soul and pop music to their songs. They also African sounds, such as White playing the kalimba. Later in 1973 a new style and a new record label, Earth, Wind ; Fire’s album “Head to the Sky” sold more than 500,000 copies. Group proceeded to put out a succession of gold and platinum albums throughout the 1970s and early ’80s.
Many of the band’s hit songs were ones that White helped compose, such as “Shining Star,” “September” and “Let’s Groove.”White won six Grammys with Earth, Wind ; Fire, and received an award of his own for arranging “Got To Get You Into My Life.” Musician and vocalist, White also participated in the group’s spectacular concerts, which featured exotic touches such as pyramids and disappearing acts.
He also spent time on outside projects, such as an album for Deniece Williams. But White remained with Earth, Wind & Fire until the band took a four-year break from 1983 to 1987. After reuniting, White toured with the group until 1995. Though after a while White stopped touring, he continued to work with Earth, Wind & Fire as a producer and songwriter. Also he was with the band for its 2000 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Earth, Wind & Fire re-formed in 1987, but Larry Dunn did not rejoin the band. He wanted to continued to write and produce his own music, mostly for Japanese television commercials and films. Later, in 1992, he put out his first solo album, “Lover’s Silhouette” it initially released in Japan, and it became available in the United States a few years later. Former Earth, Wind ; Fire bandmates Al McKay and Ralph Johnson were guest performers on his album.
It did take part in a 2011 concert that celebrated Earth, Wind ; Fire’s 40th anniversary. It also contributed to the group’s 2013 release, “Now, Then ; Forever”. As a member of Earth, Wind ; Fire, Dunn was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. In a few years he joined the Songwriters Hall of Fame, in 2010.In 2011, he released another solo album, “N2 the Journey”, on his Source Music Productions label. McKay did not rejoin those who started working together again in 1987.
But, in 1990, he put together his own group, the LA Allstars, which later became the Al McKay Allstars. McKay’s new band continues to perform around the world. An interview he gave in 2013 to Tahiti’s Radio 1, McKay said that his performances with the Allstars were opportunities to revisit the Earth, Wind ; Fire songs he liked best.
In the same interview, he also noted that being a part of the group and its creativity had been “a real joy,” and said he still considers his former bandmates as brothers. In 2000, Maurice White revealed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and explaining his decision to withdraw from performing.He has said that not going on tour gave him the benefit of having more time to work on other projects.Included building a recording studio and founding Kalimba Records, his own record label.Also collaborated on “Hot Feet”, a musical set to Earth, Wind ; Fire songs 2010, White was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Maurice White later passed away on February 3, 2016, in his sleep from Parkinson’s disease when he was 74 years old. He was survived by his wife, Marilyn White, sons Kahbran and Eden, daughter Hamia, and brothers Verdine and Fred. Everyone was so devastated and heartbroken.
In conclusion Earth, Wind ; Fire was a very successful band. They had great singers, band members, and many more amazing things. Maurice White was the founder and creator of Earth, Wind ; Fire. He was also one of the lead singers in the band. The band made so many accomplishments like the hall of fame in 2000, and for their amazing performance on February 8, 2004, Earth, Wind ; Fire performed in a tribute to funk at the 46th annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, California.

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