The SRO Show – Maurice White
Eternal Boogie Wonderland
Produced by Lawrence Standifer Stevens
Written by Joseph E. Casanova
Maurice White, who co-founded Earth, Wind, & Fire, has passed. Known for Earth, Wind & Fire’s hits Boogie Wonderland and Fantasy, co-founder Maurice White broadened his musical spectrum collaborating with superstars Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow and Cher.
The music world lost yet another brilliant artist with the passing of Maurice White on Feb. 4, 2016 at age 74 at his home in Los Angeles.
Born on Dec. 19, 1941 in Memphis, Tennessee, White would’ve joined the rest of Earth, Wind & Fire at this year’s Grammys to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
According to the band’s website, he formed a songwriting team called the Salty Peppers in 1969 which later evolved into Earth, Wind & Fire, named after the three elements in his astrological chart.
The group eventually signed with CBS Records and its collection called Head to the Sky scored the hits Evil and Keep Your Head to the Sky.
Originally meant as the soundtrack for the 1975 film, That’s the Way of the World, Earth, Wind & Fire released the album as a standalone eventually topping the Billboard 200. The lead single, Shining Star, hit #1 and earned a Grammy for Best R&B Performance. The title track also reached the top 15 and still receives much airplay today.
In 1978, Earth, Wind & Fire landed in the top ten again with a cover of the Beatles’ Got to Get You into My Life.
The following year saw the group’s greatest chart success with no less than three top ten singles – the up-tempo September, the club standard Boogie Wonderland with girl group the Emotions; and the lovelorn ballad After the Love Has Gone.
After working with soul diva Deniece Williams and the Emotions, White ventured off into the pop mainstream in the 80’s. He co-wrote the track Only in Chicago with Barry Manilow in 1980 and Time Machine for Barbra Streisand four years later.
White programmed drums on the song Dangerous Times on Cher’s 1987 comeback album. He even worked with LA rockers, the Tubes, on a cut entitled Tip of My Tongue which appeared on 1983’s Outside Inside.
White reunited with the band in the late 80’s, leading to the release of the Grammy-nominated set Touch the World and the dance anthems Thinking of You and System of Survival.
So far, Earth, Wind & Fire has sold 100 million records worldwide and won two Grammys out of 20 nominations.
Mr. Maurice White may be gone, but Boogie Wonderland will always remain eternally open.