From the AFRO online newspaper:
Motown writer and producer Frank Wilson, who produced records for performers including The Supremes, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations but may be best known for a single featuring his voice that became an underground sensation in Britain, died in Southern California Sept. 27, his family said. He was 71.
One of Wilson’s daughters, Tracey Stein, confirmed her father’s death from complications from a lung infection, to The Los Angeles Times.
Born Frank Edward Wilson on Dec. 5, 1940, he was the third of six children of James Wilson and the former Samantha Gibbs, of Houston. Wilson learned to play the piano by ear from his mother, a domestic, and sang with his uncles’ group, the Gibbs Five.
After doing an 18-month stint at the Southern University of Baton Rouge, Wilson headed to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music.
He joined Motown in 1964, working out of the label’s West Coast outpost. He helped produce Stevie Wonder’s hit, “Castles in the Sand.” He also wrote or co-wrote records such as “Love Child” for Diana Ross and the Supremes, “Chained” for Marvin Gaye and “All I Need” and “Keep on Trucking (Part I)” for the Temptations.
Perhaps his greatest professional coup, however, was the popularity gained by his unreleased single, “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do),” which somehow made it across the Atlantic and became a huge hit in the United Kingdom. So prized was the song that a rare copy sold in 2009 for $39,294, making it the most expensive music single ever sold at auction, according to Guinness World Records.
“I was unaware that this record still existed,” Wilson told the British press in 2001, according to the Times. “A Motown boss ordered all the masters to be destroyed. Somehow, a copy surfaced in Britain. I consider it one of my life’s great achievements.”
In 1976, the Baptist-raised Wilson, whose maternal grandfather and several uncles were ministers, left the music business to become a pastor. He had recognized a “huge spiritual void” in his life that he was determined to fill, he told The Cleveland Plain Dealer in 1995.
“I just had a one-track mind and that was making the next number one record,” Wilson told the Dealer. “It took God to make me realize there was more to life than music.”
Wilson attended Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, served as a personal pastor to Motown and other Hollywood entertainers and, in 2004, founded the Christian fellowship, New Dawn Christian Village, in downtown Los Angeles.
Wilson is survived by his wife of 42 years, P. Bunny Wilson; six children; six grandchildren; a sister; and three brothers.
Funeral services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Oct. 5 at Faithful Central Bible Church’s Tabernacle, 321 N. Eucalyptus Ave., Inglewood, Calif.
From his church web site:
Frank E. Wilson
Frank, a counselor to pastors, politicians, entertainers, business persons and many others, is a leader in numerous national and international ministries, and a leading producer in the booming Gospel music field. Formerly a popular record producer, Wilson is an author and a teacher/preacher conducting seminars while speaking and preaching at conferences both at home and abroad.
Dr. Frank Wilson, author and teacher, a former award winning record producer and songwriter, is the founder of Fellowship West International, a trans-denominational umbrella organization for theChristian Entertainer’s Fellowship(CEF) organized in 1977, Fellowship West Youth Ministry &Breakaway Youth Conferences which began in 1988, along with the Christian Business and Professional Fellowship, and Dayspring Singles & Married Couples Conferences. Wilson is also a founding board member of Breakaway Technologies,(a training program for youth and information service). He is a past board member of Bibles for the World, a Norwegian based, non-profit Christian corporation: a founding board member of DestinyInc, an Atlanta, Ga. based domestic and international missions sending organization, and member advisory board, speaker, worship leader of the MVM National Men’s Conferences.
Wilson, the former Chairman of the Board of the United Gospel Industry Council (UGIC) is presently the President of H.O.M.E. (Home Ownership Made Easy, a division of Fellowship West) and also helped to organize the Black American Response to the African Community (BARAC) and served as its Executive Director for 2 years, followed by seven as its President.
Wilson has received numerous city, county, state and national commendations for religious, civic and community achievements.
He has appeared regularly on local and national television programs including TBN, CBN (featuring a major biographical sketch), “The PTL Club,” the ABC-TV Special “The Desert’s Edge,” “Two On The Town,” “The Other Half” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and has been the subject of additional TV, newspaper and magazine articles. He attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA and Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. before becoming an ordained minister. He is the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Divinity, conferred by Vision International University and College, of San Diego, CA.
Originally a native of Houston, Tex., Wilson is married to P. Bunny Wilson, a much sought after author and public speaker. Dr. Wilson is the author of “The Master’s Degree–Majoring In Your Marriage”, published by Harvest House, and “Unmasking the Lone Ranger.” published by New Dawn Publishing.
Prior to the founding of New Dawn Christian Village, Wilson traveled extensively, speaking in person for churches and conferences impacting thousands throughout the world year round. Together, he and Bunny have six children and did attend Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, where the late Dr E.V. Hill was the pastor, and where Wilson served as an assistant to him and superintendent of the Orientation Department Church School for 28 years before resigning from that position in 2003.