Celebration of life planned for Motown Funk Brother Eddie Willis in Detroit on Saturday


Eddie Willis at a ceremony in 2013 for The Funk Brothers to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. - ANGELA GEORGE, WIKIMEDIA CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Angela George, Wikimedia Creative Commons
  • Eddie Willis at a ceremony in 2013 for The Funk Brothers to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Eddie "Chank" Willis, one of the original Motown Funk Brothers, died on Monday at age 82.

A celebration of his life is planned for Saturday, Sept. 8 at Detroit's Northern Lights Lounge. Music starts at 8 p.m. and is set to feature members of the Funk Brothers' touring band including Ralphe Armstrong, Carolyn Crawford, Delbert Nelson, Robert Jones, Donna Curtin, Charles Charlie-Hawk Hawkins, and more. There will also be DJ sets including "Motown music and Funk Brothers deep cuts throughout the evening," according to Northern Lights Lounge.

The guitarist was known for his parts on Motown classics like the Temptations' "The Way You Do the Things You Do," the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hanging On," the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" and Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour." Willis’ daughter Terez Willis told the Free Press that he died from complications from a lifelong bout with polio, which forced him to use a cane for most of his life.

Northern Lights Lounge is located at 660 W. Baltimore St., Detroit.

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