To say that this is all beginning to sound like a broken record is much too apt a comparison. The music industry has once again been robbed of one of its visionary talents. Earth, Wind, & Fire co-founder Maurice White has died at 74 as a result of his long fight with Parkinson’s. It’s like the whole world has just become one long broken record.
If I feel like dancing, Earth, Wind, & Fire is always on the playlist. They were one of the best and most successful R & B groups ever, and Maurice White was a large part of that success. He was their leader in every sense of the word, from songwriting to performing to producing. When his illness prevented him from performing with the group any longer, he continued to guide EWF from the sidelines, making sure that his group never strayed from his vision. He also produced a number of other artists and had some solo performing success.
What really gets me, besides the loss of another artist I enjoyed and admired, besides the grief of another family that I understand only too well, is the fact that this won’t nearly be the end of our losses as fans and listeners. All these great and influential artists from the 60s and 70s are getting older, and as Michael Wilbon of ESPN notes, Father Time is undefeated. We’ll always have the music these people have made. My beliefs tell me that no one is ever really gone; their existence is simply moved to another plane. But that doesn’t make any of this feel any better on this plane of existence. It still hurts. In this case, the only way to deal with the pain is to keep on dancing.
I think Maurice would like that.