Dick Griffey
American record producer
Dick Griffey
Richard Gilbert "Dick" Griffey was an American record producer and promoter who founded SOLAR Records, an acronym for "Sound of Los Angeles Records", which played a major role in developing a funk-oriented blend of disco, R&B and soul music during the 1970s and 1980s. As a concert promoter, Griffey arranged bookings for artists including James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Jon Gibson,http://www. soultracks. com/jon_gibson.
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  • 2010
    Age 71
    Griffey died at the age of 71 on September 24, 2010, at a rehabilitation center in Canoga Park, Los Angeles, where he had been recuperating after undergoing quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery.
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  • 2005
    Age 66
    His daughter Carolyn Griffey joined Shalamar in 2005 and performs as a member currently.
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  • 1997
    Age 58
    However, in July 1997, Griffey along with one-time N.W.A associate and rapper Tracy "The D.O.C." Curry sued Death Row claiming they were "pushed out" of their share in ownership and profits from the record label by Knight and Dre.
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  • 1977
    Age 38
    Griffey formed his own label, SOLAR Records (an acronym for Sound of Los Angeles Records) in 1977.
    More Details Hide Details Music critic Stephen Holden, of The New York Times, predicted a bright future for the label in the pop market, writing a profile under the headline "Solar Could Be the Motown of the 80's". SOLAR acts included Shalamar, which produced such hits as "The Second Time Around" and "This Is for the Lover in You". With The Whispers, SOLAR released such hits as "And the Beat Goes On" (co-written by Griffey) and "Rock Steady". Other acts signed by SOLAR during the 1980s were The Deele, Dynasty, Klymaxx, Lakeside, Midnight Star and The Whispers. As a promoter, Griffey booked tours for artists including James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson, earning the moniker "Kingpin of Soul Promoters". After Jon Gibson was signed to Griffey's subsidiary label, Constellation Records, Griffey would have fun tricking a number of his artists with Jon's tape (they thought it was Stevie Wonder). Jon's debut came as a guest vocalist for three songs on Bill Wolfer's album, Wolf. It was during the process of making that album that Jon met his musical idol, Stevie Wonder, and worked with a crew of other musicians, including Michael Jackson. Wolfer returned the favor the next year by producing Gibson's debut album, Standing on the One. The debut showed that Gibson was more than a Wonder-clone and that he had song-writing skills to go with his 'great voice'.
  • 1975
    Age 36
    Griffey worked as talent co-ordinator on Soul Train, the musical variety show created by Don Cornelius, and together they established Soul Train Records in 1975.
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  • 1938
    Richard Gilbert Griffey was born on November 16, 1938, and grew up in the housing projects of Nashville, Tennessee, where he was a drummer in local clubs in his teens.
    More Details Hide Details After briefly attending Tennessee State University, he enlisted in the United States Navy at age 17. He served as a medic and worked as a private-duty nurse after completing his military service. After moving to Los Angeles in the 1960s, Griffey became part owner of Guys and Dolls, a nightclub which featured performances by such rising stars as Isaac Hayes and Ike & Tina Turner.
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