Born in 1941 in Memphis, Maurice White grew up in the Foot Homes projects and went to Booker T. Washington High School.
His father was a doctor who played the sax.
You could say the music was in him from the start.
Award winning producer David Porter and White became friends when they were just kids.
“Maurice and I were raised on the same street on Crump Boulevard and Third Street,” he said.
White joined the Ramsey Lewis Trio in the mid-1960’s then created Earth, Wind & Fire with his brother Verdine.
“He saw what he wanted to contribute through music and he was able to deliver on that, very few people are able to take vision and make it become respected all over the world. He’s one of those few individuals.”
Earth, Wind & Fire scored some of the biggest hits of the 70’s including “Shining Star”, “Got To Get You Into My Life,” and “After The Love Has Gone.”
He never forgot Memphis and worked with Porter, who created an organization to help young people get involved in music.
“He created this booklet for young folk to read and understand his ideas and concepts about how to write songs and create a band of performance value,” said Porter.
In the early 1990’s, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, but he remained active as a producer and songwriter.
“He could make music, and talk to you in a way that was so uniquely and powerful.”
Maurice White died in his sleep Wednesday night.
He was 74-years-old