The Pace Report

Season 2011 Episode 12.17.11

The Pace Report: "The Sensual Minister of Soul" The Leon Ware Interview

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Hailed as “The Sensual Minister of Soul,” singer/songwriter Leon Ware earned that title due the to songs he’s written for well over five decades. Leon’s sensual and erotic lyrics are responsible for legions of children being conceived while heating up the bedrooms and the back seats of cars. The Detroit, Michigan native was born on February 16th, 1940. As a child he began writing songs at the age of 9 when he penned his first song “The Girl of My Dreams.” He always wanted to become a vocalist like one of his idol’s the late Nat “King” Cole. In the 1950’s he formed a Doo-Wop group while attending McKenzie High School names The Romeos that included Lamont Dozier, who’d become part of one modern popular music’s legendary song writing hit-making teams, Holland-Dozier-Holland. During the late 1960’s Leon left Detroit and moved to New York City where he became an arranger at ABC Records. His first gold record “Got To Have You Back” recorded by the legendary Isley Brothers on Motown Records. The 1970’s was a very prolific time for Leon writing music for Ike and Tina Turner for their “Nuff Said” album. He penned Michael Jackson’s top five hit record “I Wanna Be Where You Are and songs on the landmark Quincy Jones record “Body Heat.” In 1975 Motown President Berry Gordy heard Leon’s demo of “I Want You” and thought that vocalist Marvin Gaye should record it. Over that year he and Marvin collaborated in what would become a classic recording. Over the last four decades musicians have recorded endless music penned by Leon including Minnie Riperton,Teena Marie, Average White Band, Donny Hathaway, Bobby Womack, James Ingram, and Jeffrey Osborne. He’s also recorded 11 solo projects including his current Stax Records release “Moon Ride.” Leon is currently recording new music which will be coming out soon working withmoreless

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