Saturday, October 18, 2008

R.I.P. Levi Stubbs

The soulful, evocative voice of Levi Stubbs has been silenced. Mr. Stubbs died yesterday at home in Detroit. He was 72.

This proud daughter of Detroit is lucky enough to have The Four Tops in the soundtrack of her childhood. No boy band, pop tart princess or rapper performing today can touch the range of human emotions Levi could express with his haunting voice. Thank you, Mr. Stubbs, for the music and the memories. You were a class act, and you will be missed. God bless.

The Four Tops perform in 1966. If this doesn't send shivers down your spine, check your pulse!

This is perhaps my personal favorite Four Tops song, recorded live in Miami, including Levi Stubbs on lead vocals. The date of this performance is in question; it has been widely reported as 2004, but that is unlikely since Mr. Stubbs had suffered a stroke by then. It was more likely recorded a year or two earlier. He was in his mid-60's then, and still had a voice that could break your heart. Bernadette:

The Detroit News has a wonderful tribute, including fabulous old photos, in today's edition: 'At Motown, Levi Stubb's Voice Was Tops'

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