91 Recommend It! 1,249 views

Songwriter, Percussionist Ralph MacDonald Dies

Published: 2011-12-22
Ralph MacDonald Ralph MacDonald, a highly regarded session musician and songwriter who co-wrote hits including “Where Is the Love?" and “Just the Two of Us," died on Sunday of lung cancer in Stamford, Connecticut. He was 67.

Born in New York City to a musical father from Trinidad, MacDonald learned to play steelpan percussion at an early age and performed with Harry Belafonte's band for a decade before striking out on his own. MacDonald's distinctive Afro-Caribbean percussion flavored dozens of popular songs, including David Bowie's “Young Americans" and Jimmy Buffett's “Margaritaville." Over the years, MacDonald worked with a wide range of artists, from Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Aretha Franklin to Luther Vandross and Amy Winehouse.

MacDonald earned two Grammy Awards in 1978 as a producer and performer on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, for which he contributed the track “Calypso Breakdown." “My approach is to work with melody by simply enhancing it," MacDonald told The New York Times in 1977, when the newspaper called him “the ghost behind the million-selling albums."


View the original article...

comments powered by Disqus
Read the All About Jazz Magazine - Free!

Read the All About Jazz Magazine - It's free!

Jam-packed with 100 pages covering a wide range of styles, subjects and from around the world—each issue includes interviews, profiles, columns, album reviews, web site news, and free MP3s. The AAJ magazine is available across all devices, can be shared socially, and opened from anywhere without the need to download an app.

Read the Winter 2014 Edition

Weekly Giveaways

Ed Palermo

Ed Palermo
About | Enter

Matthew Shipp

Matthew Shipp
About | Enter

Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley
About | Enter

Tord Gustavsen

Tord Gustavsen
About | Enter