Barrett Robust, who scored successful with 1959’s “Cash (That’s What I Need)” and went on to pen many extra Motown classics for different artists, has reportedly died on the age of 81.
“I’m saddened to listen to of the passing of Barrett Robust, one in every of my earliest artists, and the person who sang my first large hit “Cash (That’s What I Need)” in 1959,” Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. mentioned partly by way of assertion. “My heartfelt condolences exit to his household and mates. Barrett is an authentic member of the Motown Household and shall be missed by all of us.”
Born Feb. 5, 1941, in West Level, Miss., Robust’s household relocated to Detroit when he was only a youngster. He grew up within the Motor Metropolis, singing in his church’s gospel group and ultimately changing into mates with such future stars as Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke.
It was Wilson who launched Gordy to Robust in 1957, and the 2 males quickly started working collectively.
Two years later, they’d document the primary hit for Motown. “Cash (That is What I Need)” took place unexpectedly, as Robust and Gordy had been improvising tune concepts. Robust, riffing off of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say?,” got here up with the tune’s distinctive piano half.
“I used to be taking part in, after which that little factor got here up and everyone mentioned, ‘What was that?!’” he recalled many years later to Morning Solar. “They mentioned, ‘Let’s write some lyrics,’ and we had a tune.”
Initially launched in August 1959, “Cash (That is What I Need)” reached No. 2 on the R&B chart and No. 23 on the Billboard Scorching 100. It might go on to be coated by a slew of artists, together with the Beatles, the Kingsmen, the Rolling Stones, Jerry Lee Lewis and Led Zeppelin. The tune would show to be the one hit of Robust’s recording profession as a lead artist, nonetheless he helped craft many extra profitable tunes for different acts.
Take heed to Barrett Robust’s ‘Cash (That is What I Need)’
Working as a songwriter for Motown, usually alongside producer Norman Whitfield, Robust helped craft such timeless tunes as “Warfare” by Edwin Starr, the Undisputed Fact’s “Smiling Faces Generally” and “I Heard It Via the Grapevine,” which was recorded by each Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight & the Pips.
Robust was additionally behind a handful of hits by the Temptations, together with “I Want It Would Rain,” “Simply My Creativeness,” “Cloud 9,” “Psychedelic Shack” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” the latter of which earned Robust a Grammy Award.
In 1972, Robust left Motown. He’d signal with Epic information and later Capitol, however his materials with each of these corporations paled to his earlier label’s success.
In 2004, Robust was inducted into the Songwriters Corridor of Fame. Later in life, he’d look again on his Motown years with fondness.
“It was a good time,” he recalled in 2016. “We had been simply children, and we did it for the enjoyable, not the cash. We loved being on the studio all day, working. These days folks need the cash first, which I can perceive. However we used to place the product first and figured if we labored onerous we’d receives a commission. It was simply an period.”
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