Robert Wilson, affectionately known as the “Godfather of the Bass,” passed away last night at the age of 53.
Wilson was the bassist for the funk pioneering Gap Band, which also included his two brothers, Ronnie and Charlie. The group was in its prime in the late ’70s through the mid-’80s, with hits such as “I Don’t Believe You Want to Dance (Oops!),” “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” and “Yearning for Your Love.”
Wilson was a huge influence on later bassists, including gospel master Andrew Gouche.
“Just found out that one of my MAIN influences on bass, Robert Wilson of the Gap Band just passed,” Gouche wrote on his Facebook page. “He was a legend, Icon, and unsung Hero on bass, So many of you bassists don’t even realize that a lot of what YOU do came from HIM! RIP my brother, your legacy lives…”
Wilson was still gigging, and was set to headline the upcoming Timeless Music Festival in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma on August 28. He had also been working on a new album that was expected out this fall.
Our condolences go out to Wilson’s family and friends.