“Godfather of the Bass” Robert Wilson Passes at 53

Robert WilsonRobert 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.

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  1. Skip

    RIP you will always be known as one of the greats…

  2. The one and only “Robert Wilson” was simply the best!

  3. Michael Bowman

    He was a good Bassist along with many others in R&B music in the 70’s and 80’s but not in a Godfather of Bass category.

    • Morris Rentie, Jr.

      Awesome touch and feel with a tone that has never been matched. His live performances were extremely funky and soulful. A true legend and inspiration to so many musicians that It’s crazy. Glad to have witnessed so many concerts by The Gap Band while Mr. Wilson was with us. RIP Robert, my bass brother in heaven! Peace