In Memoriam: Melvin Dunlap

Melvin Dunlap

Soul music legend Melvin Dunlap has passed away at the age of 76. The news was shared by his son, Lamont, on Facebook.

Dunlap was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He picked up the bass as a kid while sick and stuck in bed for an extended time, he told the NAMM Oral History Program. After playing in local bands for a few years, he was asked to tour with the O’Jays. That led him to move to California where he worked odd jobs to make a living.

He met Charles Wright, who told Dunlap he wanted to put a band together. Together they created The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, where he laid down the low end on the hit “Express Yourself,” among many others.

He later joined soul icon Bill Withers and utilized all of his influences to record on the classic hits “Lean On Me,” “Use Me,” “Who Is He (And What Is He To You)?” and more.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Melvin Dunlap.

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