Friday, October 17, 2008

Levi Stubbs (1936-2008)

Levi Stubbs, the longtime lead singer of the Four Tops, passed away today at his home in Detroit. He was 72.

The obituary is here.

Mr. Stubbs’s voice soared on such great Holland-Dozier-Holland songs as “Reach Out, I’ll Be There,” “Baby I Need Your Loving” and “Standing in the Shadows of Love.”

But I want to stream one of the group’s post-HDH hits – “Still Water (Love),” co-written by Smokey Robinson. Click here to listen.

And below is a heartbreaking video of Levi Stubbs – wheelchair-bound and overcome by emotions – performing with Aretha Franklin. (I have no details about when this took place.)


Matty said...

Don't forget his amazing turn voicing the plant Audrey II in the movie version of Little Shop of Horrors:

He'll be missed.

Thembi said...

Omg that was so touching. He was put on this earth to emote...If you get the chance please stop by my site and watch a classic temps/tops feud, so yummy/colored.

Anonymous said...

Jesus - all the great voices are going away - Still Water Runs Deep - gives me chills.

Thank you Mr. Levi Stubbs

bklyn6 said...

I was just counting the minutes until you posted this. It seems bad news travels fast.

R.I.P. Mr. Stubbs.

Anonymous said...

A great song, appropriate to the moment:

Levi Stubbs' Tears

With the money from her accident
She bought herself a mobile home
So at least she could get some enjoyment
Out of being alone
No one could say that she was left up on the shelf
It's you and me against the World kid she mumbled to herself

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs' tears run down his face

She ran away from home on her mother's best coat
She was married before she was even entitled to vote
And her husband was one of those blokes
The sort that only laughs at his own jokes
The sort a war takes away
And when there wasn't a war he left anyway

Norman Whitfield and Barratt Strong
Are here to make everything right that's wrong
Holland and Holland and Lamont Dozier too
Are here to make it all okay with you

One dark night he came home from the sea
And put a hole in her body where no hole should be
It hurt her more to see him walking out the door
And though they stitched her back together they left her heart in pieces on the floor

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
She takes off the Four Tops tape and puts it back in its case
When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs' tears...

fishesalot said...

That brought tears to my eyes, but God still let him do what he was put here to do - sooth us with song. He has made his mark in our hearts and now he is free.

RIP Levi, RIP.


destruction said...

With all due respect, here's a link to a website devoted to a love of Detroit Soul music....and their members' (which include one of daughters and several of his Motown buddies)take on Levi's passing:


What a sad day.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Thanks for that link, destruction. Soulful Detroit is an awesome site. I ought to spend more time there.

destruction said...


Pls do...especially when you have one of your soul music questions. It along with your site is one of the reasons my 9-year is standing behind me singing "Sally Go Round the Roses" instead of "My Baby Daddy".

Dollar Bill said...

Yup,Soulful Detroit was where my travels took me,post S.P.,just a better fit for me,even though my main interests are outside of the Deeee-troit scene,it is chock full of good people(and Stu,lol).
Pletty of room there for Funkateers.