One of Motown Records' most talented songwriters and producers, Frank Wilson wrote or co-wrote a long list of hits including "Love Child," "I'm Living in Shame," "Up the Ladder to the Roof," and "Stoned Love" (the Supremes); "All I Need" (the Temptations); "Still Water Love" and "It's the Way Nature Planned It" (the Four Tops); "Boogie Down," "Keep on Truckin'," and "Darling Come Back Home" (Eddie Kendricks); "You Make Me So Very Happy" (Brenda Holloway, Blood, Sweat & Tears); "Chained" (Marvin Gaye), and "Whole Lot of Shakin' in My Heart" (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles).
Born in Houston, Wilson had moved to Los Angeles by the time he was in his teens. Hal Davis introduced him to Motown. One of his first cuts for Jobete (Motown's publishing arm) was Stevie Wonder's "Castles in the Sand" (1964). Wilson soon authored a whole slew of should-have-been-hits: "I Can't Turn Around" and "I'm Gonna Hold On Long as I Can" for the Marvelettes; "I've Got to Find It" for Brenda Holloway, and "Darling Come Back Home," "Honey Brown," "Hooked On Your Love," and "Son of Sagittarius" for Eddie Kendricks.
As a singer, Frank Wilson's only Motown single, 1965's "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)," (1965), is a prized item among collectors. (A duet featuring Wilson and Chris Clark performing "Do I Love You" escaped Motown's vaults sometime in the '90s.) For years, writers have Siamesed him with another Frank Wilson -- also with a Hal Davis connection -- who sang with the Remarkables and worked with Barry White in the '70s.
He left Motown in 1976, and became a born again Christian. He continued to lead national and international ministries with his wife Bunny, and wrote more books than songs. By the end of the century, the talented singer/songwriter/producer was getting more gloss and press than ever, including appreciation shows in the United Kingdom in the early 2000s, where Northern soul fans revere his work. Wilson died of cancer on September 27, 2012. ~ Andrew Hamilton