Monday, 14 November 2016

Philippé Wynne

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Philippé Wynne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Philippé Wynne
Philippé Wynne.jpg
Background information
Birth namePhillippe Walker
Also known asSoul Walker Wynne
BornApril 3, 1941
DetroitMichigan, U.S.
DiedJuly 14, 1984 (aged 43)
Oakland, California, U.S.
Years active1968–1984
Philippé Wynne (aka Philippe Escalante Wynn Phillip Walker; 3 April 1941 Detroit – 14 July 1984 Oakland, California) was anAmerican singer. Best known for his role as the lead singer of The Spinners (a role he shared with fellow group members Bobby Smith, and Henry Fambrough). Wynne scored notable hits such as "How Could I Let You Get Away", "The Rubberband Man", and "One of a Kind (Love Affair)". After leaving The Spinners, Wynne never regained the same success, although he featured in hits by other artists such as "(Not Just) Knee Deep" by Funkadelic. Wynne died of a heart attack while performing at a nightclub.



Life and career[edit]

Born in DetroitMichigan, and raised in CincinnatiOhio,[1] Wynne began his musical career as a gospel singer. He soon switched to R&B and attained some measure of success, singing with Bootsy Collins's Pacemakers in 1968 and with James Brown's J.B.'sshortly thereafter. Wynne then spent time in Germany as the lead singer of the Afro Kings, a band from Liberia, before he replaced his cousin, G. C. Cameron, as one of the lead vocalists for The Spinners. He sang with the group until 1977, during which they achieved several successful albums and singles.
Wynne then launched a solo career with Alan Thicke as his manager.[2] His first album Starting All Over was released on the Cotillion label in 1977.[3] His fortunes turned upwards again when he joined George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic in 1979. He performed with them on several recordings, and was a featured vocalist on the Funkadelic single "(Not Just) Knee Deep" (a #1 hit on the Billboard R&B chart).[4] While associated with Parliament-Funkadelic, Wynne also appeared on the Bootsy Collins album Sweat Band. Wynne released the solo album Wynne Jammin' in 1980, and made a guest appearance on the song "Something Inside My Head" by Gene Dunlap, and in the song "Whip It" by the Treacherous Three. Wynne's final album was the self-titled Philippé Wynne, released by Sugar Hill Records in 1984.
On July 13, 1984, while performing at Ivey's nightclub in OaklandCalifornia, Wynne suffered a heart attack and died the following morning.


Growing up
His parents, DeGree Walker and Annie (née Wynn) divorced in November 1947 in Cincinnati. Around 1952, Philippe and his three siblings — Annie Walker, who later became an opera singer, Michael Leon Walker, and Margaret Walker — were placed in the New Orphan Asylum for Colored Children (which closed in 1967), in the Avondale neighborhood of Cincinnati, on Van Buren Street. Their father, DeGree Walker, was granted custody after the divorce, tho', he worked as a contractor in construction and had to travel.[1] Their mother, Annie, had run off to Detroit with another man.[5][6]
Around 1956, Philippé and his brother, Michael, ran away from the orphanage, and headed, to Detroit, to find their mother. In Detroit, the two formed a gospel group called the Walker Singers, which lasted until Philippe adopted his mother's surname, Wynn (initially without an "e"), and moved on to the The Spinners as lead singer.[1][5]
Marriage and children
Wynne married Ava Leflor on February 1, 1973, in Las Vegas. They had two sons, Emmanuel Wynn (1973–2001) and Alvarez Escalante Wynn (1975–1999). Ava was fromCompton, California, and the four of them moved back to California sometime after Philippé left The Spinners. After that, Philippe and Ava eventually divorced. Philippé's younger son, Alvarez, at age 24, was killed in 1999 from a drive-by shooting in Compton. Philippe's older son, Emmanuel, accidentally drowned the very next year while trying to save a man. He was living in Florida at the time. Emmanuel was posthumously given the Carnegie Medal for his heroism.[7]
More about family members
Annie Walker — a soprano who had studied voice with Ruth Beyer (née Kessler; 1906–1996) of Cincinnati, Robert Powell, and Helen Laird, the latter two of the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music — became a frequent soloist with orchestras that included the Cincinnati Symphony and the National Symphony; in 1969, she moved to Germany to perform principal roles with the Deutsche Opera in Düsseldorf under a five-year contract.
Philippé's mother, Annie, before marrying DeGree Walker, had been married from August 16, 1932, to March 1942, to Henry Columbus Hamm (born 1904). Together they had four children, Henry Richard Hamm (1932–1987), Robert Hamm (born 1934), and Joanne Hamm (born 1936). Annie, earlier, with John Porter, had a daughter, Gloria Isabelle Porter (1927–2003).


  • Romanski, Patricia and Holly George-Warren (Editors). The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. New York, NY: Fireside, 2005.



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