[JPL] Ralph MacDonald RIP

Paul Combs pcomb at comcast.net
Mon Dec 19 16:15:57 EST 2011

I forgot to include this in my fist message.


With apologies,


On 12/19/11 12:27 PM, Jazz Promo Services wrote:
> Apparently Ralph McDonald passed away on December 18th.
> I had not really heard.
> One of you alerted me to his passing.
> All of us who were fans of CTI Jazz, know the work of Ralph McDonald. It
> seems like he was the percussionist on every album that the label
> released in the 70's. We also knew from the liner notes that he wrote
> the song "Mr. Magic." Also during the 70's for a hot moment he was the
> king of Disco with the song "Calypso Breakdown."
> Anyhow, I went to his website (http://www.ralphmacdonald.com
> <http://www.ralphmacdonald.com/>) for more
> info about his passing and although there wasn't much there about his
> passing, I found that the website was quite extensive in it's
> documentation about the life&  career of Ralph McDonald. The bio that
> appears below is taken from his website.
> There is a lesson here for artists.
> Every one of you out there who feels that you have created a musical
> legacy, that is worth other people remembering, should take not only a
> visit, but also take a lesson from the website of Ralph McDonald.
> Please do not leave it to others to document your legacy and then
> complain that your legacy has not been properly documented, or that you
> haven't been given props or that the whole world is out to get you.
> Please take it upon yourself to make absolutely certain that YOU have
> documented exactly what you want documented about yourself. And please
> do so in such a manner that the documentation will speak for itself.
> It isn't the responsibility of anyone else to make absolutely certain
> that this is done except for Y-O-U.
> http://www.ralphmacdonald.com<http://www.ralphmacdonald.com/>
> Grammy-award winning percussionist, songwriter and producer Ralph
> MacDonald was born in Harlem, NY in 1944. As the son of
> Trinidad-immigrant and Calypso performer "Macbeth The Great," Ralph grew
> up amidst the rise of Calypsonian revolution in New York City. The young
> boy was often placed playfully on his father's drums for a moment or two
> and, when he got older, MacDonald dreamed of someday achieving the
> regional success of his father.
> At 17, Ralph helped a friend carry his steel drums into an audition for
> legendary performer Harry Belafonte. The friend got the gig, and
> MacDonald became a regular at rehearsals. When one of the players in
> Belafonte's Steel Band was late for a rehearsal, Ralph brashly declared
> his ability to play, and wound up getting the job.
> Thus began a 10 year stint with Belafonte that schooled MacDonald in the
> music business. It also introduced him to songwriter Bill Salter, and
> the two began writing together to fill time on the road.
> At one point, young MacDonald had the nerve to tell Harry Belafonte that
> despite all the gold records on the wall, Belafonte didn't really know
> what Calypso was. Belafonte said "Fine kid - if you know so much because
> your father was a Calypso singer, then you write me a song."
> MacDonald delivered an album of songs: 1966's critically-acclaimed
> 'Calypso Carnival.'
> At 27, MacDonald, Bill Salter and William Eaton started their own
> publishing company, Antisia Music. Everyone told him he was crazy, but
> Ralph was determined to do it on his own. The partners opened a modest
> office in New York City and kept the door locked. When asked why,
> MacDonald explained that it was a publishing company, and that songs
> were meant to go out the door, not in. He gave himself two years to get
> the company going.
> One year and eleven months later and wondering if Antisia Music would
> survive, Ralph happened to begin working with Roberta Flack. He and
> Salter had written a song called "Where Is The Love," and in a studio
> session, he pitched it to Roberta. She recorded it, and it went on to
> sell 10 million copies, earning Roberta and Donnie Hathaway Grammys and
> firmly establishing Antisia Music.
> > From there the success kept on coming. Ralph began recording with
> legends like James Taylor, Billy Joel, Bette Midler, Diana Ross and Paul
> Simon. He and his partners wrote the Grover Washington Jr. hit "Mr.
> Magic" and Antisia Music placed a song called "Calypso Breakdown" on the
> BeeGees 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack. That album went on to sell 47
> million copies and earned MacDonald two Grammys of his own, as a
> performer and a producer. Riding high on the disco craze, Ralph released
> two albums of his own, gaining commercial success and international
> recognition.
> In 1980, Ralph wrote and produced Grover Washington Jr.'s classic album
> "Winelight." Among the MacDonald compositions were hits like
> "Winelight," "In The Name Of Love," and a song destined to become an
> American standard: "Just The Two Of Us." That song alone has been
> recorded by hundreds of artists worldwide, including Will Smith's 1999
> adaptation of the song.
> Today MacDonald still spends his time writing and recording for Antisia
> Publishing when he's not out on the road touring with Jimmy Buffett and
> the Coral Reefer Band. He also continues to release new albums of
> smooth, percussive jazz and pop. Now firmly established as a successful
> songwriter, a legendary percussion player, and an international star, it
> would seem that the kid from Harlem who dreamed of nothing more than
> achieving what his father had has succeeded in a big way.
> http://www.ralphmacdonald.com<http://www.ralphmacdonald.com/>
> -----------------
> Bob Davis
> earthjuice at prodigy.net
> bobdavis at radioio.com
> 609-351-0154
> ------------------
> <a href="http://bit.ly/68fmMf"<http://bit.ly/68fmMf%22>>  Co-Founder
> www.soul-patrol.com</a>
> <a href="http://bit.ly/1fn5cW"<http://bit.ly/1fn5cW%22>>  Blues, Hip Hop
> and Soul Music Director
> www.radioio.com</a>
> -------------------
> On 12/19/11 11:54 AM, "Lois Gilbert"<jazz at jazzcorner.com>  wrote:
>> I don't recall see a thread on Ralph's passing. Man, he was the best -
>> percussionist, composer and producer, and I might add avid boxing fan. He
>> taught me to love boxing.

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