The super beat maker of the 1970s, Hamilton Frederick Bohannon popularly known as Bohannon was one of the greatest musicians of the disco era. He was born in Newnan, Georgia, United States of America on March 7, 1942 and learned how to play the drums at school. He began playing in local bands, one of which featured guitarist Jimi Hendrix, before graduating from college with a degree in music. He was recruited in 1964 as drummer in the then 13-year-old Stevie Wonder’s touring band.
Hamilton Bohannon was employed by Motown Record at Detroit in 1967 as the leader and arranger of Bohannon & The Motown Sound, who provided backing for many of the label's top acts on tour, including Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations and the Four Tops, and others. When Motown moved from Detroit to Los Angeles, Bohannon stayed behind to form his own ensemble, featuring members of local band, The Fabulous Counts and including such musicians as Ray Parker Jr. and Dennis Coffey.
|Hamilton Bohannon on Stage in the Early 1970s|
Bohannon eventually began a solo career and released his debut album “Stop & Go” in 1973 and by the end of the 1980s, he made 18 more records. His music was popular in the ’70s disco era, but only one of his songs, “Good Stompin Music,” reached the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975. However, his funk music endured the years and has been sampled by artists like Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige, and Snoop Dogg. In 2019, his song “Save Their Souls” appeared on the soundtrack for “Just Mercy,” the real-life legal drama starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson. His most recent single, “Bohannon Combination Gumbo Mix,” was released in February 2020.
Hamilton Bohannon died on April 24, 2020 and is survived by his son Bohannon II and his daughter April.