In Recognition of a Great One, by Maddogg Guest Writer, T.H. Johnson
Just came to our attention a day ago from friends in the Big D, not Dallas/Fort Worth, but the motor city of Detroit that Mr. Willie Ford, the incomparable bass singer from Detroit for the fabulous Dramatics passed away at the end of May 2019. Willie’s rich bass baritone voice helped give the Dramatics that powerful harmony they were known for in virtually every song they sang. Always a joy to watch on stage wherever they performed. Ford’s death now leaves only two, Larry “Squirrel” Demps, from the original Dramatics from 1961 until his departure around 1983, and the pride and joy of Saginaw, MI, Mr. Larry ” L.J.” Reynolds who came into the group around 1973 until the present.
He came in along with the late Lenny Mayes as a part of the second set of Dramatics and undoubtedly the set that would become the most well known. Willy Ford’s unusual lead on Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs Jones” allowed the Dramatic’s to claim that song as their own with their inimitable harmonic version of that chart topper.
R.I.P. Willy Ford, your performances, and style, were great and as the others certainly will be sorely missed.