b. Earl Van Dyke, 8th July 1930, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. 18th September 1992, Harper Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
In 1964, he replaced Choker Campbell as leader of Tamla / Motown's studio house band.
The new group, the Funk Brothers, also included James Jamerson (bass) and Benny Benjamin (drums), but was known formerly as the Earl Van Dyke Six when touring in support of the label's vocal acts.
Besides his work as the session keyboardist on several Motown hits such as 'Bernadette' and 'I Can't Help Myself' by The Four Tops, 'Runaway Child, Running Wild' for the Temptations, and 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine' by Marvin Gaye.
that motown sound - 1965 / the earl of funk - 1970
He released two albums, 'That Motown Sound' (for Motown Records) and 'The Earl Of Funk' (for the Soul imprint) in 1965 and 1970 respectively.
all for you - 1965 / 6 by 6 - 1970
He also released six singles including ' Six By Six' and 'All For You'.
Several of Van Dyke's recordings feature him playing keys over the original instrumental tracks for Motown hits; others are complete covers of Motown songs.
Van Dyke played various keyboard instruments including:
the Steinway grand piano
the Hammond B-3 organ
the Wurlitzer electric piano
the Fender Rhodes
the celeste and harpsichord.
In 1989, he was signed to Ian Levine's, U.K. based Nightmare imprint, releasing the single 'Detroit City' for the label.
In September of 1992, at the age of 62, Earl Van Dyke died of prostate cancer at the Harper Hospital in Detroit.
As Earl Van Dyke and the Soul Brothers:
That Motown Sound (Motown 1965)
As Earl Van Dyke:
The Earl Of Funk (Soul 1970)