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Eddie Willis
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Staff Writer

   A Motown legend and Gore Springs resident is flying to Hollywood later this month to see his band’s star placed on the Walk of Fame.
   Eddie “Chank” Willis will visit Tinsel Town on March 21, along with his only surviving band mate, guitarist Joe Messina. They were members of The Funk Brothers, the studio band that played the music on some of Motown’s most legendary hits, including “My Girl,” by The Temptations, “Heard it Through the Grapevine,” by Marvin Gaye and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.   
   “I’m extremely honored by this. This is for the guys who are dead,” said Willis, 76, speaking of his band mates. The Funk Brothers included Joe Hunter, Earl Van Dyke, James Jamerson, Benny Benjamin, Richard Allen, Robert White and Eddie Brown.
   The band performed the backing to most Motown recordings from 1959 until the company moved to Los Angeles in 1972. They were virtually unknown until a 2002 documentary titled “Standing i the Shadows of Motown,” shed light on their work.

For the full story, see the printed edition or the online edition of the GrenadaStar.

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