Motown songwriter-producer Deke Richards dead at 68

March 26, 2013 at 7:57 PM
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SEATTLE, March 26 (UPI) -- Motown songwriter-producer Deke Richards has died at a hospice in Washington state after a battle with esophageal cancer, his family said. He was 68.

The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the Sunday death of the Los Angeles-born musician, who penned and produced songs for iconic acts such as The Jackson 5, Diana Ross & The Supremes and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas.

Among the records he helped make hits were "I Want You Back," "Love Child," "Mama's Pearl," "Maybe Tomorrow," "Goin' Back to Indiana" and "I'm Still Waiting."

He most recently mixed eight unreleased tracks by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas for "50th Anniversary: The Singles 1962-1972," a box set to be released April 5, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Richards is survived by Joan, his wife of 26 years; his brother Dane; and nephews Chris and Cory.

Private, family-only services have been planned, the entertainment industry trade newspaper said.

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