The keyboardist and songwriter was Parliament-Funkadelic's musical director.
By: Legacy Staff
1 year ago
Walter "Junie" Morrison, a keyboardist and producer who performed with George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic as well as the Ohio Players, has died, according to multiple news sources. Morrison was 62.
Morrison, who was born in 1954, also performed with the British group Soul II Soul, which had a hit with the 1989 single "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)."
Morrison's death was announced by Dâm-Funk, who said Morrison's daughter, Akasha, shared the news. Morrison appeared on Dâm-Funk's 2015 album, "Invite the Light," which opened with the song "Junie's Transmission."
"We spoke often," Dâm-Funk tweeted. "Walter 'Junie' Morrison's daughter Akasha called me with the news of his passing. His passing was private, just like he was."
According to Morrison's official website, the Dayton, Ohio, native was exposed to music at an early age at his church, playing the piano "as early as 5 years of age." As a teenager, he became a multi-instrumentalist, adding the guitar, drums and assorted brass instruments to his repertoire.
After graduating high school, Morrison cofounded the funk band Ohio Players in the early 1970s. He played keyboards on their albums "Pain," "Pleasure," and "Ecstacy." He helped write and arrange the Ohio Players' 1973 hit single, "Funky Worm."
After leaving the group, Morrison put out solo albums including "When We Do" (1975), "Bread Alone" (1980), "Evacuate Your Seats" (1984), and "When the City" (2004).
In 1977, Morrison became the musical director for George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic collective -- P-Funk for short -- which put out the critically acclaimed album "One Nation Under a Groove." A single from the album, "(Not Just) Knee Deep," hit No. 1 on the U.S. rhythm and blues chart in 1979.
Morrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 along with Clinton, fellow P-Funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell, and more than a dozen other P-Funk members. Worrell died last year.
Many musicians took to social media this week to share their condolences, including legendary P-Funk bassist Bootsy Collins:
Okay enough is enough, somebody tell me this ain't so. In case it is we have lost another frequency in the... https://t.co/FzO5VeDtvX— Bootsy Collins (@Bootsy_Collins) February 16, 2017
The Roots' bandleader Questlove tweeted:
We invite you to share condolences for Walter "Junie" Morrison in our Guest Book.