Colonel Abrams
1949 - 2016
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Colonel Abrams, a singer who was one of the house and dance music pioneers of the 1980s, died Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, according to multiple news sources. He was 67.

Abrams – Colonel was his real name – was born May 25, 1949, in Detroit, Michigan. His family moved to Manhattan, New York, when he was a youngster, and he took up the guitar and piano. By 1976, he was singing lead vocals in a band that featured Prince briefly on guitar.

Abrams hit his stride in the 1980s in New York City clubs, releasing his first big hit, "Music Is the Answer" in 1984. His other 1980s hits included "Leave the Message Behind the Door," "Trapped," and "I'm Not Gonna Let." "Trapped" and "I'm Not Gonna Let" became major hits in Europe. "Trapped" was a top-10 pop hit in Britain, German, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

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He considered "Trapped" the song that established his sound.

"The producer can't give you the sound," Abrams told Billboard magazine in 1986. "You, the artist, have to know what sound you want; only then does your individuality come out."

The artist had fallen on hard times in recent years. He had diabetes and was homeless.

A relative has set up a GoFundMe page to help defray funeral expenses incurred by the Abrams family.

Kerri "Kaos" Chandler, a music producer, recalled Abrams in a Facebook post.

"Hello Everyone, We have lost another friend this week, I am very sad to say Colonel Abrams has passed away. Thank you Tony "Tune", Barbara Tucker, Marshall Jefferson and so many that helped as much as they could on the gofundme page. Rest in peace my friend, With Love, Respect and Admiration. Kerri"

- Kerri Chandler, Nov. 27, 2016

Published in South Bend Tribune on Nov. 28, 2016.
Memories & Condolences
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71 entries
December 28, 2020
he remind me of a night club called club image at down town jhb his song trapped and how soon we forget was a hit
solly malao
January 12, 2020
I am deeply saddened that we have lost Colonel. I was a friend of his and Martha, his wife, and the two children in the 80s in the Bronx. We saw Colonel at the Beacon Theater with Miles Jay. So glad to have known him. Rest in peace, never forgotten.
Marn Taylor
November 3, 2019
Miss you Colonel Abrams. You gave me so much joy in my 20s and 30s. Paradise Garage nightclub you were the King! I listen to you everyday and always will. Hope I get to hang with you when I go home to heaven. Love you Colonel Abrams. You left the world too soon but made so many people happy! You did good. Sadly missed. RIP Sweet Heavenly Peace....for all eternity!
April 9, 2019
Rest well brother, your music will forever touch and warm our hearts.

January 19, 2019
Heard your song Trapped and speculation on the radio and it had me wondering what ever happened to you, didn't know you passed on, RIH Colonel Abrams always loved your songs as a little girl.
January 8, 2019
Sorry my luv to all Angelo if you get this it's Mickey from 6 st
Steven Fludd
April 5, 2018
God but you always Colonel
Dewey tuggle
February 13, 2018
To an outstanding friend.. i was suppose to play keys on you first album.
i am sorry we never got the schedule worked out. but we (my son Tomas ) and I did do sound one of your last live shows. It was a pleasure . your belief in "the truth" is what will matter now. i am trying to reach your family. i asking anyone reading this to reach me on facebook Carl orlando West. thank you Carl
carl orlando west
February 10, 2018
I really loved this mans music n thought him quite handsome. I listen today still n have some if his music in my phone . R.I.P. sir.
Jane Belin
February 5, 2018
Didn't know that you passed away until I heard a jam played on I Heart Radio yesterday rest in peace
Lola Jenkins
November 11, 2017
Wow! Didn't know of his passing until now, 11/11/2017. Fan of this music from Colnonel Abrams. 60's, 70's, 80's 90's R&B, Pop music was GREAT. May the Colone soul rest in peace.
Pamela Murray
October 28, 2017
Simply a legend!!!!!!!!! Rest in eternal peace!!!!!!
Ty Upshaw
August 18, 2017
RIP my Dear Friend 1985 - 1990. Your Bodyguard.
Charles Lee
June 29, 2017
I was disheartened to discover today that Mr.Abrams passed away back in November. Being a huge fan of both house music and the Teddy Pendergrass was what initially attracted me to him and caused me to enlist as one of his many followers. In fact it was because of him that as a teenager I wanted to get the fly Philly haircut and why to this day I'm still partial to wearing the officers military/Chinese jacket with the high collars. I salute Colonel Abrams. Thanks for the memories and for being such a major influence over me during the 80's and beyond!!
Ty Morris
June 12, 2017
Listened to you from the very start. Rest well Colonel.
Curtis Taylor
April 21, 2017
It was just heartbreaking to hear of Colonel Abrams passing. Loved, loved, loved his music. No matter how tired I may have been at a party, when I heard the "Colonel" it was on, like a boost of energy. I had the opportunity to meet him at a few private parties where he performed a few years back. Great man. He will be missed dearly. God bless you Colonel, thank you for your great contribution to "House Music", you were one of a kind!!! *RIP*
Marcelle Nolley
March 30, 2017
I just found out about the Colonel's passing which brought me to tears. As a young teenager listening to his music on WBLS, his music and lyrics were moving, establishing a blueprint for the types of elements that make for what I love in a song. Songs like Speculation, Trapped, I'm Not Going To Let, and How Soon Do We Forget make up some of my fondest musical memories of a difficult adolescence. The Colonel is a true music icon, ambassador of that classic NYC club sound to the world. Thank you for your timeless tunes. May you rest in peace with our Lord Jesus Christ and may He provide comfort and blessings to his family.
March 11, 2017
I just found out who you are sir and I see I've missed alot. "How soon we forget" was playing on XM radio and I thought Teddy sang this song but the DJ said Colonel Abrams. I researched you and you're the man especially on Soul Train! (Youtube videos) RIH Mr. Abrams.
Vangela Jackson
February 12, 2017
Colonel, Thank you for contributing your unforgettable sound and voice to House Music! we will never forget ....your songs play on..
stephanie hill
February 8, 2017
Colonel Abrams you are the best I remember you allowed me the chance to get on stage and dance at Harlem Week 135th street with you and a couple of other fans may you always be here in our hearts RIP
Dewey Tuggle
January 24, 2017
Still loved and missed by many. Deepest condolences to the family. May God grant you comfort and peace.

January 14, 2017
little richard
January 3, 2017
To the family,
I send my condolences. May God give you peace as you cope with your loss.
December 31, 2016
You are going to be missed. I miss you already. Thank you for the music and inspiration Rest In Peace
Clarissa Hall
December 29, 2016
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
December 28, 2016
A beautiful voice and personality. His music will live on forever. Can not stop watching and playing his music. Thank you for the music Colonel!
Paul Richard
December 25, 2016
Thanks for the great music with the sweet sounds of soul! Wishing your family the best during this difficult time. The promises of Jesus are true and just around the corner!
Nazarene Mckinney
December 14, 2016
Sorry for your loss. May the God's of all comfort, comfort you during this most difficult time.
December 11, 2016
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
December 10, 2016
I do his music with my own band. Certainly one of the best in house. RIH
December 9, 2016
Colonel Abrams you are one entertainer that's so gonna be missed even though your health was facing you still put on a show I'll miss your smile my friend my heart goes out to your family rip colonel you will definitely be missed by many.
Bernadette Sparks
December 8, 2016
I'm sorry for your loss
December 3, 2016
Colonel Abrams, thank you for all the nice music you created and great memories as an Artis. Rest In Pace!
Elette Maxwell
December 3, 2016
My heart reaches out to the Abrams family,
Colonel knew how to reached so my people threw song! We will keep him in our hearts forever I will miss him so..
Jackie Silvers
December 2, 2016
SIP Colonel. God got you now.
December 1, 2016
December 1, 2016
I'm so glad that I had an opportunity to party with you. RIP my friend.
Nelly David
December 1, 2016
My deepest condolence to the Abrams family. May you find comfort by drawing close to God during this difficult times. "James 4:18" LS
November 30, 2016
Rip Colonel Abrams love your music!!!!
Sherron Owens
November 30, 2016
Dear Abrams family
May the fond memories of Colonel bring you some comfort. May our almighty Father hear your cries and give you the strength to endure.
Isaiah 40:29
November 30, 2016
Man born of a woman that of few days many troubles, God had bless you with a talent. That you used to touched many, may your soul find rest beyond the river. With heartfelt sympathy and prayers to the family, friends, associates and fans God bless.
Artis.Ac.Hudson Sr
,Georgia .
November 30, 2016
My deepest condolences to the family. May the God of comfort give true comfort to all at this most difficult time.
Mary Smith
November 30, 2016
My condolences goes out to the Abrams family. I am so sorry for the loss of your loved one. Keep drawing close to God especially during these difficult times and he'll draw close to you.
James 4:8
November 29, 2016
Just as Colonel will forever be in your memory, he is also forever in Gods memory! (1Thessalonians 1:2) My condolences to the Abrams family.
November 29, 2016
Our condolences the banks family
November 29, 2016
Beloveds, it is not easy to lose someone we all love. Colonel Abrams' legacy will surely be remembered. May he forever live in our hearts and in God's book of life.
November 29, 2016
To The Abrams Family,
May the Lord surround your family at this time of bereavement. Our family is sending our heartfelt condolences at this sorrowful time.
Carolyn Murray & Family
November 29, 2016
It can be so hard to face the first year without your loved one, but the love of family and friends can carry you through.
November 29, 2016
My condolence to the family. God understands your pain and has promise to comfort you all during this difficult time.
November 29, 2016
I am very sorry for you loss, my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Abrams. God is near to those calling on Him. He hears our distresses and rescues us. (Psalm 145:18,19)
November 29, 2016
I am very sorry to the friends and family for the loss. Soon there will come a time when we will never have to grieve the loss of a loved one in death ever again. Ps37:9-11
Victoria Morris
November 29, 2016
To The Family Of Colonel Abrams
My condolences to the family on the loss of your dear beloved one. May you find comfort in knowing that Almighty God is close to those brokenhearted. May he also comfort you and grant you strength now and in the days ahead.
R. C.
November 29, 2016
My condolences to the family and may the God of all comfort (Philipans 4:6 &7) be with you and your famiy.
November 29, 2016
I am so sorry for this tremendous loss. Pour out your heart to our Heavenly Father in prayer because he promises that all who do will have their thoughts and feelings soothed by "the peace of God that surpasses all understanding" Philippians 4: 6,7. My condolence to all that knew and loved this talented man.
G Madrid
November 29, 2016
So sorry to hear of the loss of your dear loved one. We enjoyed his voice and music. Our prayers are with the family. May the God who gives peace be with all of you.-RO.15:33
November 29, 2016
Music is the answer.
Anita Allen
November 29, 2016
November 28, 2016
Carol Forte
November 28, 2016
Valenda Newell
November 28, 2016
Always loved Colonel's music. Such a great loss. There are no words to express the great sorrow, when a loved one dies. I hope the family finds comfort in knowing he is no longer in pain.
November 28, 2016
May the God of all comfort prove to be a stronghold and a refuge for you (Psalm 18:2). I extend my deepest condolences to your family during this difficult time.
November 28, 2016
Keith Ridley IV(Ridley Funeral Estab)
you rocked the mid-late 1980s.....
Thanks for the greatest memories yet..
of my life..
As I came of age. from Petersburg,VA.
Keith Ridley IV(Ridley Funeral Estab.)
November 28, 2016
Pauline Lawhorn
November 28, 2016
Please remember the good times you've shared with Colonel Abrams and may God continue to comfort your family ~ Psalm 23:4.
November 28, 2016
My deepest condolences to your family. May God provide strength and comfort at this time. (2 Corthinians 1:3,4)
November 28, 2016
My sincere condolences to the family of Colonel Abrams. His music will live on in the memories of all who loved him. May you find comfort from God who is the originator of music. He, also, will kept Colonel in His memory (John 5:28).
November 28, 2016
I offer my Sympathy to the Abrams' family. Soon the Almighty the restorer of life promises to "heal those needing a cure."-Luke 9:11. There will be a cure from everything especially from the effects that causes the loss of a loved one.
November 28, 2016
My sincere condolences to the family for the loss of your loved one. May prayers strengthen you and memories comfort you and may our Lord Jesus christ and God our father who loves us comfort your hearts and " make you firm " ( 2 Thessalonians 2 : 16, 17 )
November 28, 2016
His music brought joy to the hearts of many. God keep those who pass on in his memory because they are precious to him. Psalms 116:15.
Annie C.
November 28, 2016
Condolences for your loss. Know that God is there to support and comfort you during this difficult period (Psalms 94:19 "when anxieties overwhelms me, you comforted and soothed me"). - AR
November 28, 2016
Colonel Abrams made me dance and life was good..... May you rest eternally in Peace. Music is the answer... Jermaine Lee, Trenton, NJ
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