The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Willie Hutch Dies at 59

Willie Hutch, 1946-2005

Although Isaac Hayes' Theme From 'Shaft' and Curtis Mayfield's Superfly are the most immediately known sounds of the '70s blaxploitation school, Motown jack-of-all-trades Willie Hutch further cemented the genre with his soundtracks for Foxy Brown and The Mack. Those records are of another time and place now, but they still have more spirit and life than anything Diddy could cut and paste together.

From the Associated Press obituary:

*Legendary R&B singer/songwriter Willie Hutch, the Motown veteran who co-wrote "I'll Be There" for the Jackson 5, has died at his home in Dallas, Texas, reports WREG-TV Memphis. He was 59. The cause of death has not yet been released.

Born Willie McKinley Hutchinson in 1946 in Los Angeles, Hutch grew up in Dallas, where his debut single "Love Has Put Me Down" was released in the early sixties. After putting out his first album in 1964, the artist went on to work with a number of artists as a writer and producer.

In 1970, producer Hal Davis called Hutch at the 11th hour to write a song for a backing track he had produced for the Jackson 5. The Michael Jackson-led group reportedly went into the studio the next day to record Hutch's words on the track, which turned out to be one of the group's biggest hits, "I'll Be There."

Hutch went on to write and/or produce solo albums for Jackson, as well as Smokey Robinson, The Fifth Dimension, The Miracles, The Main Ingredient ("California My Way"), Junior Walker, Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye, among others.

He also wrote the entire soundtrack for Pam Grier's 1970s blaxploitation masterpiece, "Foxy Brown" and worked on the soundtrack to "The Mack," including the song, "Brother's Gonna Work It Out." Hutch even penned a song for the 2005 John Singleton-produced film, "Hustle and Flow."

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