Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Andrew Love of The Memphis Horns R.I.P. 1941 – 12th Apr 2012

Andrew Love R.I.P.
Andrew Love R.I.P. Andrew Love R.I.P. (in action as part of the Memphis Horns) The Memphis Horns Last CD

Andrew Love, the soulful tenor saxophonist - who as one half of the Memphis Horns graced many classic hit records over several decades - has died at his home in Memphis at the age of 70.

His family said he died from complications of Alzheimer's disease on Thursday 12th April, a disease he had been suffering from for more than ten years.

With trumpet player Wayne Jackson, Andrew helped bring the "Memphis Sound" to recordings by a huge range of artists including Aretha, Wilson Picket, Elvis, Isaac Hayes, U2, Neil Young, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Jack White and Alicia Keys.

The Memphis Horns' soul drenched and emotional horn parts signal the opening bars of Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness."

The Memphis Horns add their huge value to such classics as Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds,” Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man.”

They backed up Stephen Stills, Rod Stewart, the Doobie Brothers, Joe Cocker, Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Peter Gabriel, U2, Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson, B. B. King and Robert Cray, the latter who they visited the UK with to promote the 1990 hit album “Midnight Stroll,” which they played on.

The pair played on 30 Grammy-winning songs, 52 number one hits, and 113 Top Ten singles – that’s 83 Gold and Platinum records.

In February this year, the Memphis Horns became only the second group of backing musicians ever, to win a "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the Grammys. (Motown's Funk Brothers being the others.)

Neil R.Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, called the Memphis Horns “the breath of soul,” at the ceremony. Wayne Jackson said it had been “a magical journey,” Andrew was too ill to attend. Wayne adding about their amazing career: “We had a fine time.”

As a session musician in Memphis, Andrew met Wayne at Stax Records in the mid-1960s, and the two worked together until 2004, when Love retired. Stax preferred horns to backing singers, and hired Andrew, who the next day played his first session with Wayne, on a Rufus Thomas record.

The pair were supposed to tour with Otis Redding, but stayed in Memphis to overdub the horn parts to “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay.” Redding’s plane crashed that day, Dec. 10, 1967, killing Redding and many others on board.

In 1969, the guys quit their jobs at Stax, because the label wanted them to record for it exclusively. They freelanced for many labels, and were all over many classics from Atlantic.

"Stax Records would not have become what it became without them," Stax co-owner Al Bell told the Los Angeles Times after Abdrew'sdeath. "I love saxophone players, and I have many saxophone players I admire and hold in high esteem. But I have never heard a saxophone player who affects and penetrates me like Andrew Love.”

“It was the spirit in him, and you could feel it in the music. He could arouse your deepest emotions, but he would do it gently, softly. It was like he was making love to your soul."

Alzheimer’s disease had prevented Andrew him from working since 2004, when the Memphis Horns recorded the instrumental album, “Perkin’ It Up.” It was released last November to commemorate their 70th birthdays.

In addition to his wife Willie, he is survived by brother Roy; sons Vincent and Andre; daughters Terri Lawrence and Angela Parker; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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