It was 41 years ago on this day of October 27, 1967 that the song “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” went all the way to #1 not only on the Pop and R&B Charts here in the States, but it was also the #1 song across the UK. It was all thanks to the smooth baritone voice of Levi Stubbs from The Four Tops, who sadly passed away in his Detroit home, October 17.
Family and friends came to pay their respects this morning to Stubbs, who Motown founder Berry Gordy called “the greatest interpreter of songs I ever heard,” as he flew in for the service at Greater Grace Temple, which is open to the public. Also attending is Smokey Robinson, original living Tops member Abdul “Duke” Fakir and current members Ronnie McNair, Theo Peoples and Roquel Payton (Lawrence Payton’s son), along with several Motown iconic superstars.
Stubbs is survived by his wife Clinece, his five children, 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
“He had one of the best voices, ever” Fakir said to The Detroit News last week. “He could take any kind of song and take you with him. He had that kind of power and love for the lyrics.”
From YouTube, here’s The Four Tops with their #1 hit from 1967 with “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)”: