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Lawrence Payton
Birth: Mar. 2, 1938
Wayne County
Michigan, USA
Death: Jun. 20, 1997
Oakland County
Michigan, USA

R&B Singer. A member of the musical group, 'The Four Tops.' The group was formed in Detroit, Michigan, and included Renaldo Benson, Abdul Fakir, and Levi Stubbs. The friends met while attending different high schools. In 1953 or 1954 they began performing together under the name, 'The Four Aims' later changing it to 'The Four Tops' when they signed to the Chess Record Label in 1956, with the help of Payton's cousin, Roquel Davis, who joined the group as a songwriter. For Chess they recorded the song, "Kiss Me Baby" but it was a flop and went onto record with the Red Top and Riverside Record Labels. In 1960 they signed with Columbia and had a better success with jazz and pop music. In 1963 they recorded with Berry Gordy's Label, and released the album, 'Breaking Through.' Gordy later put them back into R&B material and put them with Motown's Holland-Dozier-Holland writing team. After a full decade the group had numerous hits including "Baby I Need Your Lovin'," a Top Ten hit in 1964, "Ask The Lonely," a hit in 1965, "I Can't Help Myself (Sugarpie, Honeybunch)," #1 in the spring of 1965, "It's The Same Old Song," a Top Five hit in 1965, "Reach Out, I'll Be There," one of their finest singles ever, released in 1966, "Standing In The Shadows Of Love," a Top Ten hit in 1967, "Bernadette," a Top Five hit in 1967, "7 Rooms of Gloom," a Top Twenty hit in 1967, "You Keep Running Away," a Top Twenty hit in 1967, and two 1968 hits, "If I Were A Carpenter" and "Walk Away Renee." In 1970 they joined producer Frank Wilson and they recorded a pop standard of Tommy Edward's, "It's All In The Game" and a ballad with 'the Supremes' entitled, "River Deep, Mountain High" in 1971. In 1972 they left Motown and joined ABC-Dunhill, teaming up with Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, and released, "Keeper Of The Castle" a Top Ten hit, and "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got)" a smash hit that was their last Top Five Pop hit. In 1973 they recorded the theme song for the film, "Shaft In Africa" and released the song, "Catfish" in 1976. In 1981 they signed with the Casablanca Record Label and released, "When She Was My Girl" a Top Ten hit. In 1983 they rejoined Motown and in 1988 left and signed with Arista Records, where they recorded, "Indestructible" a Top 40 Pop hit,which was their last. In 1990 they were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. Payton died in June 1997 of cancer and was replaced by Theo Peoples.  (bio by: K) 

Cause of death: Cancer
Woodlawn Cemetery
Wayne County
Michigan, USA
Plot: Section 40
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Apr 02, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7322497
Lawrence Payton
Added by: Babe
Lawrence Payton
Added by: Alan Brownsten
Lawrence Payton
Added by: Alan Brownsten
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