Passings: Marvell Thomas, Stax Records Keyboardist (1941 - 2017)

by VVN Music

Marvell Thomas, the Stax Records keyboard player and son of Rufus Thomas and brother of Carla Thomas, died on Monday after a short illness at the age of 75.

Born in Memphis, Marvell actually wanted to become a doctor but, when Stax opened, his career path took a change. At the age of 17, he became Stax' first piano player on records by the likes of Booker T. & the MGs, William Bell, Wilson Pickett, Clarence Carter and both his father and sister.

Later in his career, Thomas also added producing and arranging, including co-production on Isaac Hayes' classic Hot Buttered Soul. After the closing of Stax in the mid-70's, he began touring as music director for Peabo Bryson and as a keyboard player for the Temptations.

Thomas was a Grammy governor and, in 2011, was enshrined on the Memphis Walk of Fame.

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music said "The Stax Museum and Stax Family is mourning yesterday's loss of the legendary Marvell Thomas, one of the architects of the Memphis Sound, sone of Rufus Thomas, brother of Carla and Vaneese Thomas."

Thomas is survived by his wife, Naajee, a daughter and his sisters Carla and Vaneese.


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