Though few details are available, its being reported that producer, songwriter and record label executive LONNIE SIMMONS has died. Several music sites say that he died on Wednesday 6th February in his sleep. Beyond that little is known save that Simmons was in his 70s.
Simmons will be best remembered for founding the Total Experience record label –named after his LA night club. The label’s feature act, of course, were the Gap Band and their biggest hit was the perennial ‘Oops Upside Your Head’ for which Simmons secured a writing credit – a fact we were reminded about during the litigation between the Gap Band’s Wilson brothers and Mark Ronson regarding the provenance of Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’. Total Experience’s other big name act was Yarbrough and Peoples, who were brought to the label by Charlie Wilson.
Total Experience lost momentum in the 80s and Simmons went on to work in movie and video production which, it’s said, he was still pursuing until recently.