Acclaimed Motown songwriter MARILYN MCLEOD died on Friday November 26th. Her passing was announced by long time writing partner, Pam Sawyer. It’s believed that Ms McLeod had been in ill health for some time and died from complications of a stroke. She was aged 82.
Born in Detroit, McLeod was part of a musical family – her sister Alice Coltrane (wife of John) was a jazz artist while her brother Ernie Farrow was a noted jazz bassist. Rather than perform, Marylin focused on songwriting and in the late 60s she joined Motown’s Jobette music publishing company where she regularly worked with Johnny Bristol and Pam Sawyer. Amongst her credits are ‘Love Hangover’ for Diana Ross, ‘You Can’t Turn Me Off’ by High Inergy, and Jermaine Jackson’s ‘Let Me Tickle Your Fancy.’
After leaving Motown she continued to write and briefly fronted a vocal group called Pure Magic. She also worked with Ian Levine on his Motor City project. In 2010 she released her own album ‘I Believe In Me’.
Pam Sawyer’s announcement said: “I cherish the hours and years we spent together writing , laughing and enjoying that special connection that close cowriters have when they get that mutual ‘aaah’ feeling for just the right riff, chord or word that either one discovers and both love.”