US music web sites are reporting the death of founding member of the DAZZ BAND, PIERRE DEMUDD. Very few details have been made available save that Pierre was no longer making music at the time of his death. Indeed some forums suggest that he was working at Cleveland’s Hopkins airport.
Originally called KInsman Dazz, trumpeter and vocalist DeMudd founded the band along with Bobby Harris, Mike Calhoun, Michael Wiley and his brother Isaac Wiley, Skip Martin, Eric Fearman, Ken Pettus and Kevin Frederick. In 1980 they signed to Motown and shortened their name to THE DAZZ BAND.
After a stuttering start with the label, they found success with 1982’s ‘Keep It Live’ long player from which ‘Let It Whip’ became a huge hit. The song went on to win the group a Grammy for Best R&B Performance.
By the late 80s the hits had started to dry up and the Dazz Band switched from Motown to Geffen and from there to RCA. DeMudd left the band in 1988 and though it’s suggested that he worked with several other bands, it’s also reported that he eventually found work at Cleveland Airport.