US news agencies are reporting the death of RONALD “RONNIE” ABNER who was a member of early 60s Detroit soul group, The Fabulous Peps. Details of his death are sketchy but it seems that Ronnie died in financial straits and his family are publicly seeking funds for a proper funeral. In a web post they say: “Children and family of Ronald Abner, former member of The Fabulous Peps are in need of assistance to give him a much deserved home going. We are asking the assistance of fans and other lovers of the beautiful music enjoyed over the years by this fantastic group. We greatly appreciate and thank you all for your assistance.”
If you feel the need to help, the web site is www.gofundme.com/q6amsr9w
The Fabulous Peps were a Detroit-based trio (Abner, Tommy Hester and Joe Harris). Formed around 1962, they were a big live draw, known for their tight and often acrobatic choreography. Their first record, ‘That’s The Way Love Is’ on Ge Ge was credited to “Tommy Storm and the Peps” while their second disc, ‘This Love I Have For You’ was down to “The Peps”. In 1965 they signed to D Town (whilst also contacted to Wheelsville), then in ’67 they were working for Premium Stuff. That label sent them down to the Stax studios to record ‘Why Are You Blowing My Mind’ where they were backed by Booker T and the MGs. Their last single was 1968’s ‘With These Eyes’ on the Wee label. Lack of any real success meant the trio disbanded. They briefly reunited as “Smoke, Heat An Fire” but the rebranding was unsuccessful and in ’71 Harris split to work with The Undisputed Truth.