TIR 42: Larry Dunn Revisits Life as One of Earth, Wind & Fire’s Shining Stars

Earth, Wind & Fire at the height of the band’s power in the late 1970s. Larry Dunn is shown second from right.

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NOTE: Parts 3 and 4 available now!

Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in this four-part series: Keyboardist extraordinaire Larry Dunn helped transform Earth, Wind and Fire into one of the all-time most successful R&B bands, with sales of more than 100 million albums worldwide, and in all 32 gold and platinum/multiplatinum singles and albums. EWF also collected six Grammys out of 13 nominations, four American Music Awards, a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement Award, among other industry honors.

In addition to playing organ, synthesizer, piano and clavinet, Dunn served as the band’s musical director. As one of the key people behind the scene, much of the group’s musical success can be attributed to him. He also rehearsed EWF for live stage performances and wrote many of the musical segues and medleys. He had major creative influence in such classics as “Shining Star,” “Spirit,” “Be Ever Wonderful,” “Runnin’,” “See The Light,” “Let Me Talk,” “And Love Goes On,” “Jupiter,” and other melodies that continue to live on in the hearts of fans and popular music lovers.

Dunn’s other production and performance credits include the Emotions, Level 42, Ronnie Laws, George Duke, Lenny White, Paulinho Da Costa, Foley, Ramsey Lewis, Caldera, Hubert Laws, Stanley Turrentine, Dianne Reeves, Brian Culbertson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Stanley Clarke and Deniece Williams. Since 1988, Dunn and his wife Luisa have been involved with production projects, writing music for Japanese television commercials, film and studio work.

He released his first solo album in 1996 called Lover’s Silhouette and in 2008 released N2 the Journey, which includes involvement of many of the high profile artists just mentioned. Dunn also continues to perform and maintain a busy schedule.

In this comprehensive series recorded from his home L.A. studio, he covers every aspect of his career. Later on he demonstrates some famous melodies on his keyboard and has wife and musical companion Luisa join in. This is a can’t-miss journey with a modern funk-R&B-pop giant.

Recorded February 2018

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Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.