RIP Walter "Junie" Morrison Dayton Funk Legend

BY: Lisa Seibert
last updated 02/16/2017
RIP Walter

Fellow funk musician George Clinton once described Morrison as "the most phenomenal musician on the planet".

RIP Walter "Junie" Morrison Dayton Funk Legend

Walter “Junie” Morrison - Dayton Funk legend and member of Ohio Players has died

Dayton mourns the loss of funk powerhouse Walter "Junie" Morrison (62)  known as the "force behind the groove." Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, Morrison was a song writer, producer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist producing music that spanned genres from funk to rock, country to pop, and more.

Walter Junie MorrisonBorn and raised in Dayton, he cited the school system as “one of the most important influences for me” and shared wonderful memories and kind words about his childhood teacher and music mentor Mr. Charles Spencer on his blog last month. 

In a 2015 interview by Jefferson Mao for Red Bull Music Academy, Junie talked about his formative years "Growing up in Dayton was full of wonder.  The area had many reminders and indications that something great was at one’s fingertips.  For instance, we were constantly reminded of the Wright brothers and would inevitably stroll by their bicycle shop on a daily basis.  We believed we could fly!”

In the same interview, he goes on to say that the first time he saw the Ohio Players they performed a concert at his school. A couple years later he "was shocked to realize that I would have to rock a grand piano, in a battle, against the group that had impressed me the most; guitars, amps, horns, drums and all.  Somebody was going to get their ass handed to them on a plate that day and I was determined that it wasn’t going to be mine. (ha!)."

Eventually, Morrison joined the Ohio Players as their first keyboard player, playing trumpet until he could afford "one of those “new fangled” electric pianos". Junie became lead singer and musical director of that super group. Though he moved on to record three solo albums, Morrison continued to work on projects with the Ohio Players, though most were never presented to the public. His long and storied career gave him the opportunity to work with many talented bands and musicians, who will no doubt feel his loss deeply.

Dayton News

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