Obituaries: Ohio Players Founder, "No Woman, No Cry" Songwriter

January 5, 2009 12:05 PM ET

The Ohio Players founder Robert Ward passed away on Christmas Day at his home in Georgia. He was 70. Ward, a noteworthy blues guitarist, is credited with forming the Ohio Untouchables, who later changed their name to the Ohio Players after Ward left the band in 1965. Without Ward, the group went on to become one of the biggest funk-soul bands of the '70s, penning hits like "Love Rollercoaster" and "Fire." Ward, who had some hits of his own like "I Found A Love" with the Untouchables roster, pursued a solo career that spawned four solo albums and a stint as a Motown Records session musician.

The music world also lost Vincent Ford, the credited songwriter of Bob Marley's 1974 hit "No Woman, No Cry." Ford, who suffered from diabetes, died of complications from the disease on December 28th in Jamaica at age 68. Ford was a friend of Marley's who ran a soup kitchen in "Trenchtown," or Kingston, Jamaica. "No Woman, No Cry" became a major hit for the reggae star after it first appeared on Marley's Natty Dread. Rolling Stone ranked "No Woman, No Cry" as Number 37 on the list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Ford was also credited with penning three songs on Marley's 1976 album Rastaman Vibration. Although many credit Marley with actually writing the song, with the royalties Ford received from the long-lasting success (and non-stop covers and samples) of "No Woman, No Cry," Ford reportedly used the money to ensure that his soup kitchen would stay open.

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