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Gale, Eric (20th September 1938-25th May 1994)

He was a guitarist and songwriter born in Brooklyn, New York, who, although beginning to play when he was just twelve, went on to study chemistry at Niagara University.

He decided to follow a musical career in the 1960s though and played for acts such as Maxine Brown, The Drifters and Little Anthony & The Imperials and later in Aretha Franklin’s band.  This was enough for Jimmy Smith and King Curtis to take notice of him and so he performed with them and found himself in the recording studio as a session musician.  He often worked with the producer Creed Taylor at Verve Records and retaining their association when he moved to Columbia Records.

In 1973, with the go-ahead from Creed Taylor, he recorded his debut album, Forecast, which included some of his own compositions.  This would be the first of many during his career that included Blue Horizon, Forecast, Ginseng Woman, In the Shade of a Tree, Island Breeze and Utopia among others.

During the mid-1970s he got together with a group of other session musicians who called themselves Stuff.  They released five albums during those years with each of them earning gold status.  They stayed together as a group until 1980.

This would be where he made his mark and performed on recordings by literally hundreds of artists.  These included Ashford & Simpson, Patti Austin, The Beatles, Blood Sweat & Tears, Solomon Burke, The Coasters, Hank Crawford, Fats Domino, Maynard Ferguson, Marvin Gaye, Dizzy Gillespie, Chico Hamilton, Jon Hendricks, Lena Horne, Freddie Hubbard, Phyllis Hyman, Al Jarreau, Billy Joel, Ralph MacDonald, The Manhattans, Herbie Mann, Bob Marley, Van Morrison, Idris Muhammad, Claus Ogerman, Teddy Pendergrass, Lalo Schifrin, Tom Scott, Janis Siegel. Frank Sinatra, Richard Tee, Stanley Turrentine, Grover Washington Jr., Kai Winding and Bill Withers.

Eric passed away suffering from lung cancer in Baja, California, in 1994 when he was 55 years old, but he can still be heard on hundreds of recordings that include his own, as mentioned above, as well as Caliente! By Gato Barbieri, Giblet Gravy by George Benson, Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection by Ray Charles, Stingray by Joe Cocker, Everything Must Change by Randy Crawford, Chapter Two by Roberta Flack, Dave Grusin & The NY-LA Dream Band by Dave Grusin, Mwandishi: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings by Herbie Hancock, Best of… by Donny Hathaway, Bad by Michael Jackson, Tenderness by Al Jarreau, One on One by Bob James & Earl Klugh, 52nd Street by Billy Joel, Walking in Space by Quincy Jones, One and Only by Gladys Knight & The Pips, Chicago Theme by Hubert Laws, Celebrate Me Home by Kenny Loggins, Complete Bob Marley & The Wailers: 1967-1972 Pt. 1 by Bob Marley, T.B. Sheets by Van Morrison, Boss by Diana Ross, In My Stride by David Ruffin, Oh Carol: The Complete Recordings 1956-1966 by Neil Sedaka, Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon, One-Trick Pony by Paul Simon, Silk & Soul by Nina Simone, Live in New York, Made in America and Stuff It with Stuff, Inner City Blues by Grover Washington Jr., Mr. Excitement by Jackie Wilson and the soundtrack of The Wiz.

Van McCoy recordings
That’s the Joint (Van McCoy)
The Shuffle (Van McCoy)

Here he is performing “She Is My Lady”….