Deke Richards, 68, who as part of the songwriting and producing team known as the Corporation was responsible for many of the Jackson 5's early hit songs for Motown Records, died Sunday at a hospice in Bellingham, Wash., of esophageal cancer, according to a statement from the Universal Music record label.
Richards and the other members of the Corporation — Alphonso Mizell, Freddie Perren and Motown founder Berry Gordy — created and shaped the Jackson family band's first three No. 1 hits: "I Want You Back," "ABC" and "The Love You Save." Richards went on to write additional songs for the group, including "Mama's Pearl" and "Maybe Tomorrow."
Deke Richards: An obituary of Motown songwriter and producer Deke Richards in the March 27 LATExtra section misidentified Richards' father, screenwriter Dane Lussier, as Dane Richards. —
Other recording artists for whom Richards produced or wrote songs include Bobby Darin and Martha Reeves & the Vandellas.
More recently he helped assemble several Motown box sets.
Born Dennis Lussier on April 8, 1944, in Los Angeles, he was the son of screenwriter Dane Richards.
[For the Record, 7:30 a.m. PDT March 27: Deke Richards: A news obituary of Motown songwriter and producer Deke Richards in the March 27 LATExtra section said he was the son of screenwriter Dane Richards. His father’s name was Dane Lussier.]
-- Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports