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Ken Willis . Polished Gold Music

The 1st Annual Northeastern
Celebration of the arts.
Polished Gold Music
A Black Tie Affair
Accomplishments of
Artist you grew up with
and went to school with.
April / 21 / 2018
At the Beautiful
Detroit School of Arts
123 Selden St
Born in Birmingham, AL, Ken has alway had a good ear for music.  At the age of 4 he would sing for the juke box repair man for change.  This was in his grandmothers  Blue Room Cafe, so music was always around.  Soon he got the news he was moving to California and boy was he happy!  All he could think about was Hollywood, but things changed when his mother and stepfather decided to go to Detroit, MI instead.  The automobile factories were hiring.  He was still happy because to him this was the next best thing to Hollywood, "Motown".  This was great, there, he was surrounded by great talent!  
He lived on the east side of Detroit, where he met Kevin and Phineas Ritter and their cousin, Dennis Amos.  They formed their first singing group called WAR Unlimited. Kevin's cousin Marvin was playing with Parlet of Parliament Funkdelic.  At the ages of 9, 10 & 12, they got their first break. They auditioned for the Spinners.  The Spinners wanted to form a group like the Jackson 5, so the boys rehearsed and practiced, but did not make the cut.  They did not give up. Kevin got a lead guitar, Phineas got a bass, Dennis got congos, and  Ken got a keyboard.  Kevin eventually joined a band called the Ides of Time.  Ken left and joined a singing group called the Equations consisting of Arnold Hank Morgan, Michael Cowlins, Arthur Red Tabb, and Kim Green who now sings with The Contours.
Soon, the Equations broke up, so Ken formed his own group, The Marquations.  They performed along with The Ides of Time.  From that band, some members worked with many of the most influential musicians in Entertainment today such as, Chaka Khan, P Diddy, Usher, Lady Gaga, Mary J Blige, Young Jeezy, Beyonce and more.  He is proud to say that his best friends, Kern Lanar Brantley, Valdez Brantely, Lewis Tugg Brantley, Eric Bryce, and Vassal Benford III have been very successful.Marquations worked with producer with Motown records Robert Bateman in the four tops studio but did not get a deal.  In 1975, the Marquations signed a recording contract with Hiawatha Record company distributed by Mainstream Records.  Under the mentoring of Leonard Jones, the group had a team to take their talent to another level.  Harry Bowens, from the group Was Not Was and former keyboard player for the O'Jays, Jimmy Absten, a writer, Kenny Holdman, a writer, and Al Wilson of The Dramatics, all of these men wrote for The Marquations.  The Marquations performed with Kashif, The Dramatics, Al Hudson & One Way, Enchantment, The Steptones, Percy & Them, The Artistics, Pure Pleasure, Destination 5, James Epps the lead singer for the Fantastic 4 ,lived downstairs from Ken's grandmother They would sit at the panio and sing just for fun.Carl Carlton lived near by,The Brother gilmore,The Floaters, The Detroit Emeralds, Just East, Ronnie McNair,Kevin & kieth John sons of little willey John Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Exportations, (Eddie Kendricks group)The Posse and many, more...
He could go on and on about his experiences.  Ken went solo in 1983 when he intered the recording studio to work on his first single.  It dropped in 1984, "Got To Keep You Dancing", and although it got some radio play, didn't take off.  Ken worked in the studio in Canada with Dave Robinson of One Way, where they did more songs, but were never released.  He's really focused on the music he's making now.  David Ruffin once told Ken, "When you sing boy, you gotta sing from your soul."  Ken wants to put that same concept into all he does.  Over the years he developed the art of making good soul music. He is now working with Darrin NOMAD Jackson, former personal assistant to Snoop Dogg.  Together, they look forward to making good music.  KEN WILLIS Writter Composer ,Publisher Producer & Soul Singer.

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