Motown guitar icon Wah Wah Watson dies aged 67

(Image credit: Culture Club/Getty Images)

Motown guitarist Melvin Ragin, better known as Wah Wah Watson, has passed away aged 67.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we regret to announce the passing of my loving husband Wah Wah Watson today [24 October 2018] at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica,” the guitarist’s wife, Itsuko Aono, said in a statement.

“He will be greatly missed, but music is eternal. Wherever he is, he’s groovin’.”

The guitarist’s cause of death is yet to be confirmed.

Ragin was best known for his role in Motown’s house band, the Funk Brothers, where he performed on a host of classic cuts, including Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, Rose Royce’s Car Wash, Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, The Jackson 5’s ABC and Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album.

The guitarist earned his moniker from his slick use of the wah pedal, best heard on the Temptations’ Papa Was A Rolling Stone.

In more recent years, Ragin had performed with Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder, and released one solo album, Elementary, in 1976.


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