R&B singer Ron Banks dies at home in Detroit

  • Sat Mar 6th, 2010 10:18pm
  • News

Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — Ron Banks, whose silky falsetto helped give the Dramatics one of the most enduring careers in R&B, has died at home in Detroit. He was 58.

Banks died at about noon Thursday, possibly of a massive heart attack, said Billy Wilson, president of the Motown Alumni Association.

Banks was the founder of the Detroit vocal group, which formed in the early 1960s and continued to play for avid audiences around the country. Aside from a short break in the mid-1980s, the group has worked continuously.

Banks, thought to be in normal health, was at home with his family when he abruptly passed out, said fellow Dramatics singer L.J. Reynolds.

“He seemed just like himself — very upbeat,” Reynolds said.

Banks’ sweet voice and smooth choreography helped distinguish the Dramatics, particularly on Detroit’s post-Motown scene of the 1970s, when the group enjoyed crossover pop success with songs such as “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” and “In the Rain.”

“He really was a wonderful person,” said Wilson. “You know, people who have been in the business awhile can be cocky and arrogant. But he stayed beautiful, always.”