R.I.P. Leon Haywood

Funk/soul singer-songwriter/musicianLeon Haywood passed yesterday at the age of 74. Haywood was a Houston, Texas native started his career as a teenager working with blues musician Guitar Slim. He worked as a keyboardist for Sam Cooke in the ’60s and started making solo recordings. His biggest song at the time was “It’s Got To Be Mellow” for Decca Records. It wasn’t until 1974 when he recorded “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You” that he received the most attention. Dr. Dre’s sampling of the song for “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thing” made Haywood’s contribution to music immortal because of the transgenerational success of Dre’s Chronic album. Haywood had other hits with “Strokin,”  “Party” and the ’80’s single “Don’t Push It Don’t Force It.” He also wrote, “She’s A Bad Mama Jama” for Carl Carlton in 1981. After he retired from performing he focused on producing albums for blues artists on his Evejim label.