Another special moment, but for completely different reasons, was when Marshall asked me to come to Los Angeles to join him to meet with Clive Davis, the president of Arista Records. The Ohio Players had signed a recording deal with Arista Records shortly before I first met with the Ohio Players, but they had not yet personally met with Clive Davis. I, of course, dressed up in my gray suit and tie, while Marshall dressed down in his Levi overalls, making us look exactly like what we were — a rock star accompanied by one of “The Suits.”
The meeting took place in the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Clive Davis had a long term lease for a gigantic suite. This was a rare meeting between a recording star and a music mogul of historic proportion. I was very impressed with Marshall’s ability to convey to Clive Davis his vision for the future of the Ohio Players.
Sadly, four of the seven original members of the Ohio Players have now passed on: The Rock, Sugar, Pee Wee and Satch. Of the three remaining, Marvin Pierce has been living in Australia for many years, pursuing his own interests. Diamond Williams has remained in Dayton and has been leading the Ohio Players in still another resurgence of their popularity, with Billy Beck continuing at the keyboards.
The Ohio Players have made a real and valuable contribution to music. They should be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Closer to home, the Dayton community has memorialized them at the Funk Museum. At the same time, the Dayton community has lost another musical legend with the death of Marshall Jones, but his fame and funk will live on and will forever be his legacy.