On this day, Nov. 11, 1940, Dennis Coffey was born in Detroit. Coffey was a guitarist for the Funk Brothers, the house band for Motown Records. His first recording session was on “Cloud Nine” for the Temptations (that’s Coffey using the wah-wah pedal).
Coffey introduced rock-guitar sensibilities and effects to Motown recordings, such as the wah-wah, fuzzbox distortion, Echoplex tape-loop delay and more. Coffey appeared on additional Temptations’ tracks (“Ball of Confusion, ” “Psychedelic Shack”), Edwin Starr’s “War,” The Supremes’ “Someday We’ll Be Together” and Freda Payne’s “Band of Gold” — to name a few.
Over the years he’s released several albums, but is probably most famous for his 1971 instrumental, “Scorpio,” as Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band. The song reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Coffey continues to record and tour to this day.
Embedding code for The Temptations’ “Cloud Nine” has been disabled (but check out Coffey here: http://youtu.be/7157FdxSX38)
“Band of Gold” — Freda Payne