CO-WRITER OF MEGA-HIT "EARTH ANGEL"
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of musician and songwriter, Gaynel Hodge
(January 4, 1937 - June 3, 2020)
Gaynel was a recording artist, songwriter, pianist and the co-author of the 1950s Platinum hit song, "Earth Angel".
He was also a founding member and musical director of such famous groups as The Platters, The Turks, and The Hollywood Flames.
Gaynel moved to Phoenix in the 1970s and was a regular around town performing in clubs like Chez Nous doing solo and duo gigs.
Jon Iger, ASA president, shared his memories of Gaynel. "He was a great friend and mentor and bandmate. He spoke and performed at several ASA meeting and annual Gatherings over the years, as well as the Thunderbird Balloon Festivals and the Glendale Folk & Heritage Festival."
Hodge was involved in doo-wop, rhythm and blues and jazz. He began writing songs and playing piano professionally by age 13; joining, starting and practicing with all-vocal groups on the street corners of Los Angeles.
By age 15, Hodge was a regular session musician in recording studios throughout Los Angeles, and had co-written the multi-platinum hit “Earth Angel”. He went on to form the original Platters with his brother, Alex Hodge, and sang and played piano with them on their first 16 recordings.
Hodge toured several months of the year throughout Europe, the Middle East and the United States.
Hodge had written, recorded or performed with such artists as Lou Rawls, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Dr. John, The Rivingtons, Johnny Morissette, Duane Eddy and many others.
We offer our deepest condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed.