Music News

R.I.P. Clarence Burke Jr. of the Five Stairsteps

Photo of FIVE STAIRSTEPSClarence Burke Jr. of the family R&B group the Five Stairsteps passed away on Sunday.

Formed in 1965 in Chicago, the Five Stairsteps was a band consisting of three of Burke’s brothers and his sister. Burke was a multi-talented member of the band, fronting the group, producing songs, choreographing dances, playing guitar and writing songs.

The Five Stairsteps rose to prominence in 1966 with their first single, “You Waited Too Long,” which Burke wrote as a teenager. It rose to Number Six on Billboard’s R&B chart.

The band is best known for its hit “O-o-h Child,” which came out in 1970. The single snagged the Number Eight spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The song was written by Stan Vincent and has also been covered by artists such as Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield, Beth Orton and others.

The group had a very short run, disbanding in the late 1970s, but the four brothers later briefly reunited as the Invisible Man’s Band and produced the hit dance jam “All Night Thing.”

Burke passed away in Marietta, Ga. He was 64. No cause of death has been announced.

Got something to say?