Palmdale, California – August 16, 2010 – Robert Wilson, one third of sibiling funk trio, the GAP Band, passed away in Palmdale, California on Sunday, August 15, 2010, it was announced by his family. One of the funkiest bass players in R&B, Robert, together with his brothers, Ronnie and Charlie created some of the biggest R&B / funk hits in the ‘70s and ‘80s including “You Dropped a Bomb On Me,” “Outstanding,” “Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” and “Oops Upside Your Head.”

“My brother Robert was a bad boy on the bass,” stated brother Charlie. “We shared a bond as brothers, musicians and friends. I loved him and losing him is difficult for both Ronnie and I. The music world has lost a very talented man.” Robert’s bass playing inspired the likes of Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller and the late Wayman Tisdale, also a Tulsa native, among others. At the time of Tisdale’s death, he and Robert were working on a solo project. One of Robert’s classic bass solos was on the GAP Band hit, “Shake.”


The GAP Band first performed as the Greenwood, Archer and Pine Street Band in their hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The group shortened its name to The GAP Band in 1973. Their hits have been sampled and covered by R&B and Hip-Hop artists including Nas, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, Notorious B.I.G., Blackstreet, Shaquille O’Neal, Mia X,  Mary J. Blige and Madonna.  Musicians inspired by their music include R. Kelly, Keith Sweat, Ruff Endz, Guy, Mint Condition, Jagged Edge and Aaron Hall.

My two favorite GAP Band joints are unquestionably “Outstanding” and “Oops Upside Your Head.”  ‘Oops’ was so silly yet so incredibly brilliant at the same time!!! The rhythm – how Robert’s bass accented the percussion all underneath Charlie’s vocal and laughter…WHAT! TALK ABOUT FUNK — “The bigger the headache, the bigger the pill, the bigger the doctor, the bigger the bill.” I bobbed my head to it numerous times and listen to it now as I write this entry.

Peace and Love to the Wilson Family

1 Comment

  • April 27, 2011

    Robert Wilson deserved more credit than he was giving while he was with us,to ALL the bass players out there go check “Knucklehead Funkin” and ” Say you Love Me Again” with DJ Rodgers , those were 30yrs ago…Robert was ahead of his time and right on time. I miss him deeply.

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