The sad news broke over this holiday weekend in the United States that Colonel Abrams – a legend in the House Music scene here in America and worldwide – passed away on Thanksgiving.
The 67 year old singer had been suffering from diabetes and related ailments – it was just over a year ago that Marshall Jefferson posted a note about a fundraising appeal for Abrams, calling it an “emergency situation” and that Abrams was in “dire straits.” The GoFundMe campaign set up by Tony Herbert and Don Welch noted that Abrams has “fallen on some really hard times due to health issues and a financial setback which has forced him into some housing challenges.”
Abrams was raised in New York but his music would often be identified with Chicago, from his initial run on platters here with “Music Is The Answer” and the more commercially successful “Trapped.”
5 Magazine Senior Editor DEL wrote this personal recollection on Facebook, which says it all:
Here’s an incredible personal memory I have of him: I was out in LA ifor a Penn State game in the mid-’80s with a bunch of my buddies. I was driving us through LA in a rental car and I had one of my “DEL Mix Tapes” playing… it was right at the point where I had mixed “Trapped” out of “And the Beat Goes On”. My friend Chris said, “Rewind that, I love that mix”. I did and I swear, no more than ten seconds later, we stopped at a light and my other friend Espo (in the “shotgun seat”) started shouting, “It’s you! The admiral, the captain… (he couldn’t remember the name)!” I turned and who is literally about to cross the street in front of us looking shocked… COLONEL Abrams! He stops… hearing Espo yelling frantically at him, the rest of of us cheering, and his song!. We pull over and chat a couple of minutes. He’s a great guy… a bit shocked and laughing, he asks us to rewind the mix again… singing a couple of bars!
That’s the kind of lasting memories that music gifts to us. His incredible voice (Trapped, How Soon We Forget, I’m Not Gonna Let, Music Is the Answer, and the more recent Just Wanna Be with U & As I Take You Back) will never be forgotten! RIP Colonel!
Funeral arrangements are pending. Our deepest condolences to friends, family and fans of Colonel Abrams worldwide.