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William Lee Sumlin Jr.

November 8, 1950 May 2, 2022
William Lee Sumlin Jr.
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Obituary for William Lee Sumlin Jr.

William Lee Sumlin Jr., age 71, died May 2, 2022.

William Lee Sumlin Jr. was born in Tupelo, MS on Nov.8, 1950 to the late William Lee Sumlin Sr. and Effie Sumlin. He made his transition on Monday, May 2, 2022 at Methodist Alliance Hospice Residential.

William was an avid sports person, especially in baseball. As a teenager he played baseball for WDIA. It was later music will play a big role in his life. In his 9th & 10th grade while attending Booker T Washington, he entered singing contests, which led to him singing background for Stax Recording Artists, such as Eddie Floyd, David Porter, Rufus Thompson, Issac Hayes and Otis Redding. As William transferred to Southside High School he also played the trumpet for the high school band. In 1968, William graduated from Southside High School and received a scholarship for band to University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

In 1971, William joined the group “The Newcomers” and their biggest hits were “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” & “Mannish Boy”. They also contributed plenty of background work for other artists on Stax and opened as a live act for label mates such as Al Green, The Bar-Kays, and the Emotions. After that they changed their name to KWICK. William and the group signed with Mercury Records for a year and recorded one LP. Then William and the group signed with EMI American, and their biggest hits were “Let This Moment Be Forever” and “Nigh Life”. In 1984, William and the group signed with Capital Records and their biggest song was “Too Lonely to Be Alone” and “Stuck Up”. As time goes on William and the group parted ways. William worked at Jordan Industries, Airborne Express, and DHL. William retired from DHL after 30 plus years with the company.

William L. Sumlin Jr. leaves to cherish his memories: one son, Roderick (LaChanda) Brown; sister, Betty Wright; brother, Karone Jackson; sister-n-law, Minnie Sumlin; four grandchildren, Roderick (Lacie), Brown, Jaylon Brown, Liam Brown, and London Brown; one great-grandchild, Liberty Brown; and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by great grandchild, Maverick Brown.

Serenity Funeral Home, Tel. (901) 379-0861.

Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

12

May

5:00 PM 5/12/2022 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 5/12/2022 7:00:00 PM
Serenity Funeral Home

1638 Sycamore View Road
Memphis, TN 38134

Serenity Funeral Home
1638 Sycamore View Road Memphis 38134 TN
United States

Graveside

Friday

13

May

12:00 PM 5/13/2022 12:00:00 PM
Memorial Park Southwoods

5484 Hacks Cross Road
Memphis, TN 38125

Memorial Park Southwoods
5484 Hacks Cross Road Memphis 38125 TN
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Memorial Park Southwoods Final Resting Place

5484 Hacks Cross Road
Memphis, TN 38125

5484 Hacks Cross Road Memphis 38125 TN
United States
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