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Michael Burnett, the bass player for [a=Jeff Floyd] passed away January 4, 2007, after suffering a massive heart attack.
Michael was born in Macon, Georgia March 19, 1956. His music career began by playing the drums at the age of nine. After trying out trombone and trumpet as well, he became interested with the bass guitar, being influenced by Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire and Larry Graham of Graham Central Station. Local musician Walter Jackson at VWF and who played the bass guitar, showed Mike how to play the bass and sing at the same time. Mike alone with seven other guys formed a band and started playing in school's talent shows. By the 10th grade, his last three periods were spent in the school's band room. Realizing Mike's talent, band director Samuel Stokes asked him to perform a few half time shows with the Southwest High School Marching Band.
In 1971 he formed the group “The Black Exotics”, which the group later change their name to “The Exotics”, and began performing in local night clubs around Macon (The Red Rooster, High Hat, Adams Lounge and JD’s Touch of Class). After years of playing the group finally got a break when they landed a gig with Stax Records as the band for recording artists Sam & Dave. From there the list began to grow, William Bell, Clarence Carter, Denise LaSalle and Bill Coday.
One night while performing in Louisiana, Mike was approached by Atlanta Artist, Inc. recording artist Larry Blackmon of Cameo. He told Mike that he was looking for a bass player and wanted him to come to Atlanta (Georgia) to audition for the part. About six months later he arrived at the audition where they hired him on the spot. He recorded his 1st album with Cameo titled “Alligator Woman”, which went gold and the tour dates came rolling in. When Cameo started rehearsing for the tour, Mike was still obligated to perform with his group "The Exotics" for two more weeks at spring break in Panama Beach (Florida). So for the remaining of his contract he would fly to Atlanta in the morning to rehearse with Cameo for the tour and fly back to Florida at night to perform with The Exotics. In one day, Michael got married, performed his 1st major concert, kissed his new bride and hit the road for a 6 months tour.
After the tour and some free time, the call came to do another album for Cameo. He left for New York to start recording their album “She's Strange”. On this project he was given a lot of freedom with his bass pattern and to sing more background vocals. This album also became a success so it was back on the road. Mike was called back and out of the studio came “Single Life”. The album was an instance success. With contract problems Mike didn’t participate on Cameo’s album “Style”.
One night he stopped in a local night club in Atlanta and on stage performed one of his friends from Macon, Kary Hubbert. The next day Mike told Larry Blackmon what he had seen and asked that if Larry would do anything with the group, then to let him be a part of it. Larry did, by giving Mike a chance to produce his first major act, [a=Ca$hflow]. After that project Cameo started on what was to be Mike’s last album with the group, “Word Up”. Mike brought in a long time friend and a former member of the Exotics, Willie Morris, to do some background vocals. The album, Cameo's biggest seller to date, reached platinum and Mike left the group.
After a lengthy absent, Mike was asked by Larry to perform once more with Cameo on the Island of Bermuda for their yearly festival which he did and which was well received and reviewed. After seeing his performance, the other artists and musicians that were performing on the tour couldn’t believe that he had not been on stage for over 10 years.
As a producer, bass guitarist, and vocalist, he has preformed in:
a. videos: Atlanta Artist Inc.: Cameo: Alligator Woman, Flirt, She’s Strange, Be Yourself, Single Life, and Attack Me With Your Love
b. live television shows: "Soul Train", Don Cornelius Inc. (Hollywood, Ca.), "The Lou Rawls Television Special" (Hollywood, Ca.), "Solid Gold" (Los Angels, Ca.), and London's musical show, "Top of the Pops", London, England
c. television commercials: Mellow Yellow, Coke Cola Bottle Company, Los Angels, Ca.
d. concerts halls, theaters and coliseum throughout the USA and abroad.
Mike has been employed by:
a. Atlanta Artists Inc.: Cameo - arranger, bass guitarist and vocalist
b. Atlanta Artists Inc.: Ca$hflow - producer, songwriter, arranger, bass guitarist and
c. Stax Records: Sam & Dave - bass guitarist and vocalist
d. Stax Records: William Bell - bass guitarist and vocalist
e. Capricorn Studio Inc.: The Reddings - songwriter
f. PolyGram Records: Syreeta Wright (former wife of Stevie Wonder) - bass
guitarist and vocalist
During his music career, Michael's honors and awards are:
a. Platinum Album for Cameo's album "Word Up"
b. Gold Albums and Tapes for Cameo's albums "Alligator Woman", "She’s Strange", "Single Life" and
c. Gold Reel, Cheshire Sound Studio, Atlanta, Ga..
His professional affiliations are: ASCAP, BMI, Chocolate City and PolyGram Records Company. He performed on Ca$hflow's album-title track “Big Money”, which also appears on the soundtrack [m119882], starring the Fat Boys for PolyGram Records Company.
Mike continued to assist new artist in the entertainment business such as choreographer Douglas Frazier, singer Willie Morris and saxophone player Melvin Wells. He completed a 10 weeks course at Fame Institute of Music, Fort Lauderdale, Florida for Audio Recording Engineering.
Michael Burnett still resided in Macon, Georgia where he worked with different artist such as William Bell and Jeff Floyd.