– December 25, 2008) was an American blues and soul guitarist. He was known for founding the Ohio Untouchables, the band that later would become the Ohio Players. He played the guitar with a unique tone soaked in vibrato coming from the Magnatone amplifier.
Born Robert Jeryl Ward in Luthersville, Georgia, he moved to Dayton, Ohio in 1960 and formed the Ohio Untouchables. The group released series of singles from LuPine label[including "Your Love Is Amazing" which would become one of Ward's signature songs. Ward left the group in 1965.
Then he moved to the Detroit
area, actually residing in Toledo, Ohio and released some single under
his name in the late 60's. He disappeared from the music scene sometime
in the 70's after working as a session player for Motown.
It was in the early 1990s that he came back into the spotlight. He was "rediscovered" by Black Top Records and released his first full-length album Fear No Evil
in 1991. He released two more albums in the next four years for the
label. In the mid-1990s he did limited touring, including a date in
Minneapolis with Curtis Obeda and "The Butanes", and several dates in
Michigan including Kalamazoo, Three Rivers and Grand Rapids. After the
label folded in the late 1990s, WRKR Kalamazoo blues DJ Marty Spaulding, who Robert had appointed his manager, arranged a recording contract with Delmark Records to release New Role Soul
in 2000. In his last years he faced a series of health problems,
including two strokes, which prevented him from performing or recording.
Macon, on December 25, 2008
Ohio Untouchables - Forgive Me Darling/Your Love Is Amazing (1962)