Dexter Wansel

Born 22 August 1950.


Dexter Gilman Wansel (born August 22, 1950) is an American keyboardist, raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He contributed to the development of the Philly Sound and worked with producers Gamble and Huff at Philadelphia International Records. Wansel led the musical group Yellow Sunshine. He has worked with Phyllis Hyman, The Jacksons, MFSB, Teddy Pendergrass, Patti Labelle, The Jones Girls, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Grover Washington Jr. and Lou Rawls, among many others. He also wrote The Jones Girls 1981 soul music song "Nights over Egypt" and Patti Labelle's 1983 #1 R&B hit, "If Only You Knew", with Cynthia Biggs. His "Theme from the Planets" has been sampled and was featured on the breakbeat compilation album, Ultimate Breaks and Beats.

While Wansel was relatively unknown outside the U.S., many have suggested[who?] that his influence on pop music, as both a producer and performer in the mid-1970s, led to the development of new age soul and jazz funk. His most successful album was Life On Mars, released on the Philadelphia International record label in 1976. Wansel played keyboards, Derek Graves played bass guitar while a session singer, Terri Wells, was on vocals. The remaining sound was filled in by Dexter's rhythm section called The Planets featuring Darryl Brown, Calvin Harris, Bobby Malach, Al Harrison and the aforementioned Graves.

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