Posted: Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Ralph MacDonald Dead: Percussionist Who Wrote 'Just the Two of Us' Dies at 67
by Cameron Matthews
Ralph MacDonald, the famed session musician and songwriter who wrote 'Just the Two of Us,' has died after a battle with lung cancer, the New York Times reports. He was 67 years old.
MacDonald worked with many top-charting artists, performing Afro-Caribbean percussion on David Bowie's 'Young Americans' and Jimmy Buffett's 'Margaritaville.'
Raised in New York City by his Trinidadian father, MacDonald learned to play steel drums, which eventually got him a spot in singer Harry Belafonte's band. The percussionist would go on to work with some of the industry's most influential songwriters and performers, from Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon to Aretha Franklin and Amy Winehouse.
Among his many impressive credits, MacDonald notably wrote Bill Withers' hit 'Just the Two of Us' and Roberta Flack's 'Where Is the Love' alongside William Salter and William Eaton. He also earned two Grammys for contributing the song 'Calypso Breakdown' to the 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack.
MacDonald passed away on Sunday, Dec. 18 in Stamford, Conn. He is survived by his wife, Grace, four children, a sister and three grandchildren.TweetMySong - Our thoughts and prayers go out to the MacDonald family. RIP Ralph.