Ward’s life hit the skids in the late-70’s; he served some time in jail and basically fell off the music map until his rediscovery in the late 80’s. In 1990 Ward released his debut album, Fear No Evil on Black Top Records. In addition to the great session work Ward did, he’s likely to be remembered for his pioneering use of the Magnatone amplifier and the vibrato pedal for a truly unmistakable guitar sound. Ward had a raspy, soulful singing style (with a little gospel thrown in) and along with this guitar style, recorded a classic sounding yet very contemporary debut, as this song attests. Robert Ward was 70 years old when he passed away.
He may be a footnote in pop music’s vast history, however R&B and blues guitarist Robert Ward – who passed away on Xmas day – was always knocking at the door of greatness during his long career. Ward, along with Charles Stone formed a blues band called The Ohio Untouchables in 1959. After recording several regional hits Ward left the band who went on to become The Ohio Players. That’s Ward’s tremolo soaked guitar playing on one of Wilson Pickett’s earliest hit songs, “I Found A Love” when Pickett sang with The Falcons. And Ward did session work for Motown during the 70’s playing on songs by The Temptations (he played guitar on “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”) and the Undisputed Truth.