Former Earth, Wind & Fire saxophonist Andrew Woolfolk has died at the age of 71. Woolfolk had two separate stints in the legendary pop, soul, funk and disco outfit. He joined in 1973, ahead of the group’s fourth album, Head to the Sky, and stuck around until E, W & F went on hiatus in 1984.
During this time, he played on many of the group’s enduring hits, including ‘September’, which was originally released as a promo single for the 1978 compilation release, The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1. ‘September’ has achieved 6x Platinum accreditation in both Australia and the US. The track also has more than one billion Spotify streams.
Earth, Wind & Fire got back together in 1987 and Woolfolk played on the subsequent albums, Touch the World (1987) and Heritage (1990), before parting ways with Philip Bailey, Maurice White and Verdine White in 1993.
Bailey, who remains the band’s vocalist and percussionist, posted a tribute to Woolfolk on Instagram. “I met him in High School, and we quickly became friends and band mates,” Bailey wrote. “Andrew Paul Woolfolk was his name. We lost him today, after being ill of over 6 years.”
Bailey continued, “He has Transitioned on to the forever, from this Land of the dying to the Land of the Living. Great memories. Great Talent. Funny. Competitive. Quick witted. And always styling. Booski… I’ll see you on the other side, my friend.”