Robert Louis Gordy Sr., a music publishing executive and older brother to legendary Motown founder Berry Gordy has died on Friday, Oct. 21, his family confirmed.
“I am deeply saddened by the sudden passing of my younger brother, Robert,” Berry Gordy said in a statement.
“He was absolutely the best lil’ brother anyone could ever hope for. His ability to succeed at whatever he attempted or that I threw his way, amazed me over the years. I will miss his love, his support, and his loyalty.”
Robert was also a recording artist who went by the stage name Bob Kayli. He co-wrote the song “Everyone Was There,” with his brother Berry in 1958 which was released on Carlton Records.
According to Wikipedia, “Robert Gordy was born in Detroit, Michigan on July 15, 1931. Growing up, he became a boxer like his brother Berry. He had a brief career as a recording artist and had a minor hit as Bob Kayli with the novelty song “Everyone Was There”, co-written with his brother Berry and leased by him to the Carlton label. The record reached number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1958 and performed it on the Dick Clark TV Show. He recorded a second single on Gordy’s Anna label in 1959, “Never More”, before working for a time in the postal service. As his older brother’s Motown company expanded, Robert returned to work for it, initially as a recording engineer. He also recorded two further singles as Bob Kayli, “Small Sad Sam” (a cover of Phil McLean’s answer record to “Big Bad John”, Tamla, 1961) and “Hold On Pearl” (Gordy, 1962). Neither was successful and his career as a recording artist ended.”
Robert leaves behind his brother, Berry Gordy; three children, Roxanna Wright, Rodney Gordy and Fuller Gordy; four grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and other relatives.