Before Rufus, Wolinski worked with fellow Chicagoan, singer Minnie Riperton. While writing in his recording studio, Wolinski came up with the song idea that would become "Aint Nobody." Quincy Jones was interested in the song for inclusion on Michael Jackson's Thriller LP. But Wolinski had already promised the song to Rufus' producer Russ Titelman. Included on the group's Warner Bros. debut album Live-Stompin' at the Savoy, "Aint Nobody" b/w a live version of their 1976 hit "Sweet Thing" went to number one R&B in fall 1983.
The success of "Aint Nobody" made Wolinski an in-demand songwriter/producer. He contributed several tracks to the soundtrack of the 1986 Goldie Hawn high school football movie Wildcats issued on Warner Bros. For Rufus & Chaka Khan he co-wrote the sensual ballad "Everlasting Love" -- not to be confused with the same-named hit covered separately by Robert Knight/Carl Carlton/Rex Smith -- with band member Kevin Murphy and one time Rufus member, bassist Dennis Belfield ("Smokin' Room," the flip side of Rufus' gold single "Tell Me Something Good," a popular radio-aired LP track and a 1975 hit for Carl Carlton), which went to number 17 R&B in summer 1977. The Wolinski song was covered by jazz saxophonist J. Spencer on his Chimera album. Wolinski co-wrote another Rufus hit, "Hollywood," with group member Andre Fischer that peaked at number three R&B in spring 1977; with Daniel Seraphine, he co-wrote the title track of Rufus' gold LP Street Player.
With singer Jeffrey Osborne, Wolinski co-wrote "Plane Love," number ten R&B, for Osborne's 1983 gold A&M LP Stay With Me Tonight and "Is It Right" for his gold 1984 A&M LP Don't Stop. For Stephanie Mills, he wrote "The Medicine Song." Also on her 1984 Casablanca LP I've Got the Cure was "Rough Trade" (Wolinski/Keithen Carter/Pat Leonard). For the Amuzement Park Band led by Paul Richmond, he produced their second album, All Points Bulletin, issued by Atlantic Records around March 1984, which yielded the single "No."
Wolinski produced Glenn Jones' "Giving Myself to You" in summer 1986 from his RCA album Take It From Me, and co-produced both the self-titled 1987 Virgin Records LP of U.K. duo Millions Like Us and the Neville Brothers' 1992 A&M LP Family Groove.
David "Hawk" Wolinski-related releases are Off the Wall and History: Past, Present and Future, Book 1 by Michael Jackson; Greatest Hits: Giving Myself to You by Glenn Jones; The Dude by Quincy Jones; Jeffrey Osborne; Wild Heart of the Young by Karla Bonoff; No Fun Aloud and The Allnighter by Glenn Frey; Living Eyes by the Bee Gees; Little Miss Dangerous by Ted Nugent; Dark Sides: The Best of the Shadows of Knight; Chicago XI and Chicago XIV by Chicago; Chimera by J. Spencer; Abstract Emotions by Randy Crawford; and Bangor Flying Circus by Bangor Flying Circus. ~ Ed Hogan, Rovi