Longtime Motown Guitarist, Wah Wah Watson, Dies at 67

Echoes/Redferns
Wah Wah Watson performing on stage in the 1970s.

Melvin Ragin, known as “Wah Wah Watson” for his guitar and wah wah pedal sounds in sessions for Motown artists, died on Wednesday (Oct. 24). He was 67 years old.   

Ragin joined the Motown house band, the Funk Brothers, in 1968, and was only 20 years old when he was called into Motown for a session with Norman Whitfield, the Temptations' longtime producer, which eventually led to his work on “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” Ragin played on endless iconic musical pieces throughout his career, including Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On and I Want You, Quincy Jones’ Body Heat, Smokey Robinson’s Love Breeze and Michael Jackson’s LP Off the Wall.    

More recently, Ragin played on records for artists like Maxwell, Alicia Keys and Janet Jackson.