Maxx Kidd, a music industry veteran who helped pioneer go-go music, died March 13 in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Billboard has learned. The 75-year-old Kidd passed away following a years-long battle with “a variety of health complications,” according to surviving family members.
Born Carl Lomax Kidd on Aug. 18, 1941, Kidd was a young man growing up in West Virginia when he met singer Nat “King” Cole” at a nightclub owned by Kidd’s father. That sparked an interest in pursuing a career in music, which Kidd started in earnest in 1960 when he relocated to Washington, D.C. following a stint in the army. It was there that Kidd parlayed his pre-army job as a Calypso singer for a drive-in restaurant into becoming a member of a local D.C. soul group called The Enjoyables.
Kidd’s first major industry breakthrough was working as a producer for Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records, where he collaborated with such artists as Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler and Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers. Two R&B hits by Brown, “Blow Your Whistle” and “We Need Some Money,” are among Kidd’s best-known productions.
Four years later, Kidd played a role in producing and supporting D.C.’s infamous go-go sound, working with Brown & the Soul Searchers as well as fellow funk groups Trouble Funk and E.U. (Experience Unlimited). Kidd also served as an associate producer of the 1986 film Good to Go, a crime thriller starring Art Garfunkel that used D.C.’s burgeoning go-go scene as its musical backdrop. Kidd co-produced the film’s go-go/dancehall-inspired soundtrack as well, featuring Chuck Brown, Trouble Funk, E.U., Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare, Ini Kamoze and Redds & the Boys (whose lineup included Kidd).
In addition to establishing his own record label, T.T.E.D. Records, Kidd became an independent promoter and marketer, with a client list that included the O’Jays, the Temptations, Lou Rawls, Van McCoy, Johnnie Taylor and Shalamar.
Kidd is survived by five daughters (Jacqueline McCoy, Yvette “Evie” Kidd, Sabrina Kidd, Joy Kidd, Corie Kidd) and one son (Victor Kidd), 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren plus four siblings and a son-in-law. Funeral arrangements are pending.