Richard "Pistol" Allen

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As a member of the Funk Brothers, drummer Richard "Pistol" Allen can be heard on numerous Motown classics such as Marvin Gaye's number one R&B/pop single "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" as…
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As a member of the Funk Brothers, drummer Richard "Pistol" Allen can be heard on numerous Motown classics such as Marvin Gaye's number one R&B/pop single "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" as well as on tracks from Dennis Coffey's Scorpio album. Born Howard Richard Allen in 1932 in Memphis,TN, he moved to Flint, MI, to take at job at AC Delco during the mid-'50s. Allen began playing drums in Detroit-area night clubs, where he met Motown drummer Benny Benjamin, who soon became his mentor. Allen was hired by label founder Berry Gordy in 1961. At the age of 69, Richard "Pistol" Allen died in Detroit on June 31, 2002, after a long bout with cancer. He appears in the Al Slutsky documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown, released by Artisan Entertainment in November 2002.