Allan Curtis Barnes was born on September 21, 1949 in Detroit, Michigan, and died on July 25, 2016.
Allan received his first musical training from his musician uncles, Joe and Robert Barnes.
Durring 1967, Barnes enlisted in the United States Army and trained at the Army Element of the U.S. Naval School of Music.
He spent a year in the 437th, he was deployed to Vietnam and the 4th Division Army Band.
When he was discharged, he played his way back to Detroit.
Allan was discovered by trumpeter Donald Byrd who insisted that Barnes come to Howard University and play with a new band he was putting together, The Blackbyrds.
Allan when on to traveled the world with Donald Byrd and The Blackbyrds.
On the band’s first album, had made gold with Barnes writing two of the songs: “Summer Love” and “The Blackbirds Theme”.
Then the second album, Flying Start, contained the hit single “Walking in Rhythm”, with Barnes being featured on flute.
He formed his own band, Allan Barnes and Primetime.
Allan played and recorded with numerous artists, including Gil Scott-Heron, Lyman Woodard David II, Fred Wesley, Nina Simone, Lee Oscar, Pini Cohen, Bennie Maupin, Siggy Dillard, Delbert Taylor, Robert Guillaume, Wilson Pickett, Christian DiMaggio, Lakeside, Ceri Lucas, Prince, the Mizell Brothers, Marcus Belgrave, Harold McKinney, Bootsy Collins, the Detroit Experiment, Regina Carter, Geri Allen, the Dramatics, the Interzone Orchestra, Reggie Braxton, Sandy Patton, Dwight Adams, Sunny Wilkinson, Sunny Girl, Martha Reeves, Mary Wilson, Teddy Harris, Roy Brooks, Big John Patton, Milt Hinton, Grant Green, Pharoah Sanders, Sonny Rollins and Billy Taylor.
Over his long career Barnes wrote music with John Malone and had a single, “Disco Dancin’”, on the first Taste of Honey album and with R. Kelly co-wrote the single “Money Makes the World Go Round”.
Allan has written music for commercials with Larry King, Brenda Sykes, Sugar Ray Leonard, Leslie Nielsen, and Muhammad Ali.
Barnes also penned the music for the PBS movie One Night’s Run and the PBS series Small Business Magazine.
Additionally, he wrote station identification theme for the University of Michigan public television station.
He created and hosted the PBS show Jazzland.
Allan also had a cameo in the Clint Eastwood film Bird (1988).
He died due to a heart attack.
Allan Barnes passed away at 67 years old.