Our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of Derek Clayton Dirckson, former manager of gospel super group Commissioned, former member of and producer for R&B group Chapter 8, and owner of Backstage Pass Recording Studio. On his LinkedIn Page, Derek provided a summary of his background as “Musician (drums), Producer, Writer, Studio Owner.” Specialties were listed as “Writing, Drumming, Songwriting, Production, Engineering and Performing.” Under Additional Honors & Awards, Derek listed, “10 Grammy nominations, 4 Stellar Award nominations, 3 NAACP Image nominations, 10 State Proclamations and many more.” To view tributes from Fred Hammond and Nephew Tommy, and the very long list of artists that Derek worked with over the years, read below.

Fred Hammond noted Mr. Dirckson’s passing on his Facebook page:


Sorry to hear. You helped us make history.

Posted by Fred Hammond on Monday, August 10, 2015

…And comedian and radio host Nephew Tommy tweeted the following:

Mr. Dirckson’s own Facebook page remains active at facebook.com/derek.dirckson, where friends and loved ones continue to post tributes. On his page, Dirckson referred to the difficulties he
experienced from his stroke. His Backpage Pass Recording Studio website shares the
statement, “closed had a stroke.” Dirckson was 63 at the time of his

An online obituary for Derek Dirckson can be found at

and reads as follows:

Mr. Dirckson was born on February 2, 1952 and passed away on Saturday, August 8, 2015.
Mr. Dirckson was a resident of Detroit, Michigan at the time of his passing.
Visitation Aug 14. 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM O. H. Pye, III Funeral Home 17600 Plymouth Road Detroit, MI, US, 48227
Missed the service? Send flowers or gifts to the family’s home.
Family Hour Aug 15. 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM Faith Redemption Center COGIC, 15727 Plymouth Road, Detroit, MI, US, 48227.
Funeral Service Aug 15. 11:30 AM Faith Redemption Center COGIC, 15727 Plymouth Road Detroit, MI, US, 48227.

The family of Mr. Derek Clayton Dirckson also created a Life Tributes page for visitors to share memories.

Derek Dirkson (seated center) with Chapter 8

According to Wikipedia, in 1979, Derek Dirckson and Michael Powell produced Chapter 8‘s first album and expanded the group’s roster to include future R&B superstar Anita Baker. Arguably Chapter 8’s most popular song, “I Just Wanna Be Your Girl,” was written by Michael Powell and produced by Derek Dirckson & Michael Powell for Free Productions. For more info on Derek Dirckson and Chapter 8, visit wikipedia.org.

In addition to discovering, managing and producing a list of “Who’s Who” of the gospel industry, Dirckson also produced gospel plays including, “Momma Don’t,” “Wicked,” “Come Out of The Rain” and more.

Although written with a different purpose in mind, Derek Dirckson’s career summary (found on the blackstagepassstudio.yolasite.com website) is a wonderful tribute to his remarkable contribution to the history of gospel and R&B music:

“I have worked with, Fred Hammond, Mary-Mary, Marvin Sapp, Terrance Howard, Anita Baker, Bobby Jones, Ben Tankard, Bishop Leonard Scott, Bone Thugs N’ Harmony, The Canton Spirituals, Commissioned, Deitrick & Damita Haddon, Daryl Coley, David Peaston, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Dottie Peoples, Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, Easy-E, Evelyn Turrentine Agee, John P. Kee, J. Moss, Rev. James Cleveland, Joe Simon, Johnnie Taylor, Kathy Taylor, Lee Williams & The Spiritual QC’s, Lexi, Lisa Paige-Brooks, Men of Standard, Noah Brown, Ella Worthington, Regina King, Richard Smallwood, Bishop Paul Morton, Sam & Dave, Shirley Murdock, Phyllis Hyman, The Clark Sisters, The Dells, The Floaters, The Williams Brothers, Rance Allen, The Winans, Thomas Whitfield, The Detroit Emeralds, Tiny Lister, Thomas (“Nephew Tommy”) Miles, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Vickie Winans, Witness, Yolonda Adams, Bobby Womack, George Clinton, Vernice Watson and more than I can remember. I have been in the professional  music business over twenty-five consecutive years.  (And yes I have worked directly with all above and know every one of them personally.)  From the new to the old we do it all. Just ask.”

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