Denver R&B singer Marvin “Henchi” Graves, who was granted his wish for a first-hand view of the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals last month, died Monday. He was 64 and was fighting cancer.

Graves was best known as one of the lead singers and co-founder of the popular Freddi-Henchi Band, which toured and recorded extensively in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.

Graves nickname was Henchi, which is short for Henchman, a nickname from his days as a collegiate wrestler.

Graves’ younger brother, Richard Graves, said Monday evening that funeral plans have not been finalized, and a local memorial would be held for fans and friends, as well.

A lifelong basketball fan, Graves was on his deathbed at HospiceCare of Boulder and Broomfield Counties in Louisville when, on May 24, he asked that his feeding tube be removed. As he made plans for his end with his doctor George Stark, he said he would love to go see the Nuggets play in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals the next day.

Graves first made his mark as an athlete. He was an All-American wrestler at Arizona State University who came up just short, because of an injury, from making the U.S. Olympic team, his brother said.

Graves co-founded the rhythm, blues and funk band Freddi-Henchi and the Soulsetters with Fred Gowdy in Phoenix in 1966.

The band relocated to Boulder in 1970 after playing a six-week run at a club in Fort Collins.

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Archived comments

Godspeed on your journey, Henchi


6/10/2009 8:00:08 AM

The last time I saw Freddi-Henchi was at Band on the Bricks outside the courthouse. It wasn’t exactly warm out and it rained most of the time. Couldn’t have mattered at all to the rockin crowd.

Another good thing comes to an end, as we all will.


6/10/2009 1:10:04 PM

Was down at Band on the Bricks tonight and the talk was how it won’t be the same without Henchi and our favorite song “I Like Your Shoes.”

Rest in Peace …. and really enjoyed that gig you played at Skipsfinal last wedding.


6/10/2009 10:54:21 PM

Good times never seemed so good.


6/10/2009 9:19:31 AM

I’d like to say godspeed but unfortunately I knew the guy.


6/10/2009 9:25:50 AM

Thanks for the memories bro.

.All of the Boulder natives remember the good times you gave us at Skunk Creek and Toulagies. on the hill in the 60’s and 70’s you will surely be missed my friend. God bless you on your journey.


6/10/2009 9:39:53 AM

Sad day,good memories of Skunk Creek.R I P


6/10/2009 10:11:58 AM

Great music, great fun, great talent.Boulder in the 70’s wouldn’t have been the same with out him. Thanks for the good times! RIP..


6/10/2009 11:41:59 AM

Very sad to hear this news, but I have incredible memories of many fun and happy nights dancing at the Blue Note in the ’80s. Loved the band and was so happy to see the reunion in the past years at Bands on the Bricks. Thanks for the wonderful music and good times you gave to us. Peace be to you…

6/10/2009 5:01:57 PM

Thanks for the memories, “Henchi.”How can any of us really be this old?R.I.P.


6/10/2009 7:09:55 AM

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