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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