Arts Desk

Whatever Happened to Terry Huff, the Dude Behind “I Destroyed Your Love”?

For this week's cover, I wrote about Terry Huff, a largely forgotten singer and songwriter from a special moment in D.C. R&B.

Huff came from a family of 18 kids, was burned out of his house, went to a foster farm, sang on streetcorners, met a Greek named Johnny Boy Katsouros who fashioned him and his brother into a bankable teen soul act, quit music to join the D.C. Police, became a hero for gunning down heroin dealers, quit the force, recorded an indelible single called "I Destroyed Your Love," and promptly faded into obscurity.

That's the bullet-point version, anyway. Along the way, I got to meet some pretty great people. DJs like Scooter Magruder and Captain Fly dug up stories from the early days of Quiet Storm radio and a D.C. R&B community that thrived even in the shadow of towns like New York and Philly. Katsouros, who I'm told does the best ribs in Upper Marlboro, filled in the blanks that the brothers were too young to remember. Chet Fortune and WTU President George Parker talked about their brief collaboration with Terry in a group called Special Delivery. And Dana Mozie, the "G.O.P.'s Hip-Hop Ambassador," talked about his continuing efforts to get Terry (62) a comeback.

Not to forget Kevin Coombe, the DJ/archivist behind DC Soul Recordings. He provided a nice label scan (below) of a rare Terry Huff 45.

Most important were Terry's brothers Andrew and Larry. (Disclosure: I used to play music with them when we lived as neighbors in Petworth.) They showed limitless patience in giving me their versions of what, exactly, happened to their volatile brother.

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  • Annette Scott

    Wow, what a great "what-ever-happened-to" story! Although decades have passed, and, essentially a long shot, you hope that Terry Huff does land another shot in the spotlight. But it goes to show you that one's pride and ego will stand second not even to the goldest of opportunities.

  • PattheLifetellerPoet

    Where is Tony Washington of the dynamic Superoir of DC. please search him out if he is not one of his song today.
    Im Patricia Robinson, his friend born and raised in DC, I became one of somones songs, today Im sober and free.

    God doesn’t want us to do life alone
    I use to be -part of the problem on these 4 streets.
    I use to be the drug dealer on the phone-even then, God didn’t want us alone.
    Many years I walked that path-and I use those years to get pass.
    Get pass the struggles of life-and even for me, real cuts like a knife.
    But what I’m trying to say-God’s trying to show us another way.
    Seeing as how there is weakness in our fight-my prayers are that we see the light.
    The light of working together-trying to learn from the stormy weather.
    I see it from a far-as God is trying to change who we are.
    And who we are is, so great- Gods telling us, live our lives in faith.
    Stop holding on to the past-that time is gone, only memories last.
    God wants us to take from those memories of yesterday-implant them into today.
    That way, We use to care for each other-and remember that neighbor is your brother
    And if you feel there is a wrong-in the reaching, stand strong.
    Don’t allow the devils grin-to turn you away from friends and kin.
    Don’t allow the devils wealth-to cloud the hand you’re dealt.
    Those police, missionaries, of all colors of skin-God uses everything, to cleanse us within
    See when I did this life on my own-God yelled at me, you cant do it alone.
    He wants us to join together-learn from the stormy weather.
    God wants us to understand-that in his quest, to save us he uses all of man.
    He uses the good, the bad-B/C he wants us to learn from being frightened and sad.
    B/C without our pathways in this world-we couldn’t get through the emotional swirl.
    B/C from birth we walk in sin-and God gives us a choice to start our lives again.
    Today he is giving us another chance- to break from the devils trance.
    The trance of blatant hate-Today I pray we walk away in faith.
    Faith in those who come into our life-please pay attention to the light.
    The light that will lead you the right way-see I’ve seen that light, and know God is the way.
    The way to heaven and our eternal home-and understand, God doesn’t want us to do this life alone.
    By: Patricia Robinson-7/30/2010-9am

  • mike bynes detroit,Mi

    Very great falsetto, like eddie kendricks and Ron Banks of the Dramatics . If I were a promoter I'd get the wheels turning, [ I destroyed your love] and [ the Lonely One ] CLASSIC.

  • S Dot

    I just met him, he was @ the McDonald's beside the Verizon Center. He seems pretty nice. I think he's homeless, cause he mentioned living in a shelter. He was talking about one of the songs he wrote, and it led me to this article. He says that he has an idea to abolish homelessness. I wish Mr Terry luck !!