Ricky "Sugarfoot" Wellman, 57, the funk drummer who helped innovate the rhythms of go-go music with Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers and later toured with trumpeter Miles Davis and guitarist Carlos Santana, died Nov. 23 at his home in Newport News, Va. The cause was pancreatic cancer, said a cousin, Steve Coleman.

Mr. Wellman, a musical prodigy whose father was Brown's original drummer in the 1960s, joined the Soul Searchers in 1976 and appeared on three of the singer's most popular recordings: "Bustin' Loose" (1978), "We Need Some Money" (1984), and "Go-Go Swing" (1986).

He later toured with Davis and performed on his 1989 album, Amandla, and his 1996 concert album, Live Around the World, released five years after Davis died.

After Davis' death, Mr. Wellman did studio work and toured with Santana in 1997. - Washington Post