Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

Welcome to B&S

BRINGING YOU THE STORIES BEHIND MUSIC + ESSENTIAL NEWS, REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS...

Column

Sharon Davis' Motown Tracking column (October)

Sharon Davis' Motown Tracking Column
Sharon Davis' Motown Tracking Column Edwin Starr @bluesandsoul.com Edwin Starr & Blinky: Just We Two Blinky @bluesandsoul.com Barbara McNair @bluesandsoul.com Barbara McNair: The Livin' End Barbara McNair: Front Row Center Barbara McNair @bluesandsoul.com Tammi Rerrell - Come On And See Me Chris Clark: Soul Sounds The Temptations 'Live' at London's Talk Of The Town Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: Dance Party (1965) Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: Special Occasion Get Ready:  Rare Earth Chi-Lights @bluesandsoul.com Tony Turner: Deliver Us From Temptation The Supremes advertise 'White Bread' Mmmm nice!? Ian Phillips: Diana Queen Of Motown Sisters Love @bluesandsoul.com

After all the lousy weather, the sunâs shining again, so life ainât all bad, is it? As usual thereâs loads to tell, so letâs skip right into it!

EDWIN STARR - WAR

First out â Blinky!!!! Before carrying on, must say that, believe it or not, last month marks the 40th anniversary of Edwin Starrâs War, and in November weâll be celebrating that fact. No space this time Iâm afraid. However, I contacted Blinky to see if sheâd like to contribute to my article â and she has! Iâll tell you nothing here but it really is a great exclusive for us and am extremely grateful to her for taking time out of her hectic schedule. When we finished discussing this, we chatted about her fabulous news, although at the time she had little information. Some stuff has come through in dribs and drabs - but the bottom line is - Blinkyâs Motown material is to be released on cd in February 2011. Itâs to be called Sunny And Warm! Iâm told sheâs now on the case, which is great and work has already started on the booklet, art research and production. A second cd is planned to follow some eight months after this initial release. Reel Musicâs Paul Williams wrote that this was her shot at getting some recognition at last as an album act, and that once heâd been able to build up interest on this cd, heâd release the second one. The two are very different. Sunny And Warm is a Motown release in the traditional sense of the word, while the second shows how Blinky had matured as an artist so much that the company didnât know how to market her. If any proof were needed of this, she had four albums scheduled but not released, and the titles I printed in Motown:The History were â two on the Motown label: Sunny And Warm in 1970 and Softly three years later. One on Soul, namely Soft And Warm, the same label that had a Barbara Randolph album scheduled in 1968/69. And the final one was, of course, on Mowest in 1972, tentatively titled Blinky Williams, the same year that the Sisters Love album was shelved. That aside, some of the tracks on this February release are â Iâll Always Love You, Shine On Me. How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone, For Once In My Life and thereâs Oh How Happy the duet with Edwin. Say, isnât that where we came in?

HYPE & SOUL!

Now letâs talk about a forthcoming Soulvation book - Hype & Soul! Behind The Scenes At Motown by Al Abrams, Hitsvilleâs legendary press officer. Publisher Neil Rushton, who also edited the book, met up with Al in America to discuss the possibility of publishing his work Said Neil â âAl had for the first time opened his archives and supplied his complete set of press releases he did for Motown, an incredible collection of never-before-seen photos and piles of documents from his time at the label. .. After talking and listening to Al and other Motown veteransâ¦I had a completely different perspective on what the label had to deal with and what it achieved. The book will tell the real story.â Iâm not sure of the exact release date but itâs definitely before Christmas.

TAMMI TERRELL

â¨Right letâs talk Tammi Terrell and that compilation everyoneâs going on about. (Oh, hang on. Imaginationâs Leee John has just popped onto my screen. Not literally you understand. He sends his love. And tells me itâs Imaginationâs 30th anniversary next year. Loads of stuff planned. However, heâs raving over the âfantastic Clarke Peters in Five Guys Named Moe. You must go and see it..energetc..full of pizzazzâ¦.great songs, music and dance and superb performances.â Thanks Leee) Titled Come On And See Me: The Complete Solo Collection, and with a release date of 8th November 2010, it marks the 40th anniversary of Tammi Terrellâs death and celebrates what would have been her 65th birthday. The compilation brings together for the very first time all her solo recordings- from her earliest outings for Scepter/Wand, when she was still in high school, through to her short spell with James Brown, her stay with Checker/Chess, and finally her Motown sessions. Fifty tracks in all over two cds â every single, B-side and album track. Ten unreleased Chess and Motown recordings, including Tammiâs only known live recordings, and eleven songs previously available in mono, are presented in brand new stereo mixes. It appears that two of the unreleased tracks arenât strictly solo either. Thereâs a duet version of the Chess release If I Would Marry You with Jimmy Radcliffe, and a Motown track titled Kissing In The Shadows where Tammi is vocally supported by Johnny Bristol, in much the same way as, years later heâd support Diana Ross on The Supremesâ final single Someday Weâll Be Together. Other unreleased items include a pair of Chess recordings co-penned by Jimmy Radcliffe, namely, I Canât Hold It In Any More and Iâve Got Nothing To Say But Goodbye, and a couple from Motown, written by Ashford & Simpson â Beware Of A Stranger and Itâs Been A Long Time Happeninâ. Watch this space for a review as a copy is winging its way over to me from across the Atlantic and if it arrives in time weâll chat more in this MT. If not, will be next time, I fear. . Meantime, Tammi was featured on US tv in an episode of the series Unsung, screened on 20 September. Check this link for more info youtube and donât forget The Real Tammi Terrell written by her sister Ludie and Vickie Wright. A fascinating read for sure! Maybe Ludie will find time to have a chinwag with us in the near futureâ¦

BARBARA McNAIR

Isnât it strange how things turn out? What follows came about simply because last month I was playing Barbara McNairâs Front Row Center cd when I was typing away. Interest grew from you guys, so here we are. Letâs TCB -

Born on 4 March 1934 in Cook County Hospital, Chicago, Barbara Joan McNair was raised in Racine, Wisconsin. Her mum Claudie was a housekeeper in a mentally challenged childrenâs institute, while her father Horace was a foundary worker. Barbara learned to play the piano at an early age, but was more keen on singing the notes rather than playing them. She idolised the stars she saw on the silver screen, and adored classic singers like Sarah Vaughan and Peggy Lee, prompting her to study at the Racine Conservatory of Music and the American Observatory of Music, before attending UCLA for a year. She then relocated to New York to fulfil her ambitions to be an actress. It wasnât that easy obviously, so she took a secretarial course during the day to finance her auditions at clubs in between times.

Barbaraâs break came in 1957 when she was signed up by Max Gordon for a short stint at the Village Vangaurd which, in turn, led to appearances on The Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout Show. When the young girl secured a spot in New Yorkâs Purple Onion Club, she ditched her day job. While performing here, Barbara was spotted by producer Dick Lamor who persuaded her to join the cast of the Broadway show The Body Beautiful. From this, in 1962, she replaced Diahann Carroll (another Motown signing) to join Howard Keel in the touring company of No Strings. Thanks to her growing popularity Barbara had been signed to Coral Records where she released six singles, including the pop-slanted Bobby and a duet with Billy Williams. But the stakes were upped following her triumphant stint in No Strings, because she was snapped up by Warner Bros for a two album deal â I Enjoy Being A Girl and The Livinâ End. However, during her run with the show, she came into contact with racism for the first time. The showâs storyline was based around a black fashion model falling in love with a white novelist, which led to Barbara being the recipient of hate mail and obscene phone calls. Then one time, although she was able to rent a room in a Miami hotel, she was forbidden to use the swimming pool. Other times, she wasnât allowed to eat in the dining rooms of the hotels in which she was actually performing: instead, she had to eat with the staff.

Anyway, following an appearance on the tv music show Hullabaloo aimed at a young viewing audience, Berry Gordy signed Barbara to Motown. During the sixties, apparently, he was eager to push his company into other markets outside the R&B/Soul one which his acts now moreorless dominated. Heâd had his eye on the lucrative middle of the road market, and when the opportunity arose to sign Barbara, he didnât hesitate. All didnât go according to plan because the singer forged a niche for herself in the soul world, from her first Motown single! Titled Youâre Gonna Love My Baby, and released in 1965, the sizzling, highly desirable slice of cool soul, was co-written by her. The sound was easy and warm, with a lilting, luscious feel. Everything Is Good About You, better known, perhaps, as a Supremes song, followed. Not as immediate as its predecessor, but, hey, still soulfully textured. By March 1967, Barbara had released her third single â a rendition of Smokey Robinsonâs composition Here I Am Baby, and the title of her debut album containing song standards. Sophisticated soul at its best from a very beautiful singer. Steal Away Tonight with For Once In My Life as the flipside, was scheduled but not released; then, early in 1968, she delivered the monster Where Would I Be Without You. Its clipped, repetitive sound haunted you long after the song was finished. With its unfussy arrangement behind her vital delivery, it was, in my opinion, the greatest song she ever recorded. It was mind blowing, made your toes curl and â¦well, you get the picture, donât you? The track was, by the way, taken from her second album The Real Barbara McNair, and as Iâve mentioned this, here comes a naughty bit. The Reel Barbara McNair was a five-page spread in Playboy magazine, which pre-promoted her screen debut in If He Hollers Let Him Go starring Raymond St Jacques. Barbara played a nightclub singer who was Raymondâs girlfriend â and it featured a love scene showing a nude Ms McNair. Oh my gosh, I hear you sigh! And, if I remember correctly, a shot from that Playboy spread was also used on The Real Barbara McNair album. Both film and photo shoot were, of course, highly controversial at the time (1969) but the actress was quite adamant she did the right thing when she said the film â âreally socks it to all those other film makers who wouldnât allow love between a black man and woman. People are looking for a more honest approach to life, and that includes a more honest approach to the body.â

Music now. One more outing for Motown and it was all over. You Could Never Love Him Like I Do in October 1968 signalled her farewell from the company that promised much. So, she concentrated on acting, and following a role in a non-starter of a film titled Venus In Furs, Barbara changed from nightclub singer to nun to play Sister Irene in Elvis Presleyâs Change Of Habit â his last as an actor. But I think sheâs best remembered for her role as Sidney Poiterâs wife, Valerie, in the award winning 1970âs film They Call Me Mr Tibbs. âWhen I was making a lot of movies, they didnât want the women to look too black.â Barbara once said. âBut black people objected to that policy, so then the industry did a reversal â went all the way in the opposite direction. For the industry to limit itself to one look or another is unrealistic.â

As well as her film work, Ms McNair was also a high profile tv star. She guested on programmes with Ed Sullivan and Dean Martin; had parts in Dr Kildare, McMillan And Wife and Hoganâs Heroes, among others, before hosting her own The Barbara McNair Show which showcased her numerous talents. But! Probably more to the point, she was the first black lady to host her own show! When the series ended in 1971, Barbara was heartbroken. In between times, she recorded the critically acclaimed More Today Than Yesterday album on Audio Fedelity, and wrote, with Stephen Lewis, The Complete Book Of Beauty For The Black Woman published in 1972. When the tv work dried up, Barbara returned to Broadway for a revival of The Pyjama Game in 1973. A year before this, her world was turned upside down, when she was accused of heroin possession after signing for a package delivered to her dressing room. Apparently, her third husband, Rick Manzie, was a member of the Mafia who had attempted to put a contract out on the life of a lawyer connected to the Mob.. Rick was later shot dead in the living room of their Las Vegas home during 1976. And, to be frank, the publicity did nothing to help Barbaraâs career which was beginning the flounder. However, in 2005, she was seen touring America with comedian Bob Newhart, and went on to release her final album Hereâs To Life via BC Entertainment Inc, a company owned by her and her next husband Charles Blecka. In later life, she moved to Los Angeles, where she played a lot of tennis, with the occasional tour thrown in. This beautiful and extremely versatile singer/actress/tv personality died from throat cancer on 4 February 2007. She was 72 years old, and was survived by her husband Charles her sister Jacqueline and nieces and nephews. Do check out her work - and what about playing again Barbara McNair:The Ultimate Motown Collection. Itâll make you feel good â I hope.

MOTOWN FIFTIES COLLECTABLES

Felix Mensa now with this monthâs Motown Fifties. Heâs chosen UK albums that are now considered to be collectable items, and his sources include the Music Master Catalogue by John Humphries, and the Official Music Master Price Guide For Record Collectors (3rd Edition) edited by Nick Hamlyn.
â¨
1. GET READY - RARE EARTH (STML 11165) (1969)
â¨2. SPECIAL OCCASION - SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES ((S) TML 11089) (1969)
â¨3. DANCE PARTY - MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS (TML 11013) (1965)â¨
4. LIVE AT THE TALK OF THE TOWN - TEMPTATIONS ((S) TML 11141) (1970)â¨
5. SOUL SOUNDS - CHRIS CLARK ((S) TML 11069) (1968)
â¨6. GREAT EXPECTATIONS - KIKI DEE (STML 11158) (1970)â¨
7. THE SUPREMES SING & PERFORM FUNNY GIRL ((S) TML 11088) (1969)â¨
8. FOUR TOPS (TML 11070) (1965)
â¨9. TRIBUTE TO THE GREAT NAT 'KING' COLE - MARVIN GAYE ((S) TML 11022) (1966)
â¨10. WHAT'S GOING ON - MARVIN GAYE (STML 11190) (1971)â¨
11. MOTORTOWN REVUE - VARIOUS (TML 11007) (1965)â¨
12. THE MOTOWN STORY, THE FIRST 25 YEARS (BOX SET) - VARIOUS (TMSP 6019) (1983)
â¨13. INDIANA WANTS ME - R.DEAN TAYLOR (STML 11185) (1971)â¨
14. MY BABY JUST CARES FOR ME - MARY WELLS (TML 11006) (1965)â¨
15. NITTY GRITTY - GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS ((S)TML 11135) (1970)â¨
16. MOTOWN MAGIC - VARIOUS (TML 11030) (1966)
â¨17. I AM MY BROTHER'S KEEPER - DAVID & JIMMY RUFFIN (STML 11176) (1971)â¨
18. JACKSON FIVE ANTHOLOGY (TMSP 6004) (1977)â¨
19. CHUCK JACKSON ARRIVES ((S) TML 11071) (1968)â¨
20. THE MOTOWN STORY - VARIOUS (TMSP 1130) (1972)â¨
21. MOTOWN'S 20TH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM - VARIOUS (TMSP 6010) (1980)â¨
22. MOTOWN CRUSIN VOL 1 & 2 (CASSETTE ONLY RELEASE) (CTMSP 6016/CTMSP 6022)â¨Â (1983)â¨
23. MOTOWN CHARTBUSTERS VOL 1-10 - VARIOUS (STML 11055/STML11082/STML 11121/STML 11162/STML 11189/STML 11191/STML 11215/STML 11246/STML 11270) (1967-1979)
â¨24. MOTOWN CHARTBUSTERS '80' - VARIOUS (STML 12139) (1980)â¨
25. MOTOWN SUPERSTARS SING MOTOWN SUPERSTARS - VARIOUS (STMS 5100) (1983)
â¨26. FOUR TOPS LIVE ((S) TML 11041) (1967)â¨
27. IRRESISTABLE TAMMI TERRELL ((S)TML 11103) (1969)â¨28. SUPREMES SING COUNTRY & WESTERN & POP (TML 11018) (1965)â¨
29. WE REMEMBER SAM COOKE - SUPREMES (TML 11012) (1965)â¨
30. IN A MELLOW MOOD - TEMPTATIONS ((S)TML 11068) (1968)â¨
31. THE BITCH IS BLACK - YVONNE FAIR (STML 12008) (1975)â¨
32. WATCH OUT - MARTHA REEVES & THE VANDELLAS ((S)TML 11051) (1967)â¨
33. TAKE TWO - MARVIN GAYE & KIM WESTON ((S)TML 11049) (1967)â¨
34. GREATEST HITS - MARVIN GAYE & TAMMI TERRELL ((S) TML 11153) (1970)â¨
35. TROUBLE MAN - MARVIN GAYE (STML 11225) (1973)â¨
36. HELLO BROADWAY - MARVIN GAYE (TML 11015) (1965)â¨
37. INNER CITY BLUES,THE MUSIC OF MARVIN GAYE (530 452-2) (1995)â¨
38. UPTIGHT - STEVIE WONDER ((S)TML 11036) (1966)
â¨39. INNER CHILD - SHANICE (530 007-1) (1991)â¨
40. COOLEYHIGHHARMONY - BOYZ II MEN (ZL 72739) (1991)
â¨41. THE MUSIC, THE MAGIC,THE MEMORIES OF MOTOWN - A TRIBUTE TO BERRY GORDY -⨠VARIOUS (530 436-2) (1995)
â¨42. MOTOWN REMIXED - VARIOUS (0602 49871 38460) (2005)â¨
43. MOTOWN DISCO - VARIOUS (982 307-2) (2005)â¨
44. JOHNNY GILL (ZL 72698) (1990)â¨
45. IRONS IN THE FIRE - TEENA MARIE (STML 12143) (1981)
â¨46. GREETINGS WE ARE THE MONITORS ((S)TML 11108) (1969)â¨
47. JUST WE TWO - EDWIN STARR & BLINKY ((S)TML 11131) (1970)
â¨48. HERE COMES THE JUDGE - SHORTY LONG ((S) TML 11086) (1968)
â¨49. THE ARTISTRY OF BRENDA HOLLOWAY ((S)TML 11083) (1968)â¨
50. GREEN GROW THE LILACS - ORIGINALS ((S)TML 11116) (1969).â¨

LITTLE TRACKINGSâ¦

I usually maintain a quiet dignity when I read things about me and my work that arenât quite true. However, this time Iâve broken my own rule. I pop by this particular website maybe once or twice a week and during one visit noticed my name alongside that of Tony Turnerâs. Well, in response - whether we like âem or not, books like Tonyâs form part of Motownâs history and as such are timeless publications: ie no sell by dates. I reviewed the book because itâs still valid and I intend to review his second to me Deliver Us From Temptation for the very same reason. You never know what the future may hold in this crazy world of publishing! â¦. Diana Ross now playing Caesars Palace, Las Vegas and dates in Florida during November, the month originally earmarked for a European visit. It appears that itâs postponed until February/March 2011, the same time as Mary Wilson tours here with The Chi-Lites? ..⦠have you spotted Lionel Richie advertising Walkers crisps? Whatever next? The Supremes advertising white bread?! Think about it!..... Ian Phillipsâ book Queen Of Motown now available from bankhousebooks.com onlyâ¦â¦. Just recently was a guest at the Hailsham Lionsâ Black & White Evening celebrating thirty years of friendship with Wetzlar Lions. Plenty to eat and drink with music from The Pete Willson Quartet featuring Linda Francis on lead vocalsâ¦..Now this next item will kinda give away what films Iâve been watching recently but, hey, letâs go with it! Lionel Richieâs Hello is heard between the dragon and the donkey, and Stevie Wonderâs For Once In My Life is heard over the end credits. Yep tis Shrek Forever After, and while Iâm here, didnât enjoy that as much as the others but anything that has Eddie Murphy in is fine by meâ¦.Made In Dagenham soundtrack features The Temptationsâ Get Ready and Dusty Springfieldâs version of Can I Get A Witness, among othersâ¦. Sisters Love cd With Love available on amazon. First impressions indicate itâs another winner for Reel Music.. â¦..I had intended to chat with musician Carl Dixon (see recent news item) but Iâm afraid that too will be held over until next monthâ¦. My email is motowntracking@sky.com â¦.And last but by no means least. This website has reunited me with a friend I havenât been in touch with for thirty-odd years. The power of music eh!.

Until next time. Keep the faith

Sharon xx

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

Join the B&S Mailing List

Blues and Soul on Twitter