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Issue 1084

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Back In The Day - March 1977 (Issue 220)

Back In The Day - March 1977 (Issue 220)
Back In The Day - March 1977 (Issue 220)

Ooops looks like this magazine has been through the washing machine! Some of the front cover is missing but I can make out a young smiling Harold Melvin, wearing the shiniest of gold medallions. Doesnât conjure up the best of pictures does it, but, hey, it was the seventies. Letâs backtrack â

News items first, with Motown updating legal proceedings against the Jacksonsâ management and Epic Records/CBS Inc by increasing the amount of damages sought from $5 million to $20 million. This increase was based on press statements and photos that were issued at the time of the announcement that the Jacksons would be switching from Motown to CBS when their contract with the latter expiredâ¦â¦Almost a quarter of the amount that the Union Planters Bank had received for its sale of Stax masters was to be paid to the estate of the late Otis Redding for unpaid royaltiesâ¦

â¦Due for US March release from Polydor â Joe Simonâs Easy To Love, Gloria Gaynorâs Glorious and Joe Beckâs debut for the company titled Watch The Timeâ¦.Bloodstone left London Records, after penning a five year deal with Epic that guaranteed them earnings during that period of $2.7 millionâ¦.Natalie Cole wed her producer Marvin Yancy â¦. Robert Cullen was producing the first album by Yvonne Fair for British-based Ember Records. Yvonneâs main claim to fame was her UK hit of last year, It Should Have Been Me from her Bitch Is Black albumâ¦

⦠Edwin Starr â who recently signed to GTO Records in the UK â has joined 20th Century in the States. Edwin was currently touring the UK with The Stylisticsâ¦..In the US singles chart, Thelma Houston, Natalie Cole and Deniece Williams took the top three spotsâ¦..In the UK the top three soul singles â Heatwaveâs Boogie Nights; Harold Melvin & the Blue Notesâ Donât Leave Me This Way, and Earth Wind & Fireâs Saturday Night. While top UK albums were Stevie Wonderâs Songs In The Key Of Life; Rose Royceâs Car Wash soundtrack, and Earth Wind & Fireâs Spirit

â¦..The magazineâs centre pages boasted John Abbeyâs interview with Harold Melvin talking about the new Blue Notes, among other thingsâ¦..In Dave Godinâs column, his top Rave was Everlasting Love by Rufus - âfrom their immaculate Ask Rufus album. This is not the old Robert Knight number but an entirely original item that has such an intense funk groove that its compelling melody and rhythm border on deep hypnosis! It really put you under its mesmeric spell, and Chaka Khanâs vocals are in peak form.â Dave also loved Essenceâs I Ainât Much But Iâm All I Got - âLovely ballad, superbly performed and arranged, it could well surprise us all and become a big hit. Certainly itâs the sort of side that gains with every spin and it has so much going for it that soul fans owe it to themselves to seek it out and give it a listen. Big ballad fans will adore it. (Yes, we did!)â¦

...David Nathan reported that Aretha Franklin and Lamont Dozier were in the studio togther. The latter producing Ms Franklinâs next set, tentatively tabbed Sweet Passions⦠.Home Is Where The Heart Is new album from Bobby Womack on CBS Recordsâ¦

â¦.UK tour dates were announced for Martha Reeves and her Vandellas (Caroline Bolden and Janice Lamont) that took in the Lakeside Club, Camberley, before the trio hiked it to the Middle East for more club dates. â¦Barry White/Love Unlimited added an extra March date to his UK tour at Preston Guildhall. As well as carrying nine of his own rhythm section, his orchestra was to be augmented by 35 further musicians (45 for the London concert). A seven foot mirror was also due to be utilised on stage (?)â¦and the Commodores were due for a club tour â¦â¦.David Nathan also spoke to Syreeta â they chatted about her absence from the business which was due to the birth of her son Jamal â âMotown became very protective â almost over-protective I think. I really wanted to record and work but they wanted me to stay at home and rest. So I spent some time becoming involved in community work, particularly working with children.â They also spoke about her pending album â âIâve written songs that I believe people will be able to get into easily. Like One To One â thatâs about how your heart cannot divide love. And You Are The Way You Are â I guess thatâs self-explanatory.ââ Course Of Happiness is about teaching yourself to be happy. And Rest Yourself is about doing just that.ââ¦

⦠And finally, there was Spring Madness at Contempo Soul Source - for March only, when the popular world famous soul packs were being reintroduced! These packs contained 100 all different soul singles, with a price tag of £6.25 inclusive of postage and packing. Regrettably, Contempo was unable to give any insight into the included titles â but guaranteed buyers wouldnât be disappointed. Now thatâs what I call a bargain!!

Til next time â keep the faith.

SHARON DAVIS

Please feel free to contact Sharon with any news that you feel would benefit others motowntracking@sky.com

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