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Category Archives: pop music/motown

“My Baby Loves Me” Martha & the Vandellas 

My Baby Loves Me” is a 1966 soulstandard by Martha Reeves but released under Martha and The Vandellas. None of the Vandellas are featured in this song. Instead, the background is sung by Motown’s session group, The Andantes, and another legendary Motown group, The Four Tops. Co-written (with Sylvia Moy) and co-produced by William “Mickey” StevensonIvy Jo Hunter, the song rose to #22 on Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and #3 on Billboard’s Hot R&B singles chart.[1][2]

The song has the narrator sing of her lover and how much he loves and needs her. Reeves often refers to it as her favorite of all of her recordings. While it didn’t appear on her group’s regular studio albums, it would be put on their Greatest Hits album.[3]

Cover versions

Fellow Chicago-based, ’60s-era girl group The Lovelites covered the song in the late 1960s. In 1973, Barry Manilowrecorded a version on Barry Manilow II. Los Angeles-based singer Leda Grace did a sound-alike version, produced by Randy Jackson. San Francisco-based gospel group The Stovall Sisters did a gospel version, and Aretha Franklin has performed it in concert.

Wikipedia.org

 
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Posted by on ThuAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-14T10:05:00-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesThu, 14 Feb 2019 10:05:00 -0800 31, in 1960s, female vocal group, pop music/motown

 

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“Darling Baby” the Elgins

“Darling Baby” the Elgins

Originally posted on:


Miss Back In The Day USA

Remembering where we have been and our experiences as a nation

The Elgins was an American vocal group on the Motown label, active from the late 1950s to 1967. Their most successful record was “Heaven Must Have Sent You”, written and produced by the Holland–Dozier–Holland team, which was a hit in the US in 1966, and in the UK when reissued in 1971.

Career

Founding members Robert Fleming, Johnny Dawson, Cleo “Duke” Miller and Norman McLean recorded together for various small labels in Detroit prior to their Motown days, as the Sensations, the Five Emeralds, and the Downbeats, and also recorded as the Downbeats for Motown in 1962.[1][2] The record company suggested that they add female lead vocalist Saundra Mallett, who had recorded unsuccessfully for the label, backed by The Vandellas;[2] she later married and became Saundra Edwards. The new group’s first single release was “Darling Baby”, issued in December 1965; early copies credited the record to the Downbeats,[3] but Berry Gordy wanted to use the name Elgins, which had previously been one of the names used by The Temptations.[1] The record rose to no. 4 on the Billboard R&B chart and no. 72 on the pop chart, and its B-side, “Put Yourself in My Place”, also made the pop chart. Several months later, they issued “Heaven Must Have Sent You”, which again reached both the R&B and pop charts, becoming their biggest pop hit.[4] They also released an album,

Darling Baby

[1] However, their follow-up single, “I Understand My Man,” was less successful, and the group broke up in 1967.

With the continuing popularity of Motown records in the UK, “Heaven Must Have Sent You” was reissued in 1971 and rose to no. 3 on the UK singles chart. “Put Yourself in My Place” was also reissued and made the chart. With Saundra Mallett Edwards being unwilling to rejoin the group, the Elgins toured the UK with former session vocalist Yvonne Vernee Allen taking her place. In 1989, Allen, Dawson, McLean and Jimmy Charles recorded a new arrangement of “Heaven Must Have Sent You” for producer Ian Levine, and made several further recordings for Levine’s Motorcity label in the 1990s. Saundra Edwards also made separate recordings for the same label.[2] She died in February 2002.

Recordings of the group, including the album, Darling Baby, all the singles and unreleased recordings up to 1968, can be found on The Motown Anthology released in 2007. In addition, a British import CD paired their sole album for Motown with one by The Monitors, another group that recorded for Motown with limited success, and which featured future Temptation, Richard Street.

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Posted by on ThuAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-14T09:41:50-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesThu, 14 Feb 2019 09:41:50 -0800 31, in 1960s, pop music/motown, r&b

 

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Michael Jackson – WHO’S LOVIN YOU

Who’s Lovin’ You” is a Motown soul song, written in 1960 by William “Smokey” Robinson. The song has been recorded by many different artists including The Miracles, who recorded the 1960 original version, The Temptations, The Supremes, Terence Trent D’arby, Brenda and The Tabulations, John Farnham, Human Nature, En Vogue, Michael Bublé and Giorgia Todrani and Jessica Mauboy. The most famous version is attributed to The Jackson 5. Twelve-year-old singer Shaheen Jafargholi performed the song at Michael Jackson‘s public memorial service in July 2009.

The most famous cover of “Who’s Lovin’ You”, and the one most future covers were based upon, was recorded on August 7, 1969 by The Jackson 5. Michael Jackson was the lead singer on this recording, with his brothers Marlon, Tito, Jermaine, and Jackie on background vocals; Bobby Taylor of The Vancouvers served as producer. The Jackson 5 version of “Who’s Lovin’ You” was one of a number of early recordings the group made at the Hitsville U.S.A. recording studio in Detroit, Michigan, with the Funk Brothers on instrumentation. Just after recording this song, Berry Gordy moved the entire Jackson family to Los Angeles, California to record the hit pop songs he would co-write for the group with The Corporation.

The song was issued as the b-side to The Jackson 5’s first single, “I Want You Back”, which went to #1 on both the pop and R&B charts. A shortened version was included on the first Jackson 5 LP, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5. The original single version was twenty seconds longer, with fewer backing vocals and sparser instrumentation than the album version. The mono single mix was released on Michael’s Love Songs compilation release in 2002.

The Jackson 5 performed this on their first Ed Sullivan Show appearance.[4]

When the group performed the song during their concerts and live performances, Michael usually gave an intro about being really young but knowing about the blues, usually stating how he met the girl during sandbox and sharing cookies, and ended in “I stepped up to her and i said…” the song started from there. In their first concert in Philadelphia, it (along with “I Want You Back”) caused the show to be stopped for several minutes because of such a huge response from the audience. It was a regularly performed/popular song in their set-list from 1970 to early 1972, presumably dropped from the set because of more hits being released and Michael’s voice beginning to change in 1972.

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Posted by on WedAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-13T19:03:01-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesWed, 13 Feb 2019 19:03:01 -0800 31, in pop music/motown, reflections, soul oldies

 

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 “The Supremes – Back In My Arms Again” 

 “The Supremes – Back In My Arms Again” 

Written and produced by Motown’s main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, “Back in My Arms Again” was the fifth consecutive and overall number-one song for the group on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in the United States from June 6, 1965 through June 12, 1965,[1] also topping the soul chart for a week.

It was also the last of five Supremes songs in a row to go number one (the others are “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” and “Stop! In the Name of Love“). The song’s middle eight is almost identical to later Holland-Dozier-Holland hit, The Isley Brothers This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You).”

The famous idea of using Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard’s names on the single may have been partially due to Motown’s marketing strategy of showcasing each individual Supreme, as opposed to other groups of the day, with the exception of The Beatles, which were known on a one-name collective basis. On the album in which this single appeared, More Hits by the Supremes, and on the cover of the official single, each member is pictured separately on the front, with her signature above it.

The Supremes performed the song on The Mike Douglas Show, a syndicated daytime program, on May 5, 1965 and again on November 3.[2] They performed the song nationally on the NBC variety program Hullabaloo! [3] on Tuesday, May 11, 1965, peaking on the music charts in the following weeks.

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Posted by on WedAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-13T17:35:00-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesWed, 13 Feb 2019 17:35:00 -0800 31, in black music artists, female vocal group, pop music/motown

 

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Still Water – The Four Tops

Still Water – The Four Tops

“Still Water (Love)” is a 1970 hit single written by Smokey Robinson and Frank Wilson (who also produced the track) for Motown singing group The Four Tops, who took the song to the Top Ten of the UK Pop Charts and to #11 in the US Pop Chart.[1]

The socially conscious single was a departure from the group’s past recordings and produced a smoother sound than the raucous Norman Whitfield productions that belayed on The Temptations. The single features Miracles member Marv Tarplin on guitar and The Andantes adding in additional background vocals shouting out “Still water!” Singers Brenda Joyce Evans and Billie Rae Calvin, brought to Motown by Bobby Taylor (and soon to be part of Norman Whitfield’s group The Undisputed Truth), also add backing vocals. The single became The Tops’ first Top Ten R&B hit since 1967’s “Bernadette“.

This song was noted for its repeated chord phrases, beginning with E-Flat Major, shifting to C Minor, then to B-Flat Major, before re to E-Flatt Major, over and over again, with any changes or alterations to the song’s fade.

Wikipedia.org

 
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Posted by on SatAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-09T09:20:48-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesSat, 09 Feb 2019 09:20:48 -0800 31, in pop music/motown

 

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“Touch Me In The Morning – Diana Ross”

“Touch Me In The Morning – Diana Ross”

Touch Me in the Morning” is a popular songrecorded by Diana Ross on the Motown label. In 1973 it became her second solo No. 1 single (and 14th over her career) on the Billboard Hot 100.

It was conceived by then-unproven songwriter and producer Michael Masser. He had been recruited by Motown CEO Berry Gordy and A&R chief Suzanne de Passe. Masser teamed up with the proven ballad lyricist Ron Miller to write it.

According to Masser, in a video documentary about Ross, she “always tried to push hard to get the vocals right for this particular song”, calling it a “draining experience” that resulted in several near-emotional breakdowns when she wasn’t up to her abilities. It was recorded in the early morning hours, as was her custom after she began raising her children. In a Barbara Walters Mother’s Day interview special, her second-oldest daughter, Tracee Ellis Ross, said Diana would put them to bed and record all night, in order to wake her children and send them to school the next morning.

Motown released the song as a single and it hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, becoming her longest-charting record until 1980, remaining on the chart for 21 weeks. It also spent a week at No. 1 on the adult contemporary chart, her first No. 1 on that chart. Sherlie Matthews, Clydie King and Venetta Fields sang background vocals. Bob Babbitt played bass.

It marked a turning point in the career of Diana Ross, reinvigorating her singing career, coming immediately after her Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in her acting debut, Lady Sings the Blues. source

 
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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-12-31T11:43:12-08:00America/Los_Angeles12bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 31 Dec 2018 11:43:12 -0800 31, in pop music/motown, reflections

 

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 “Diana Ross – Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” 

 “Diana Ross – Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” 

Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” was the debut solo single of Motown singer Diana Ross, released in April 1970.

Ross, having just left The Supremes after a decade of serving as that group’s lead singer, went through a difficult situation trying to piece a solo album together. With Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson writing and producing for her, and Paul Riser arranging,[1] Ross recorded “Reach Out and Touch”, which carried a heavy gospel influence, and was one of the few songs the singer recorded to express her social conscience, previously experimented with Supremes singles such as “Love Child” and “I’m Livin’ in Shame.”[2]

“Reach Out and Touch” peaked at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100,[3] #10 on the Cash Box Top 100,[4] and #7 on the R&B charts with 500,000 copies sold. It was also a hit in Great Britain, making #33 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1970. While the song’s initial success fell short of expectations, “Reach Out and Touch” became one of Ross’ most popular and notable songs. During her concert performances of the song, Ross often had the whole crowd turn to their neighbors, and “reach out and touch” their hands.

On Saturday, July 28, 1984 Vicki McClure sang “Reach Out and Touch” before an estimated TV audience of 2.5 billion people during the Opening Ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games held in Los Angeles, CA.

Ashford and Simpson would perform the song with Teddy Pendergrass in the Philadelphia portion of Live Aid in 1985. In 2005, Ross would perform the song in closing, Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope.

In 1970, the same year that Diana released “Reach Out and Touch” as her first solo single, ironically the song was also covered by the group that she had just left at the start of that year, The Supremes (now fronted by Jean Terrell, along with other members Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong). The Supremes’ version was a duet with fellow Motown Records artists The Four Tops on the two group’s joint album “The Magnificent Seven,” released by Motown toward the end of 1970. In one of her autobiographies, Mary Wilson mentioned that some fans at the post-Ross Supremes’ concerts used to call out requesting that The Supremes would sing this record live, as some fans erroneously recalled that it had been The Supremes’ version, and not Ross’s, that had charted as a hit Billboard single in early ’70.

She also performed this song as the finale for the Nobel Peace Prize Concert held in Oslo, Norway, in 2008.

 
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Posted by on SunAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-12-30T09:36:00-08:00America/Los_Angeles12bAmerica/Los_AngelesSun, 30 Dec 2018 09:36:00 -0800 31, in female vocalist, music, pop music/motown

 

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