Tag Archives: motown

“A Motown Classic: Kim Weston- Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little Wh…”


Kim Weston (born December 20, 1939) is an American soul singer, and Motown alumna. In the 1960s, Weston scored hits with the songs “Love Me All the Way” and “Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)”, and with her duet with Marvin Gaye, “It Takes Two”.


Born Agatha Nathalia Weston in Detroit, Michigan, she was signed to Motown in 1961, scoring a minor hit with “Love Me All the Way” (R&B #24, Pop #88). Weston’s biggest solo hits with Motown were “Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)” (R&B #4, Pop #50, 1965, later covered by the Isley Brothers, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Jermaine Jackson and the Doobie Brothers, and “Helpless” (R&B #13, Pop #56,entered Cashbox March 26th,1966, previously recorded by the Four Tops on their Second Album LP). Her biggest claim to fame was singing the classic hit “It Takes Two” with Marvin Gaye in 1966 and her later recording of the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”.[1] It was the success of “It Takes Two” that caused Motown to partner Gaye with Tammi Terrell, spawning even more success for the label.

Weston left Motown in 1967 and later sued the label over disputes about royalties. She and her then-husband William “Mickey” Stevenson (former A&R head at Motown) both went to MGM Records. Weston cut a couple of singles for MGM, “I Got What You Need,” and “Nobody,” which went largely unnoticed due to lack of airplay and promotion. She made an album for the label, This Is America, which included her popular version of the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” This was released as a single and featured in the movie Wattstax. All the money from the single was donated to the United Negro College Fund.

She recorded several more albums for various labels, Stax/Volt among them, and also made an album of duets with Johnny Nash. None of these recordings charted, and Weston reportedly relocated to Israel, where she worked with young singers.

Weston made a guest appearance on The Bill Cosby Show (1969–1971), in episode #50 in March 1971.

Along with many former Motown artists, she signed with Ian Levine’s Motorcity Records in the 1980s, releasing the single “Signal Your Intention”, which peaked at #1 in the UK Hi-NRG charts. It was followed by the album Investigate (1990), which included some re-recordings of her Motown hits as well as new material. A second album for the label, Talking Loud (1992), was never released, although all the songs were included on the compilation The Best Of Kim Weston (1996).


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“Diana Ross & The Supremes – Someday We’ll Be Together (with lyrics)”

“Diana Ross & The Supremes – Someday We’ll Be Together (with lyrics)”

Someday We’ll Be Together” is a song written by Johnny Bristol, Jackey Beavers, and Harvey Fuqua and made popular as the last of twelve American number-one pop singles for Diana Ross & the Supremes on the Motown label. Although it was released as the final Supremes song featuring Diana Ross, who left the group for a solo career in January 1970, it was recorded as Ross’ first solo single and Supremes members Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong do not sing on the recording. Both appear on the B-side, “He’s My Sunny Boy.”

The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart for one week. Reaching number-one on the American pop chart in the final 1969 issue of Billboard magazine (dated December 27),[2] the single was not only the final number-one in 12 chart-topping pop hits for The Supremes,[3] but it also holds the distinction of being the final American number-one hit of the 1960s.

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“Destination: Anywhere” –  by The Marvelettes


The Marvelettes were an American all-girl group who achieved popularity in the early to mid-1960s. They consisted of schoolmates Gladys Horton, Katherine Anderson (now Schaffner), Georgeanna Tillman (later Gordon), Juanita Cowart (now Cowart Motley), and Georgia Dobbins, who was replaced by Wanda Young (now Rogers) prior to the group signing their first deal. They were the first major successful act of Motown Records after the Miracles and its first significantly successful girl group after the release of the 1961 number-one single, “Please Mr. Postman”, one of the first number-one singles recorded by an all-female vocal group and the first by a Motown recording act.

Founded in 1960 while the group’s founding members performed together at their glee club at Inkster High School in Inkster, Michigan, they eventually were signed to Motown’s Tamla label in 1961. Some of the group’s early hits were written by band members and some of Motown’s rising singer-songwriters such as Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye, who played drums on a majority of their early recordings. Despite their early successes, the group was eclipsed in popularity by groups like the Supremes, with whom they shared an intense rivalry.

Nevertheless, they managed a major comeback in 1966 with “Don’t Mess with Bill”, followed by a few smaller hits. They struggled with issues of dismal promotion from Motown, illnesses, and mental breakdowns, with Cowart the first to leave in 1963, followed by Georgeanna Tillman two years later, and Gladys Horton two years later. The group ceased performing together in 1969 and, following the release of The Return of the Marvelettes in 1970, featuring only Wanda Rogers, disbanded for good, with both Rogers and Katherine Anderson leaving the music business.

The group has received several honors including induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, as well as receiving the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In 2005, two of the group’s most successful recordings, “Please Mr. Postman” and “Don’t Mess with Bill” earned million-selling Gold singles from the RIAA. On August 17, 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio, at Cleveland State University, the Marvelettes were inducted into the 1st class of the Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame.

The Marvelettes were nominated for induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 and again in 2015.

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Jr Walker (I’m a) Road Runner


Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr. (June 14, 1931 – November 23, 1995),[1] known by the stage name Junior Walker, styled as Jr. Walker, was an American musician. His group,

Jr. Walker & the All Stars,

were signed to Motown’s Soul label in the 1960s, and became one of the company’s signature acts.

Life And Career

Walker was born Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr. in Blytheville, Arkansas,[1] and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. His saxophone style was the anchor for the band’s overall sound. The other original members of the group were drummer Tony Washington, guitarist Willie Woods, and keyboardist Vic Thomas.

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“The Four Tops – Baby I Need Your Loving”


Baby I Need Your Loving” is a 1964 hit single recorded by the Four Tops for the Motown label. Written and produced by Motown’s main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland,[1] the song was the group’s first Motown single and their first pop Top 20 hit, making it to number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100 in the fall of 1964. It was also their first million-selling hit single.

British group The Fourmost released their version of this song, reaching #24 in November 1964. A surviving episode of the trendy 1960s TV music series Ready Steady Go! shows them performing the song.

The Supremes covered the song in 1966 in their The Supremes A’ Go Go album.

The song was recorded by Johnny Rivers in 1967. His version, titled “Baby I Need Your Lovin'”, was released as a single, and became a number-three hit on the Billboard pop chart. It was also performed as a duet by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell on their 1969 album, Easy.

The Four Tops – Baby I Need Your Loving:


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“The Four Tops – I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)”


The four tops – I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch):

The Four Tops are an American vocal quartet from Detroit, Michigan who helped to define the city’s Motown sound of the 1960s. The group’s repertoire has included soul music, R&B, disco, adult contemporary, doo-wop, jazz, and show tunes.

Founded as The Four Aims, lead singer Levi Stubbs, and groupmates Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Lawrence Payton remained together for over four decades, having gone from 1953 until 1997 without a change in personnel.

The Four Tops were among a number of groups, including The Miracles, The Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, The Temptations, and The Supremes, who established the Motown Sound around the world during the 1960s. They were notable for having Stubbs, a baritone, as their lead singer, whereas most male/mixed vocal groups of the time were fronted by a tenor.

The group was the main male vocal group for the highly successful songwriting and production team of Holland–Dozier–Holland, who crafted a stream of hit singles on Motown. These included two Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits for the Tops: “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” in 1965 and “Reach Out I’ll Be There” in 1966. After Holland-Dozier-Holland left Motown in 1967, the Four Tops were assigned to a number of producers, primarily Frank Wilson, but generally with less success.

When Motown left Detroit in 1972 to move to Los Angeles, California, the Tops stayed in Detroit but signed a new recording deal with ABC Records’ Dunhill imprint. Recording mainly in Los Angeles, they continued to have chart singles into the late 1970s, including the million-seller, “Ain’t No Woman”, their second release on Dunhill, produced by Steve Barri and composers Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter.

In the 1980s, the Four Tops recorded for Casablanca Records, Arista Records and Motown, returning to that label on two occasions for brief stays. Apart from their Indestructible album (owned by Sony Music Entertainment), Universal Music Group controls the rights to their entire post-1963 catalog (through various mergers and acquisitions), as well as their 1956 single, “Could It Be You”.

A change of line-up was finally forced upon the group when Lawrence Payton died on June 20, 1997. The group initially continued as a three-piece under the name The Tops,[1] before Theo Peoples (formerly of The Temptations) was recruited as the new fourth member. Peoples eventually took over the role of lead singer when Stubbs suffered a stroke in 2000, with Ronnie McNeir then joining the group. On July 1, 2005, Benson died of lung cancer with Payton’s son Roquel Payton replacing him. Levi Stubbs died on October 17, 2008.

Fakir, McNeir, Payton, and Harold “Spike” Bonhart, who replaced Peoples in 2011, are still performing together as the Four Tops. As of 2014, fifty years after their first Motown hit, Fakir is the only surviving founding member of the original group and Payton is a second-generation member.

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“THE FOURTOPS Standing in the Shadows of Love”


“Standing in the Shadows of Love”

is a 1966 hit single recorded by

the Four Tops

for the Motown label. Written and produced by Motown’s main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, the song is one of the most well-known Motown tunes of the 1960s. A direct follow-up to the #1 hit “Reach Out I’ll Be There” (even featuring a similar musical arrangement), “Standing in the Shadows of Love” reached #2 on the soul chart and #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967.[1] It also reached #6 in the UK.[2] Though the song was well-received, it has received some criticism. Author Martin Charles Strong notes that it rehashed the formula of “Reach Out I’ll Be There” and achieved similar success by reaching the Top 10 in both the US and UK.[3] It is ranked #470 on Rolling Stone ‘s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Allmusic critic John Bush calls “Standing in the Shadows of Love” “dramatic” and “impassioned.”[4] Critic Andrew Hamilton calls it a “memorable, unforgettable, timeless blast” which would have made Motown “notable” even if it was the only song Motown ever produced.[5] Hamilton remarks on the song’s power to conjure up “mournful” emotions, and particularly highlights the coldness of lyrics such as “standing in the shadows of love getting ready for the heartache come.”[5] Hamilton praises the intensity of Levi Stubbs’ lead vocal and how it can make the listener believe that he is about to have a nervous breakdown.[5] Music critic Maury Dean describes the singer as waiting for his girlfriend to dump him and psyching himself for the blow and for getting ready for a new girlfriend.[6] He uses the metaphor of Wile E. Coyote to describe the singer’s emotions as he waits for the “anvil to drop on his fervent love.”[6]

According to author Peter Benjaminson, “Standing in the Shadows of Love” is a reworked version of The Supremes’ 1963 song “Standing at the Crossroads of Love,” which was released as the B-side of their single “When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes.”[7] The song was later covered by the Jackson 5.[5][8] Barry White, Joe Stubbs and Tommy Boyce all covered it as well.[5]


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