Marv Johnson recordings FORUM: Archive - Beginning April 17, 2003: Marv Johnson recordings
Top of pageBottom of page   By LG Nilsson ( on Sunday, February 02, 2003 - 09:30 am:


Does anyone here know why Marv Johnson's records were released on United Artists after Tamla & Motown were distributed nationally in the USA? And were his UA records recorded in the Motown studios? His first Gordy single was released 1965.


Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( on Sunday, February 02, 2003 - 10:46 am:

When "Come To Me" started to break out nationally, Tamla didn't have the resources to carry a major hit, so the track was licensed to United Artists, and Marv was signed to the label. His subesquent records were released through United Artists until the expiry of his contract, when he returned to Hitsville. Most of his UA records were cut in New York.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LG Nilsson ( on Sunday, February 02, 2003 - 03:27 pm:

Thanks Ritchi,

So Marv did have a contract with UA for a longer period of time than Eddie Holland? Or did Berry Gordy believe more in Eddie Holland as a singer than Marv? I have red somewhere that Marv was a bit dissapointed with the arrangements regarding his contract and relationship with Berry Gordy.


Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon ( on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 09:57 am:

Lars, Ritchie

I believe what happened was that when UA heard
"Come To Me" they signed Marv direct to the label
- not through some licensing deal with Motown.

Berry's book probably has the background to the
deal but my impression is that UA were interested
enough to sign Marv to a what, five year ?,
contract. If they actually signed Eddie Holland
direct it would probably have been the usual
short term contract - a year. The same probably
applies to Wyatt Sheppard.

This would probably explain Don Costa's involvement in some of Marv's records as Costa
was, I think, one of the A&R heads for UA - he
certainly did a lot of work for the label.

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike ( on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 05:27 pm:

The late Don Costa was also a producer and arranger with ABC-Paramount (Lloyd Price, The Poni Tails). By the way Don's brother Guy was a long time engineer at Motown.

Top of pageBottom of page   By M.McLeanTech ( on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 08:16 pm:

It is my understanding that the facts are as follows (I could be wrong):

1. Don Costa, the great arranger, had a brother. I think his name was John.

2. This John (Don's brother) had some sons: One was known as Guy. Another was John.

3. Guy took over my position as the top man running the studios at Motown. I left in April, 1972, and Guy watched over all that came after.

4. His brother John runs a custom shop that caters to studios. They build custom equipment like control panels, wiring, Etc. The place is called "WESCAM," located on Chandler Blvd. in North Hollywood, and I drove by it every night with a beer between my legs until I retired six weeks ago.

5. You can walk from WESCAM to the house in which Oliver Hardy (Laurel and Hardy) passed away in 1957.

One thing is for sure: It was not Don Costa's brother who was the Vice President of engineering at Motown. It was his brother's son. I just wish I was sure of the name of Don's brother!

Mike McLean

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike ( on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 09:16 pm:

Okay, my information was incorrect, thanks for straightening it out.

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