Who's got the new Motown type sound we all long for?

SoulfulDetroit.com FORUM: Archive - Beginning April 17, 2003: Who's got the new Motown type sound we all long for?
Top of pageBottom of page   By Bassn for God ( on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 11:38 pm:

What artist or group out there has the Motown type sound today, right now? Is there someone who can help me?
Keep the bass line strong and your heart in the song

Top of pageBottom of page   By Julian ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 12:06 am:

That is a good question.

Top of pageBottom of page   By STUBASS ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 01:14 am:


Top of pageBottom of page   By soulboy ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 04:00 am:

There have been several 'one off'attempts at copying, but not one producer really understood the fundamentals of the sound: ie the funk brothers.If this had been widely known during the 80/90S pop years then i am sure somebody, somewhere would have come up with the resource to re-unite them in all their glory.On a more positive note with SITSOM now gone public, who knows what could happen next??

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 07:04 am:

Not current, but going back to the late sixties,
some of the records coming out of the Cameo Parkway studios in Philly which have become Northern Faves such as Nothing but a Party, At the top of the stairs, You didnt say a word Prove yourself a lady and the 81 al borrowd heavily from the Motown influence.
The CP studio at the time had similar properties and Joe Tarsia was a good"Motown" engineer.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Aljaydu ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 07:39 am:

I can think of one group that may have come close. Tony Toni Tone. Is that a hit or a miss?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 08:48 am:

British songwriter Tony Macaulay modelled many of his compostitions on the Motown formula (on one occasion, a little too closely - as he discovered in court!)

I recall an interview in which he likened a good pop song to a sandwich. The chorus was the filling, and the verses the bread which held it all together. The intro was the first bite. The flavour had to be just right, or nobody would finish the sandwich.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Nish ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 09:47 am:

Well, PREE!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 10:45 am:

Aljaydu..No cigar my friend.

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 12:20 pm:

I think we've had this discussion before. Try it this way. Music has evolved, and assuming the "Motown Sound" has evolved, who best exemplifies that evolution?
Make sense?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Vickie ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 12:33 pm:

I heard a song last night..I think it's new..It was Macy Gray and it sounded a lot like a Jackson 5 recording.I think it was her anyway..
Nothing compares to the sound of Motown, not ever, and never will..


Top of pageBottom of page   By Aljaydu ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 01:08 pm:

OK, ok, ok...I tried, Eli.
There will never be another Motown Sound.
There's not ONE artist out there that's even trying it.

Top of pageBottom of page   By SisDetroit ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 01:23 pm:

"Sound" with a capital "S". The "Sound of Motown" is quite different than just "Motown." The "Sound of Motown" is "Hitsville USA." Nothing like it.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 01:31 pm:

And you can't fake it with drum machines and keyboards. (Mentioning no names of course..)

Top of pageBottom of page   By g-wiz ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 01:48 pm:

in 1974 -75 a detroit group called innervision had a few top 100 r&b songs ,"gotta find away to back home" and "honey baby" of course you say,yep the funks,van de pitte'johnny trudell,and detroit strings produced by johnny powers and clarence paul , we were mixing and i told them guys lets make it disco,clarence sez disco want the f---k is disco,a year latter i called him in la and said hey clarence you know what disco is now,
regards wiz

Top of pageBottom of page   By Bassn for God ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 02:34 pm:

I agree, you can not duplicate the Sound of Motown, but I was just asking who do we like today with the sound we associate with Motown? Music evolving was not something I had considered, but it does have a great impact. The negative impact in my humble opinion would be the way music is created and played with all the tech gear going now. Do not get me wrong, I use effects pod to work on my sound, but I can play without it and still sound fine. Music videos seem to have taken too much away from MUSIC. With that said, I really like the voice of Craig David, when it is not electronically tweaked.

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 02:53 pm:

OK, but we all seem to be looking in the "rock" world. Is there an artist in A3 or AC radio that's worth looking at? I have not heard Norah Jones, for example (so I don't know if she's germane to this discussion), but.......

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 02:56 pm:

who do we like today with the sound we associate with Motown?

I suspect that's an unanswerable question - rather like asking "which frozen food manufacturer offers the best fresh vegetables?"

Top of pageBottom of page   By Bassn for God ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 03:12 pm:

A3 or AC? I am a little slow. What is this?

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 03:23 pm:

Adult Album Alternative (or AAA) and Adult Contempory, the first being the "new" progressive radio.

Top of pageBottom of page   By P.J. ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 03:34 pm:

AC=Adult Contemporary
A3 or AAA= Adult Alternative

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 03:41 pm:

I think there is more mileage in it than given credit.

The next generation of fan or customer needs to be introduced to the sound in a different way. In the movie, 'Bridget Jones Diary' Motown was introduced in a discreet and sexy way. When I heard the song start, I was almost in tears. Motown and Philly (Bell/Creed) in one great scene to millions of people. That, is the way a young person is going to hear the great sounds from Motown or whoever and that is how they will eventually get hooked, if done correctly.

I may sound like an old record, but Saturday Night Fever did it with 'current' sounds of the day, plus a few new compositions and 'Grease' did it with a rock and roll retro production, and still it lives on. Now is the time for a movie that incorporates the same ingredients but based around 1968 and the great soul sounds that we talk about on the forum.

I recently had the pleasure of introducing the Motown sound to a 27 year old at work and she went out and bought a few CD's and was knocked out by what she was listening to. She even mentioned that she knew a few of the songs but had never realised they came from the same label and were the same musicians. She is now educated and hooked, forever. So Paul, as I mentioned before, when the time comes for another investment in a movie,let me know. I have enough material for a conference. Sooner rather than later, so the Funks can be captured again on film, so the world can see and hear them play forever! I am convinced it will work.

Top of pageBottom of page   By 1wicked ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 04:01 pm:

The Sound of Motown as well as TSOP....real musicians well versed in all musical styles playing solid compositions written by tried and true composers with a sense of creativity on real instruments with lyrics of substance from lyricists with a vision/gift of imagery that touch you somewhere sung by vocalists who considered what they did an art form and did whatever necessary to excel at it....with all of the above paying the necessary dues to be at the top.......NOT 1 guy writing a little ditty & (poorly) using a Pro-Tools set-up or other apparatus to sample real instruments in order to play behind the flavor of the day...hot because of how much skin is shown, who he/she is dating, or some other media ploy....singing (and I use that term loosely) something soon to be forgotten & destined to make VH-1's "1 Hit Wonder" list.

Eli mentioned the Spinners "Pick Of The Litter" album & I threw my CD on and sang along to every song & hit all the lyrics...and this is a mid 70's release !! Try that with almost ANYTHING released in the last 5 years. QUALITY top to bottom...It's just not there anymore & highly unlikely to be duplicated ever again.

Top of pageBottom of page   By SisDetroit ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 04:12 pm:


Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 05:27 pm:

I think you are speaking for all of us here. Well put.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Jay ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 06:13 pm:

For anyone who was not exposed, the Standing in the Shadows movie can be construed as quite a music lesson.

The part where they start with the drums, then the bass then the guitar backbeat.
I believe it was...Aint to Proud to beg.

Even the Motown producers got away from it.
The Funk brothers proved they can stll play it.
And I'll bet that some of those folks would still be able to produce others to play similarly.

But it would take a different approach... A more live performance approach than we experience with todays cut/paste/modify/plug-in/sampled music.

Although those folks had a wonderful combination of talent, I believe that there does exist quite a lot of untapped talent out there with musicians who could make something (albiet not the same)similarly good happen.

Top of pageBottom of page   By 1wicked ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 07:02 pm:

Yeah Jay...but these pups (of untapped talent) would have to be exposed to the masters and sit at their feet to learn how it REALLY goes. They would have to turn their backs on the concept of "Me NOW and "bling bling materialism"...the idea that they can go from the high school auditorium to some megabuck contract without learning the craft.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Jay ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 07:47 pm:

I had an opportunity to go back to Detroit a few months ago. Wayne State U had a lifetime arts achievement award for my father, Don Palmer.
It was at Wayne that he studied music, composition, teaching, classical and Jazz.
At that time, he was the also the bassist in that Soupy Sales band with Joe Messina and the whole gang.

When I was back there I was really impressed with the Jazz torch being carried by Matt Micheals and Dennis Tini. They are the heads of the Jazz Studies department. (I am probably screwing up their actual titles)
While their budgets continue to be slashed in the not-so-affluent motorcity, they continue to teach and be ambassadors of the American artform; Jazz.
There is also quite a few mentors listed on the WSU site. Check it out.

This is still a school of working students.
They are not given lots af grants or are not as well-off as the U of M and MSU students.
They played the hell out of some of my father's charts.

So while I agree with your "Me Now" assessment, I am also happy to say that not all the kids are behaving that way. And I still believe that there are always possibilities.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Livonia Ken ( on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 08:14 pm:

The closest I have heard was those fellas playing on the Standing in the Shadows of Motown Soundtrack from last year. I swear they are almost as good as the players on those 60s Motown hits. Did anyone catch their names? I hear they might tour. :)


Top of pageBottom of page   By Horse ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 09:31 am:

The Funk Bros. Yesterday & still today.
Watch for the upcoming tour...!

Top of pageBottom of page   By soulboy ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 09:39 am:

That's right, i have not seen the film yet, but i have seen that caption where 'ain't to proud to beg' is constructed from scratch, it's quite revealing how natural it is for those guys to play a groove really well. I just wonder that in the aftermath of the film, will it spawn a whole host of imitators??, and is this neccasarily a bad thing anyway??

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 10:28 am:

Tell me
If someone or a few folk still had the ability to write and record songs and sounds that had the genuine flava's of Almighty Motown do you think that they could or would get any mainstream Airplay? Or would todays radio excuse be"We like playing the oldies only? Would it really get any appreciation from the listening and buying public? Because if there is a chance of that sound being accepted again the Funk Brothers,Paul Riser,Ivy Hunter,JohnnyBristol,HollandDozier,Whitfield,Mickey Stevens,Smokey,Pam Sawyer,Deke Richards are all still around.Who's to say it would'nt work. Does anyone out there want to start the campaign? Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 10:57 am:

Am I missing something here? We seem to be harping on "recreating" the old sound, but even Motown evolved away from what we know and love, changing with the musical times, and as much as I would like to see an "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" hit the charts again, it probably won't happen, at least on Contempory Hit Radio.
Now, I'll try restructuring my question. Given the evolution of music in the past 35 years, are there any new artists that capture the "sprit" or "flavor" of the old sound in a contempory way?
Am I making sence here? Probably not......

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 11:15 am:

You can find artists who might remind you of a Motown singer in some way, but the essential part of Motown was the songwriting/production and marketing of those singers. There are all kinds of singers out there, good bad and indifferent, but few are heard in a production setting that we were used to hearing Motown artists in.

So rather than who are the artists? You'd ask, who are the production teams or who's the indie record company?

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 11:53 am:

.....Good point, but keep in mind I'm not asking for a "recreation", but an "evolution". You got any idea of who I should look for? My brother sugguests Ben Harper, for example.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Nish ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 01:46 pm:

Mr. McMurray, I say let the campaign be started. I'd contribute.

Also, look at who did well this year - Norah Jones, India.Arie... people who are a little more "real" than the plastic that has been put out there. Look at the acclaim Solomon Burke's recent outing received. We are READY, I know I am! Then we have legends like Bettye Lavette already releasing music and Mary Wilson and Bunny Sigler at varying points in the process of creating and releasing new material. IT IS TIME! And I hope that I represent more young people very EAGER to learn from legends like the ones you mentioned/are a part of. Let's do this.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 01:47 pm:

I feel there are so many issues with this. I believe that we may see a revival of quality songwriters and musicians at some stage. In a world of turmoil and every time that the TV is switched on, there is 'breaking news� of the most negative type; music will be the escape route away from it. As different generations come along, the likelihood they will want something new to listen too, is expected.

The great hits of Motown, will always be played, but there are artists I am sure, that would happily record an oldie and want to sound as good as the original, in preference to the new style sounds, because 'they sound the same'. I think somebody has to set the ball rolling and I am convinced once it did, it would be an uplifting experience for many who cannot identify with today's trends in music. To me, the market place for music has become so specialist that the pigeonholes we reside in, some of the time have uniqueness like never before. But, that does not mean a new composition, with a similar style to say 30 years ago, cannot become popular. I think there has to be a vehicle to carry the initiative, whether it is a commercial, that places the song smack in the face of people and then there is the usual �what is that song� question and a rush to the record shop, or something like I said in my previous post, about a movie. I feel the solution could lie in the discreet education of the many young people who are heavily influenced by the music they listen to between the ages of 10 to 20. The biggest shock of my life was when at the age of 18, I started to hear songs over ten years old that stuck to me like glue. It was their production and style that influenced me away from the newer sounds of the day. That formula is still good, but I guess it needs a new attitude to carry it through a tough market place.

Nothing can replace, for example, the great Motown sound hits from the sixties, but new songs have to be written, because that is the way we are. I am quite sure that at some stage those quality arrangements and that style of melody from the old days will be back, but with fresh artists that appeal to the next generation. It may need a little 21st Century tweaking, but my gut feeling is, it can happen, just like fashion. Look at James Bond! Just as appealing today as he was in �Dr. No� 40 years ago. Different actors, different century, but the same 007-guitar theme, because it has been marketed correctly and 007 has been tweaked to fit in with today�s society.

Wow, that could be my longest post.

Top of pageBottom of page   By soulboy ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 01:51 pm:

I agree i think that to re-create motown in a contemporary style would be a mistake it just wouldn't sound right in today's culture,However i still think that lessons can be learned from the motown way of songwriting,producing,arranging, etc and used in a up to date envoironment.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Nish ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 01:54 pm:

Maybe it's helpful to identify what we think is so special about Motown and it's contemporaries, so we can know what we mean when we think of artists/companies that evoke the creativity embodied in Motown (btw, I think most of the record companies of the 60s were just as creative, i'm just using "MOTOWN" as the big example, but that whole era was marked by great musical craftsmanship from Motown to PIR to Carla to Dore and all points in between)

I'd say spontaneity, organic creative process, well written everyday lyrics that ARE NOT TRITE or CHEESY, melodies, and great distinctive vocals are all hallmarks of the sound that makes us love the records from this era. Any more to add to the list?

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 01:57 pm:

Three very good points. Carl, Soulboy and expecially Nish, that was what I was looking for. As to where you would market it, AC and A3 radio both look like good places to start. Forget CHR. That's as trendy now as it was when we listened to "top 40".

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 04:03 pm:

For quite a while I've been hinting to a few of you out here that I'm forming an independent record label. With this conversation of music for us adults being the topic - I would like to volunteer the following excerpt from my outgoing letter to the industry (which will accompany the CD sampler). Please let me know what you folks think. As always, I value all opinions from the Soulful Detroit family.

I�m proud to announce my newest venture, a record label proudly named LIBRA RECORDS LLC, an independent company driven to create, sell and market soul, jazz & pop music for the adult audience. Our goal is to return to the basics of music creation � talent (from singing to instrumentalists), strong songwriting that tells a story, musicianship with instruments (NO SAMPLES ALLOWED), creative arrangements and melodies that grab the listener�s ears and keeps their attention. In addition, our artists will be presented in a manner that is professional, classy and entertaining to all audiences.

Why a label for grown-ups and why only certain genres of music? The �grown-ups� are the ones with the steady income and the �disposable� funds to afford such luxuries as music. According to the 2001 Consumer Profile published by the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA), the percentage of adults 30-34 who buy music increased from 9.8% to 10.3%. The percentage of adults 40-44 who buy music increased from 9.6% to 10.3%. This is significant considering that youth buyers have decreased within the year because of high CD prices and Internet availability (10-14 year olds decreased to 8.5% from 8.9%; 15-19 year olds held steady at 13.0%; 20-24 year olds fell 12.2% from 12.5%). As far as genres are concerned, R&B has increased significantly from 9.7% to 10.6%, jazz sales rose from 2.9% to 3.4% and pop music went from 11.0% to 12.1%.

While these figures are new, they reflect a trend that we in the industry have noticed through the years � adults not only purchase more music than youth, but purchase specific genres more often than others because the majority of adult performers these music lovers enjoy are found in the SOUL, JAZZ and POP genres.

That�s where LIBRA RECORDS comes in.

Enclosed in this portfolio is a sampler from our roster of artists. Our first act, THE WALKER PROJECT, is a smooth jazz-soul outfit led by composer/multi-instrumentalist (and Libra Records� Director of Music) Darryl Walker. A native New Yorker, Walker�s goal is to bring the sounds of Urban America�s neighborhoods together in each and every song he creates. Walker�s music is a mix of soul, jazz, Latin and funk with a pop flavor. His lyrics are inspirational and positive, creating a vibe to make the listener feel good.

KIM SMALLS is a Brooklyn native discovered by Darryl Walker who combines R&B/Soul with an earthiness in her sound & spirit. Her lyrics reflect a woman who knows what she wants out of life, love, friendships & relations without mincing words. As a live performer, she�s dynamic and energetic, with a smile on her face and enough energy for two people to burn. Kim�s vocals are fantastic, full & rich, a talent not to be missed.

Finally, there�s SACHA, another Darryl Walker discovery. A New Yorker by way of the Jamaican islands, Sacha brings that West Indian vibe to her smooth and supple vocals as well as her songwriting. Her music is sexy yet classy with a touch of jazz & pop. As a performer Sacha will dazzle you with her charm, beauty & grace.

We will be marketing our artists through radio, television and selected print media. Brunswick Records will distribute the Libra label.


Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Nish ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 04:17 pm:

Kevin, I think the letter is excellent. You succinctly discuss your artistic vision, but you root it in the brass tacks of economics, which is, as we know, a driving force in the industry. Lots of success to you and the artists! Progress, progress, I love it.

Top of pageBottom of page   By 1wicked ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 04:41 pm:

Right On, Right On, Right On !! In reading your posts I knew this venture was in the mix...but had no clue that you were so close. I wish you nothing but positivity and success Kev.....raise the bar and make the "Big 3" follow your lead !

Please contact me off-line. I'd like to ask you about a few "details" !

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 04:44 pm:

Send me your email address to kevingoins@juno.com
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 05:01 pm:

Best of luck Kevin; if anybody can pull this off, it's you. Be sure to keep us apprised of your progress.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Bassn for God ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 08:52 pm:

Man o Man, this is great. I spent two hours saturday going through a local music store with my 7 year old looking for Ben Harper or Gerald Levert. I ended up with Levert, but as I searched for my next purchase, I keep coming back to gospel, not southern gospel either. That sound that rings to black churches and Motown records( I still have vinyl LP's). I have never been on so much fire for my music. Kevin, I wish you nothing but the best in your venture. Just one thing, if you find a soul christain group in your search, give them a chance. I think the soul sound for the soul will be great.
Keep the bass line strong and your heart in the song.

Top of pageBottom of page   By SisDetroit ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 09:15 pm:

Bassn for God - My father brought me up with gospel music. Even if he didn't go to services every sunday, he sure made those gospel concerts. I inherited some of his LP's. Would you name just a couple of your favorite gospel groups or choirs?

Top of pageBottom of page   By SisDetroit ( on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 09:19 pm:

As far as video's are concerned, I wish they had those back in the day. We would have live concerts of our favorite artist in their hay day. It took me awhile to purchase a video player, just as it took me awhile to purchase a cd player. I'm glad to have MJ's video on "Beat It", and "Bad"

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 02:52 am:

Kevin - that is a fine initiative. I cannot imagine a world without music, but I can imagine a world full of electronic music and I do not want it. I wish you well with this venture. The market place needs outlets for good musicians and computer technology, in my opinion, has changed the perception of sound so much, that it has crept into the digital world by replicating sounds and complicating musicianship with IT/IS. However, I must admit that I use midi and a PC to make my songs. I have to, I am no virtuoso and need to package them to as near as I can to the sound I want, in order those listening can get a reasonable feel from my humble efforts. What I must say though, which I find quite disturbing, is I consider myself a romantic and just before Christmas I composed a classical piece for a string quartet. This is an anniversary surprise for my wife and whilst in Covent Garden I stood and listened and paid money to, a fine busking quartet, perfect for what I wanted. I tailored my song around their performance. I had introduced myself to them and offered to take them in a studio in West London and pay them to record my song professionally for me. They were excited. I emailed them details and agreed certain costs and still have not heard from them almost 7 weeks later. Quite clearly, they are not interested. Do I use the midi strings used on my computer? No, I will try another option before I give up on the idea of using real musicians (they are studying music at a London college, and have recorded freelance before).

Nish, you summed it up just right. There is something magical that takes place with people and I think, as an example too, that happened at Motown. The craftsmanship that came from the musicians alone was of the highest calibre. Great vocal performances in addition, will be the icing on the cake.

This is a great thread. When Robbie Williams did his Royal Albert Hall big band Swing extravaganza, I did not like it, until a 70 year told me that Mr Williams had done more positive things for that style of music that anybody else in recent times, because of his profile in the market place. My wife went out and bought the CD immediately and now she knows some classic tunes from an era some 30 years before she was born. I guess, once hooked, they will be back for more!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 04:25 am:

Congradulations Kevin
When your product strikes a lotta nerves you're gonna get a lot of attention, If you set it up like I think you have,it's designed to reach a particuliar adult audience. If you can market it as well as you research this business,you're gonna sell a lot of CD's.

If you hire a Great business accountant,an attorney with knowledge of the real music juice,a fairly honest independent distributor who will give you enough of YOUR money to keep you in business,then surround yourself with hungry creative people with a positive attitude, Oh! and be sure to set aside enough reserve cash to take care of yourself and your family while all this is evolving. And last, find yourself able to deal with a lotta Bull****,your company is bound to grow and become very successful

My musical blessings go out to you and your label makins. Once you Blow up you,continue to Show up.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Soulpuss ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 05:41 am:

I've always maintained that the following records from the 70's had the spirit of Motown. Millie Jackson "Ask me what you want" Greg Perry "Love don't come no stronger than yours and mine". I'm computer challenged. When I try to skip a line or start a new paragraph, when I post the system compresses everything into one long paragraph. Help!! Help!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 07:46 am:


Sounds like you have a Master Plan well in hand. With guys like you around, there's hope for the music business yet. Very much looking forward to hearing Sacha... with my particular love of the Jamaican sound, she strikes a chord with me already. May you have better than the very best of luck with the whole endeavour.

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 09:40 am:

.....There was an interesting article in the Sunday 2/16 New York Times (entertainment section) that touched on the same thing, the rise in AC style radio, and the buying habits of adult listeners that made the same points you do. I've never taken AC seriously, it's my parents music, but I'm my parents now. (There's also a page 1 article about Bo Diddily in the same issue)
Let us know when your products are released. You';ve sold at least three.

Good Luck!!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By cleoharvey ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 11:08 am:


As I have said before, I wish you the best on your venture. I believe that there is a great audience for what you are trying to do. Adults are clamoring for great music as shown by the sales for people like Norah Jones, James Taylor, R. Kelly (he does old school type music and vocals), Lionel Richie (who has already gone gold with his new retrospective release), and many well-selling catalogue items are keeping some people on this forum with money coming in.

This is very strange but I have become very fond of the Dixie Chicks. I was thinking about this recently and realized that the reason is that they produce music that has the imprimatur of the old-school; great songs, great vocals, clear not mushy engineering, great arrangements with distinctive musicianship and background harmonies, and the ability to take what they do in the studio and flawlessly reproduce it in live performance. Is this not what the great Motown performers did?

I am a performer myself and the reaction I get when I go to the old school is overwhelming. Take the ball and run with it my friend.

Top of pageBottom of page   By fayette ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 11:39 am:

i don't know if we'll ever capture the motown
sound again but there are artists out there
that appreciate the beautiful songs that we
grew up with. we do have artist that lyrics
are on the borderline of pornography,then
there are artist like india arie, alicia keys
usher,rkelly,whitney(pre-crack days),faith
evans,angie stone,who still are into songs
that let your imagination take you to the places
that their songs lead you.as long as we have
these type of artists we will continue to
to have beautiful music out there.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 11:52 am:

I'm deeply humbled by the feedback I've received so far & I thank you. I relayed this to Darryl, Sacha & Kim - they look forward to complete their projects IMMEDIATELY so that we can storm the market sooner than I even expected. Thank you again for your support.

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 11:52 am:

you'll be subtracting R.(kid toucher)Kelly from that list soon as I predict a stretch in the Greybar Hotel on the horizon.

Top of pageBottom of page   By fayette ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 12:10 pm:

to john, if what rkelly did is true,i'd like to
be the one that put him in jail and throw away the key,but i was
only speaking in terms of his music.

Top of pageBottom of page   By 1wicked ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 12:19 pm:

John...is that in the same hotel chain as the "Many-Bar" Hotel...where they serve 3 meals daily (oatmeal, miss-meal, and no-meal) ? LOL

Top of pageBottom of page   By Jay ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 11:23 pm:


I believe that there is a huge musical void to be filled. With the proper talent, songs, production and of-course, stellar marketing, that you can and will make it happen.

You are right on the mark and I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your endeavor.


Top of pageBottom of page   By STUBASS ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 11:37 pm:


Top of pageBottom of page   By STUBASS ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 11:39 pm:


Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 11:52 pm:

Oh Kevgo,
Make really good music and don't worry about demographics! No three minute phone surveys, no consultants, no focus groups!

Top of pageBottom of page   By STUBASS ( on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 11:58 pm:


Top of pageBottom of page   By Edgar ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 05:59 am:

To the question "Who do we like today with the sound we associate with Motown?", my answer is Jamiroquai. I like several tracks from his CD "Travelling Without Moving".

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 07:09 am:

Edgar, that brings up the question of what is a natural, organic progression of the Motown sound and what is just pastiche. Not too dissimilar to Jamiroqui, just yesterday I pulled out a CD by this Scottish group called Texas with this chick singer whose name I can't remember. The overall vibe is soulful but there's one song in particular that sounds just like a H/D/H-Supremes number. It's obvious that was what the singer, songwriter, and producers were aiming for and, enjoyable as it admittedly is, it's still pastiche, a slavish recreation. Like Jamiroqui.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Soulpuss ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 07:26 am:

Glen Lewis' "Don't you forget it". He sounds like Stevie.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Edgar ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 07:33 am:

John, you may be right, but pastiche or no pastiche, my response does answer the question "Who do we like today with the sound we associate with Motown?". Bass-for-God did not question, "Who has evolved the Motown sound". He even added "Music evolving was not something I had considered".

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 07:52 am:

I used to have that "Travelling Without Moving" CD; don't know what happened to it. When I first heard it, though, I felt the singer with the goofy hat would be lucky if he wasn't sued for plagiarism by Stevie Wonder. And I mean that in a positive way; as far as slavish recreations go, this guy has Stevie down.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 08:37 am:

And when he learns to sing in tune, he'll be even better.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 10:18 am:

There are some forms of music that don't evolve, that are classic just the way they are, and younger artists refresh the genre all the time by recording in that vein. The most obvious would be the Michael Feinsteins and Diana Kralls, who sing in a classic pop mode that could have been done decades ago.

Could the Motown sound be that classic?

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 10:24 am:

Ritchie, now I remember why I don't have that CD anymore!

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 11:35 am:

Jay, Stu & Sue:
Thanks so much for the feedback. Of course the concentration will be on making great music. I wanted to make clear that it's with folks like ourselves that I feel are terribly underserved. Would I like everyone to buy my label's music? Sure I would. Do I feel we "grown-ups" should be served with the best new music possible? Damn right I do!
Stu, your kind words are exactly what my late father said to me when I was young. Thank you for the reminder.
As for consultants & surveys, they should have no place at any label and they sure as hell won't be at mine. Ain't no outside cooks gonna spoil this soup!
Again, thank you for the support. I'll let you know when the first CDs are available.
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By SisDetroit ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 04:04 pm:

I was listening to a cd being played by my adult son. He usually plays jazz and mello music, or Stevie, Impressions, and something that I know.

Yesterday he was playing a cd which I had never heard, and I knew it was after my 60's & 70's listening pleasure. I liked the voice, all the songs, and the bassline. I asked him who it was and he said "Chico DeBarge" and Freddie Washington on bass.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sis ( on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 04:08 pm:

CD title: "Long Time No See."

Top of pageBottom of page   By medusa9e ( on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 08:48 pm:

To really tell the truth, NO ONE, NOBODY, NOWHERE, will NEVER,NEVER,EVER remake or recreate that which we know as the "MOTOWN" Sound. The Motown Sound, was a lot more than just instruments, it was dripping with soul stirring experiences, Love, First Love, Heartbeat, Emotional, Spritual, Heartache, Heartbreak, Imaginations, it was like the Gospel Of Love & Happiness. There really is no definition of the Motown Sound...And if you listen real close, you just might hear every musicians feelings within Heaven & Earth...Motown was more than Knee Deep, chek it out sometimes when you play the old stuff, just listen, it was Magic!!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By CM Wolff ( on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 09:41 pm:

I have lurked here a long time, but can't resist coming out on this topic (all lurkers have their breaking points.) Everyone may disagree, but I think India.arie might fit the bill. When I listen to her two albums, I am at least taken back to the highly personal sound of Stevie Wonder's seventies albums, if not to the Classic Hitsville sound. India.arie puts a very personal stamp on her music, has some unusual song structures, a great self-empowerment vibe, a spiritual bent, and ultimately soul to burn. Best of all, she records for Motown and has a lot of respect for her predecessors. No one is going to sound like the old Motown, but at least the spirit is there for me in India.arie, which I find heartening here in 2003.

Kindest regards to this great forum.

CM Wolff

Top of pageBottom of page   By soulboy ( on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 09:28 am:

I have been thinking long and hard about this one as i previously stated, it will and should never be duplicated in the hope of a 'quick buck'
However there are other good sounds out there which could be explioted for commercial purposes,
a definite case in point is the fact that i recently re-listened to some of the albums of 'sounds of blackness' produced by terry lewis & jimmy jam and was really impressed.
i remember thinking that with the correct marketing strategy this music could be more commercialy succesful. in fact the whole gospel genre is a neglected one, and one that should be looked at more closely.
If you think about SITSOM,one of the most powerful and emotionaly intense moments I have ever heard was when the gospel choir joined in the chorus after the key change. THIS is where soul music originated from. Perhaps we ought to ask ourselves not 'who has got the new motown sound', but think about going back to the very basics from where it came from.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 09:44 am:

CM Wolff,
Thanks for coming out of the shadows and joining us.You are most welcome here.

Top of pageBottom of page   By R&B ( on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 10:04 am:


Top of pageBottom of page   By CM Wolff ( on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 06:57 pm:

Ralph - thanks for the welcome and kind words.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London ( on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 07:01 pm:

R&B - I agree up to a point, but, right now in the UK I am watching a programme on TV which is showing a series of soul programmes, tonight being about the skinhead era, here in the UK, which started in the late 60's. They are talking about the fashions and playing the music and talking about the culture that developed over here and the influences from the reggae music. Prior to the programme commencing, there was a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial of all things, which shows a dark record shop playing Northern Soul records and playing a track I do not know, with young people eating the chicken, whilst grooving to the 60's soul sounds in the shop. I believe with conviction, this style of music will rise again and like I said earlier, the vehicle that introduces the sounds to the youth culture of the day, will be different than what is was 30 or 40 years ago. It will be a similar wine in a similar bottle, but I am sure marketed in a completely different way, it will be around for a long time. Who ever picked the track on the chicken commercial is probably someone saying a very big statement in their life. I guess he or she is in their 30's or 40's and are using this commercial to do more than sell chicken. If I was in that position, what would I be playing? There will be around 3 million people maybe watching this commercial and, no doubt it will appear on a compilation somewhere in the future. The exposure will influence somebody somewhere. The commercial was 30" long and instantly grabbed my attenion because it was so different to all the other ones that are currently airing.

Carl Dixon, holding the torch and still flying the flag! ( I did once recommend 'Wade in the Water' for a TV programme that we aired on our station years ago!)The programme has just mentioned Motown and Northern Soul - I rest my case!
UK posters - watch out for the commercial! I need to know what the track is called - it was great!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London ( on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 04:41 pm:

Does anybody know the song these lyrics come from?

"Just like Pagliacci the clown,
don't you know sometimes I'm up, sometimes down"

This is the song that is on the KFC commercial! I have the clock details off the ad and will contact the agent in London tomorrow and congratulate him/her on their great choice of music, plus find out what else he has on his agenda.

Top of pageBottom of page   By MEL&THEN SOME ( on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 05:04 pm:

Bob and Earls classic
I Cant Get Away.
also another more uptempo version done by Bobby Garrett on Mirwood.
Both old dancers on the scene.
over to Ritchie methinks.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London ( on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 05:49 pm:

Thanks Mel - I think it is the Bobby Garrett version. Fantastic! I am currently playing it into our vt area to everybody. If anybody want to hear it go to:

Another one I will be buying! Where did Mirwood hang out?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 06:00 pm:

Hi guys - just stepped in at the right time :o)

Mirwood was a Los Angeles label, whose story I'm curretly trying to piece together! Suffice it to say, "Bobby Garrett" was in reality Bob Relf, of Bob & Earl fame.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London ( on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 06:16 pm:

Well Ritchie - best of luck with the story. I have just been reading some of your web site. Thank you. I must admit this music never ceases to amaze me. I am priviliged at work to have access to this commercial and half our vtr area was stood listening to this song and trying to work out the lyrics for me. It is a great commercial and the other in the series appears to have 'Do I love you/Frank Wilson' on, but I have not seen it yet!

Top of pageBottom of page   By John Barry Sheffield ( on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 09:21 am:

There is only "ONE REAL THING" and nothing will come close to THE MOTOWN SOUND!


Top of pageBottom of page   By R&B ( on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 09:41 am:


Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London ( on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 03:04 am:

I think the quality and craftsmanship that emanated out of Detroit and in this threads' case, Motown, is so evident by all of us. Many of us were there when the singles charted for the first time, seen the re-releases and the covers enter the charts too.

But I am confused with a number of comments that suggest creating music today that has some of that style within in it, is pointless. On the one hand we have a thread called 'make it and we will come and buy', which brown9165 quite clearly wants to experience similar productions from yesteryear on new acts and another thread called 'Eli, Bell and Babbit Let make some sweet music again', which clearly again, is a call to go back to the great Philly way of doing things. The great Motown sound inspired many others in the day to write and produce songs and still is inspiring today. If you look at many Northern Soul records played as we speak, their yardstick will be Detroit and studio 'a'. Even Gene Page, if I remember correctly, says when he needed a bass line he would listen to a Motown single and adapt it to his composition/production of the day.

So by definition, many songs we now revere from the sixties and seventies have an element of the Motown sound within them. Look at the Motown covers from the early sixties! Money and Mr Postman by The Beatles, both good versions. If I was to think for one minute that an updated 'Motown' sound or something similar would never happen again I would consider myself a little naive. Why in that case are we bothering to teach people to play say, the saxophone or trombone or educate them musically. I am sure the biggest sense of achievement for any writer or producer or indeed musician is not only to see their song doing well in the charts, but to see/hear people performing it with skill and conviction on the radio or television, especially if it is a generation much younger than when it was first produced! I think the word 'Motown' in the sixties meant a great record label from Detroit. Today, it means much much more. I feel that one day in the distant future, people may use the term 'Motown' to explain a musical style and it will be played by those who enjoy that type of music. I also think it will continue to inspire writers and performers to come up with new melodies and songs to compliment the artists or groups that perform them. I almost feel that parts of this thread suggest never tinker with the Motown sound, but I am so pleased that Mr Ed Wingate did! He made excellent records that sounded just like the ones that came out of studio 'a'. And I am sure we are all pleased that many of the East coast writers came up with songs for us to enjoy then and now, that sound similar to the Motown sound. I may sound a little controversial, but ask the writers/producers/musicians who grace this forum who their influences were and how they constructed songs in the past. I may be wrong, but all my humble compositions are based around what I love the best, Motown and TSOP! I cannot even contemplate writing a tune without those elements in, because they were done with proper instruments and I love it. Should I never try and be successful with my songs, or just give up? Jack, if you read this, the 'Drummers of Motown' CD I use (because I cannot afford to hire a drummer and want my demos to sound as best possible, without the use of drum machines) is the biggest asset I have with respect to the percussion I use. You, Pistol and Uriel recorded those samples in good faith and I hope you intended aspiring writers to follow in your footsteps and keep this great sound alive, by analysing the grooves and coming up with new melodies for a different generation. Now, sadly, Pistol has passed away, but left his mark on record, a movie and a sample CD, where he will be heard, hopefully, on new songs for years to come. Similar to the SITSOM movie, this showcases 3 of the great funk brothers in a unique way. My greatest thrill this year was to enter a music competition in the US with an instrumental based around Motown and can you believe �RIC TIC�. Nothing would give me more pleasure to have the great Funk Brothers perform it. If I could afford a session and the musicians I would do it tomorrow. And I know they would probably knock it out in 20 minutes. It took me 3 months to make it. But, loosely based around the Al Kent productions, I even anticipated our own forum member Dennis Coffey in the song and indeed Bob Babbit too. Why? Because I love the sound and it will be never too late to record that sound again today. I took my blinkers off when I realised that Motown is not just a thing of the past, it is the future as well.

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