A Question About Late '60's Detroit Pop and Soul

SoulfulDetroit.com FORUM: Archive - Beginning April 17, 2003: A Question About Late '60's Detroit Pop and Soul
Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm (68.113.15.28) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 12:53 pm:

In the mid/late '60's, Detroit had a very active rock scene, with plenty of bands, venues, and recording contracts. Seger, SRC, Third Power, Brownsville Station, Frost, MC5 and the like, exsisted along side the music forms generally discussed here. Radio (WKNR, CKLW, WTAC, CHYR) played both.
The question I have is that, except for the obvious (Seger, Brownsville Station, Rare Earth), was there any cross polinization between the two genres, or did they pretty much go their own ways--that is, did the Detroit soul sound influence in any way the "rock" acts, and/or did the Detroit rock scene influence the "soul" acts?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon (193.122.21.26) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 02:02 pm:

Hi Douglas,

Interesting question - as far as I can see the
soul scene and rock scene pretty much went separate ways. Probably a lot to do with who got
to play at different venues - no soul acts ever
played the Grande Ballroom and by the same token I've never heard of any of the city's garage bands playing at say, the 20 Grand.

There doesn't seem to have been much interaction
in studios either - Deon Jackson wrote a song for
the Rationals and sang on the record but other than that I'm having a hard time trying to recall
anything else.

I'd be interested in comments form somebody who was there at the time.

Top of pageBottom of page   By STUBASS (205.188.209.38) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 02:12 pm:

HEY DOUG: I REMEMBER WHEN THE "LATE...GREAT"...PAUL WILLIAMS USED TO TELL ME AROUND THE MID-60'S...THAT "INTERRACIAL GROUPS WERE NOT THE WAY TO GO!!!...OF COURSE...I DISAGREED WITH HIM...AND I THINK THAT HISTORY HAS LARGELY PROVEN ME RIGHT ON THIS...NOT ANTICIPATING SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE AND OTHER SUCH GROUPS AT THE TIME!!!...I DO RECALL A CROSS-APPRECIATION BETWEEN GROUPS OF VARIOUS GENRE'S DURING THE PERIOD THAT YOU MENTION...BUT I DON'T REALLY SEE A LARGE MUSICAL INFLUENCE BETWEEN THE TWO MUSICAL DISCIPLINES...MOST WHITE GROUPS... MORE HARD ROCK INFLUENCED AROUND THAT TIME...AND MOST BLACK GROUPS... DOING MUSIC WITH A HEAVY SOUL AND R& B INFLUENCE (TOOK A GENIUS TO FIGURE THAT ONE OUT)...BUT THE RULE DOES NOT ALWAYS COVER ALL THE EXCEPTIONS REGARDING THE CROSS-POLLINIZATION OF MUSIC...AND GROUPS LIKE RARE EARTH AND OTHERS ILLUSTRATE JUST WHAT MUSICAL INFLUENCES CARRIED OVER RACIAL AND GEOGRAPHIC LINES...BUT GOOD MUSIC IS GOOD MUSIC...AND MANY SOUL MUSIC FANS THAT I KNEW HAD A DEEP APPRECIATION FOR BOB SEEGER FOR EXAMPLE...WHILE MANY WHITE ROCK MUSICIANS ALSO WERE INTO THE MOTOWN SOUND...WITH THE ONE POSSIBLE EXCEPTION BEING THE JAZZ SCENE...WHERE IT DIDN'T MATTER WHAT COLOR YOU WERE...JUST HOW WELL YOU PLAYED YOUR AXE!!!...STU

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue (63.85.105.20) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 02:18 pm:

Oh there was total cross-pollination in the '60s! Mitch Ryder used to go to the Village Club on Woodward to watch acts like Nathaniel Mayer ... he also went to black churches and tried to listen to as much gospel as he could, and his form of rock as always heavily soul-influenced. Seger grew up listening to WLAC in Nashville, he loved blues and R&B and you can hear it in his early stuff, and in that scream of his ...

The Rationals' first hit was a cover of Otis Redding's "Respect" -- hello?? And their lead singer Scott Morgan has always been held up as an example of how soulful white Detroit rock was ..

The Sunliners/Rare Earth -- VERY funky rock guys. Later, Was (Not Was) -- VERY funky rock guys.

The Temptations' entire late '60s ouevre, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye were all very much influenced by psychedelic rock and the singer-songwriters of the day.

Even the pop radio stations in Detroit played R&B 24/7 ..more R&B than pop stations in other cities.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Livonia Ken (136.2.1.101) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 02:27 pm:

There's a story in the liner notes of the Funkadelic Singles Collection CD about a meeting between Parliament/Funkadelic and the MC5, IIRC. I haven't seen much else written about connections between the Detroit area rock and soul acts of the time.

Funkadelic certainly were not afraid to dip into the rock pool. Neither was Norman Whitfield, come to think of it. Then there was the Rare Earth thing at Motown. Interesting question.

Regards,
Ken

Top of pageBottom of page   By mc5rules (148.61.97.30) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 02:35 pm:

the MC5's "Let Me Try" on the "Back in the USA" record is one of my favorite examples of how soulfully Rob Tyner could sing. It gives me chills. And there's ample evidence of the Five's ability to take James Brown material and make it rock (while still retaining the funk).

Also, I just heard that the printed program at this year's rock and roll hall of fame induction ceremony will feature write-ups about "blue-eyed soul" acts and features an interview with Scott Morgan about the Rationals.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Fury13 (209.69.165.10) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 02:40 pm:

Lots of cross-pollination, going way back. Jack Scott has told me about touring with groups like the Cadillacs and how much he enjoyed it. Jack's early records are very influenced by Elvis, and we all know that R&B and gospel influenced him. Elvis never made a secret of that.

The first incarnation of the Falcons group was integrated.

There were white rock musicians on records like "Mind Over Matter" by Nolan Strong and the Nathaniel Mayer records on Fortune.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 03:45 pm:

I gotta agree with Ken about "Funkadelic dipping into the rock pool". They've been much discussed here and there are several websites dedicated to the P-Funk phenomena , but , in my opinion anyway , the early Detroit-centric Westbound albums are the best examples of the cross-pollinization we're talking about. No matter how hard rock or psychedilicized the music got , there was always a gospel-based soulful edge to the vocals ("Super Stupid" and "I Wanna Know..." are maybe the best examples).

SteveK

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm (68.113.15.28) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 04:19 pm:

I know about Seger and Detroit radio, forgot about Mitch, but am wondering about the "lack" of connection between most of Jeep Holland and Punch Andrew's bands with the "soulful" sound, given that we all grew up in the same era. Granted, by '70 when ABX was BIG, the soul influence on white audiences began to fade, but given the backround--I'm going to assume most of the band members are/were at or near my age(a bit older, probably)--why wasn't the sound more influential in the development of the Detroit rock scene? Or was it and I just wasn't looking.....

Top of pageBottom of page   By stephanie (64.63.221.159) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 04:32 pm:

How come no one ever mentions the Romantics arent they from Detroit..
Thats What I Like About You and Talking In Your Sleep...
Stephanie

Top of pageBottom of page   By arrgh (65.242.121.50) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 04:40 pm:

I would mention the Rationals who had an earlier hit with "Respect" than did Otis or Aretha. The other group to mention were the Underdogs from Grosse Pointe who were a local club band that scored a huge hit with an old cast off soul song entitled "Love's Gone Bad" after they signed with and recorded at (w/the funk brothers) Motown. That song hit #2 for two weeks in January 1967.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue (63.85.105.20) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 04:45 pm:

Doug,
I just can't believe you didn't see or hear it. I guess if you still can't, I give up.

So much Detroit rock was soul-infused, all the stuff mentioned above ...Rob Tyner did some sessions with Gino Washington ..he also worked with Funk Brother Bob Babbitt. (For that matter, Rob had hair like a brother, and would go to barbershops catering to African-Americans, to see if they could do a better job with his hair than the white barbers!)

There is a big soul influence in Bob Seger's style and music. How can you not hear it?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue (63.85.105.20) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 04:59 pm:

OK here's an email I just got ... I read it over the phone to Fury13 ...I'll leave off the guy's name, it's a reader from North Branch, Mich. who grew up in Detroit and talks about our unique black-white thing:

Susan, thank you so much for your wonderful article on Hank & the Midnighters. I remember hiding under the covers, with a transistor, listening to Nathaniel Meyer's, "Village of Love".We who grew up in around Detroit had a wonderful childhood; both black and white were privileged to have beautiful, black emerging rock instilled in our souls forever.
I still get a tingle in my body and a warmth in my soul, when I hear any of Detroit's original songsters.
Sincerely,

Top of pageBottom of page   By Lynn Bruce (65.60.202.214) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 05:31 pm:

There was a lot of black influence in the early white rock in Detroit.We didn'y have the church to help us with our soulfulness but it sure rubbed off on us.
In the late 50s Babbitt,myself,and Danny James on guitar would play at St.Stevens community center for it looked like a thousand black kids,the same with the dairy-workers hall in Highland park,very few white kids,we went over great,the girls screamed ,the guys didn't mess with us and everyone danced.Everyone wanted to sound soulful,it was just harder for white kids as the churches were probably the most segregated places around and the music in the white churches was very dry so it took listening to Wlac nashville,and wchb,to get our greybutts a little more soulful.Sometimes it worked,sometimes it didn't and you sounded white.

Lynn

Top of pageBottom of page   By Fury13 (209.69.165.10) on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 06:26 pm:

Gino Washington worked with an all-white band, the Atlantics, who were definitely a rock outfit. Yet Gino's early stuff has a soul flavor too, because of his singing style and the background vocals (by the Primettes and the Rochelles).

Top of pageBottom of page   By STUBASS (64.12.97.7) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 01:44 am:

GREETINGS ALL: ONE THING THAT ALLAN SLUTSKY AND I HAD IN COMMON...HIM IN PHILLADELPHIA...AND ME IN DETROIT...IS THAT WE WERE BOTH INVOLVED IN "CITY BASED SOUL MUSIC"...AND HAD THE DISTINCTION OF BEING IN A SMALL...SOMETIMES ONLY RACIAL MINORITY...JEWISH WHITE GUYS PLAYING IN OTHERWISE TOTALLY BLACK GROUPS!!!...THAT WAS A RARITY...AND WHILE ANY REAL MUSICIAN CAN APPRECIATE GOOD MUSIC FROM ANY GENRE...OUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES CAME PRIMARILY FROM SOUL AND R&B ICONS...AND VERY FEW WHITE PEOPLE WERE INVOLVED IN THE ACTUALL PRODUCTION OF THE MUSIC...PRIMARILY IN THE BUSINESS END!!!...MOST OF THE SOUL AND R&B MUSICIANS AND ENTERTAINERS WERE ACTUALLY NEVER EXPOSED TO A LOT OF "WHITE" ROCK MUSIC ON ANY KIND OF SCALE...EXCEPT FOR THE SMALL MINORITY THAT ACHIEVED ENOUGH SUCCESS TO GAIN EXPOSURE TO THE LARGER WORLD OF MUSIC IN GENERAL...AND THEN CAME INTO MORE CONTACT WITH MUSICIANS AND ENTERTAINERS FROM THE GREATER MUSICAL ENVIRONMENT!!!... AS FOR MOST OF THE WHITE MUSICIANS THAT I KNEW THAT WERE PLAYING MORE ROCK AND ROLL ORIENTED MUSIC...THAT WAS PRIMARILY WHAT THEY LISTENED TO...PRACTICED...AND PERFORMED...BECAUSE IF THATS WHAT YOU'RE GETTING PAID TO PLAY...THAT HAD BETTER BE YOUR PRIMARY MUSICAL ENVIRONMENT!!...BUT TO SUM THIS ALL UP...ANY "REAL" MUSICIAN...CAN AND WILL APPRECIATE GOOD MUSIC FROM ANY GENRE...AND WHEN EXPOSED...RECOGNIZE IT'S SIGNIFICANCE...AND IF THEY CAN'T...THAN THEY MUST HAVE THEIR HEAD IN THE SAND!!!...NOW...IF I COULD ONLY WRITE A BOOK LIKE ALLAN!!!...STU

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm (68.113.15.28) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 10:51 am:

Sue...
....In the original post I said "...with the exception of the obvious (Seger, Brownsville Station, Rare Earth).....", and noted the cross/culturelism of radio.
Steve K....
....If I understand you correctly, the "white rock" influence on soul (P-Funk/Teptations) was probably stronger than the soul influence on Detroit rock. Right?
All...
....you've prompted me to dig back into the old records and give them a re-listen.
Stu...
.....you write it, I'll buy it.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 12:48 pm:

Douglas;
yup , you understand me correctly. Well, kind of... I think the soul influence on rock may have been as strong, BUT the resulting recorded product WASN'T as strong as the 'rock' influenced soul. I'm not sure why this was so , but I can hazard a couple of guesses.
1. Most of the rock musicians we're discussing were substantially younger than the soul artists (Rationals/Brownsville etc, 20-ish ; Parliaments/Temps/studio guys used by both , 30-ish)

2. Most working soul based musicians probably had hands-on experience with more 'rock' related musics (blues, early rock'n'roll) in addition to the more sophisticated pop/soul chops needed to back r&b vocal groups - in short, they had a leg up playing any type of music. The rockers were less musically experienced in any type of music.

Also, in the case of Funkadelic, by their 2nd and 3rd lp's , their road band was used on their recordings. The two principal musicians , guitarist Eddie Hazel and especially bassist Billy Nelson, were not only skilled in many facets of r&b, but also played rock music with authority , maybe to some degree because they were the same age as guys like the Rationals etc and had a more , I dunno , organic proprietary feel for rock.

Or maybe I'm wrong......this is a cool topic and fun to think about though.

SteveK

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm (68.113.15.28) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 01:10 pm:

Thanks Steve......
......so this (i think {!!??!!}) brings up a second, probably incorrect, thought.
I grew up listening to Keener, with its broad mix of music. WCHB and WJLB, i assume, tended not to be so wide ranging. Now, given that, why didn't many of the 20ish rockers, about my age or maybe a bit older, pick up on their soulish exposure and incorporate that into their music?
By this, I'm not saying why didn't they play "soul", they probably couldn't in the same way I can't, but in listening to them (SRC, Third Power, and to some extent, Savage Grace come to mind), their music sounds about as vanilla as everything else.
Am I making myself perfectly unclear?

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 01:23 pm:

Well , here comes more guesswork , but SRC , 3rd Power and Savage Grace in particular are a different breed o' cat than Rationals , Brownsville, early Seger. To me , SRC etc are fairly early descendants of "rock" bands (Yardbirds , Cream , maybe Doors in the case of Savage Grace) as opposed to others which seem to descend from a more Keener-ish pop sensiblility which naturally encompasses soul and earlier rock'n'roll. SRC and them probably had loftier ambitions , maybe even considering soul licks and pop tunes kind of 'bubblegum'; I know people like that existed at the time.

SteveK

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue (152.163.188.68) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 01:53 pm:

There is/was a gap between rock music here that was about as far from soul as you could get --progressive rock I guess you'd call it, and the more soul-derived stuff.

As for musicians having "loftier" ambitions; I never felt that progressive or whatever you wanted to call it was "better" than the Keener/soul and R&B mix stuff. Some of that prog rock sounds pretty laughable today.

But Doug, as for your first post, I don't think you can in all fairness say "except for" Seger, Rare Earth, etc. They are part of the reason why you can argue much Detroit rock WAS soul-influenced.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 02:14 pm:

"Some of that prog rock sounds laughable today" - no doubt. I'd take pretty much anything from a Keener chart of the time over SRC , 3rd Power etc.
It's funny ; the so-called progressive rock bands of the time were so focused on 'chops' ; even at the stage of guitar knowledge I had at the time , it was obvious that Eddie Willis-type licks were beyond the ability of most rock guys and yet some of these rockers would just solo and solo and were so proud of themselves and couldnt play for sh*t. Not only the SRC's and 3rd Powers - the Stooges and MC5 could wank endlessly too. History seems to have forgeotten that side of those guys but I haven't.

SteveK

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue (152.163.188.68) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 02:17 pm:

Good point Steve ..! Yeah put "Journey to the Center of Your Mind" up against Eddie W. playing on just about anything ...sounds like juvenalia more than anything, to me.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (151.197.37.171) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 02:27 pm:

Not Detroit per se, but I am a Jewish "white guy"
HEAVILY in more ways than one, totally influenced by the African American experience and proud of it and have always been the "token white guy" so to speak.
There have been many a gig in 'gutbucket" types of venues even where the promoter disappeared with the cash but it was all a wonderful experience and I thank God all the time for my missegenative formative years.

On the topic of Detroit white groups my all time fave is Flaming Ember and the lead voice of Jerry Plunk.

Also there was a "mixed" group out of Wisconsin called the Daze and Knights who traveled with Len Barry and myself through many a wintry midwest nights. True soul at its finest.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 02:38 pm:

I wonder what happened to Jerry Plunk. I know his name has come up here several times before. It's always odd when a singer with that much potential seems to vanish.

Also , re: my last post ; I certainly don't mean to denigrate the contribution of the Stooges or MC5 or even "progressive radio" (in theory anyway) ; its just so ironic that what was once construed as 'chops' and 'musical ambition' was so 'chop-less' and un-musical.

SteveK

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm (68.113.15.28) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 03:31 pm:

SteveK...
......you know, the thought of chart songs being a form of bubblegum is something I never considered, but the idea is valid.
Let's try this. Would it be fair to say that the soul bands that picked up on rock trends--again, P-Funk and the like--were trying something new and expansice for them, INTO the rock sound, while the "progressive" bands were trying to move OUT of the exsisting pop center, thus away from any hint of soulish rythems or licks?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Lynn Bruce (65.60.202.214) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 03:38 pm:

Bobby, I remember sitting with the Flaming Embers at detroit local 5 musicians union for what seemed all day while the "board" discused our so called fines for each of our bands. It seemed they didn't like each of our bands working a gig without "the boys"getting their cut of the pie.
You would have liked them,they had a lot of humor.We pitched so many pennies against the wall,we left marks.We didn't have much good to say about the Detroit local though. We sure could have used "Paulie Three Shoes" to handle the matter, as the union brass was made up of musicians from the big-band era and they loved to stick it to young rock musicians.
Lynn

Top of pageBottom of page   By Paulie3shoes (151.197.37.171) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 04:04 pm:

lynn,
ya shuda called me, i would have taken care of it fer youse as a favor tru my goomba eli(over dere)
i luv ta ruff t'ings up, ya know whut i mean??
tutti froschi vara fongulo, stronci!!@#$%^&*(Capice???#$%^*(

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 04:04 pm:

Douglas
"The 'progressive' bands moving OUT of the pop center"---yeah, that might be it. There was definitely a self-conscious movement to 'legitamise' (sp) rock music at the time. That's when all the improvisation and pseudo-classical elements got crammed into rock music , not to mention concepts like 'rock opera'. Obviously , especially in retrospect , this led to a lot of pretentious b.s. , but in a way I can also see where the musicians were coming from. I mean, if there was any coverage at all of anything OTHER than top 40 music in the mainstream press etc. , it was usually along the lines of "stupid , noisy rock music, cretinous junk etc". Players who came up on rock probably wanted some of the accolades jazz and classical players got.
A good example of 'moving OUT of the pop center" would be Clapton leaving the Yardbirds because of being repulsed by the song "For Your Love'.
In fact now that I think about it, I liked the pop side of the Yardbirds (esp "Shapes of things" and "Over, Under..." - the way they incorporated almost avant-garde guitar into solid pop structures), but I believe that most of the 2nd and 3rd generation rock bands (most post ,say, 1971 , hard rock) that I find totally unlistenable and irrelevant may be direct descendants of the Yardbirds. They may be one of the most odious influences of all time ; the poor guys - I'm sure they didnt mean to be.

SteveK

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm (68.113.15.28) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 04:20 pm:

Thanks, Steve....
....As I've stated before, one thing I like about this forum is the knowledge it contains about all forms of music and its interelation.
One thing I've always liked is the Nuggets type of progressive pop, or the use of new and expanded styles within the 3 min. format. I think that's when prog rock was at its best.

Now, to get back on point, what about the other end, that is, soul expanding into the rock relm?
AND
I'm getting Flaming Embers mixed up with 100 Proof Aged In Soul. The Flaming Embers hits were......

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 04:24 pm:

Douglas;
Oh yeah , about the funk bands getting into rock, I think once people like Jimi Hendrix and the Chambers Bros. hit, it opened things up showing that even the 'new' rock stuff didnt need to be racially exclusive. Of course , I'm sure there was a lot of bandwagoning , like with any movement , but that's not necessarily always just a crass thing.
Once again, I think one of the things that made the original Funkadelic so unique was that the conceptualizing and soulful elements came from the (older) Parliaments , while the rock elements came from the backing 'funkadelic' musicians who were a generation younger. I also think the fact that they were based in Detroit (CKLW-WABX ; the Grande ; Plum Street, Many outdoor festivals) can't be emphasized too much.

SteveK

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 05:32 pm:

Douglas;
I'm a big fan of the'Nuggets' stuff too.
Maybe one of the reasons (besides dinosauritis) that the pop music of that era - specifically, say 1965-1968 - still sounds so fresh is that elements of musics that weren't traditionally parts of top 40 type pop music were interjected into the pop structure. You had baroque stuff (many Motown arrangements, Bacharach's 'Dionne' songs, Left Banke/Beach boys/Nuggets ) folk elements (Spoonful , Byrds etc)jazz and blues ,gospel, avant garde/electronics (Beatles 'Revolver' lp)---anyway, roots and left-field elements worked into pop music like never before.
It seems like a whole industry was energized by all the possibilities. Also, studio advances seemed to be used to ENHANCE rather than CREATE the music.
Whatever ; that was a pretty intense time for music and the upside to getting old Is that I got to live through it.

stevek

Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon (193.122.21.26) on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 03:31 pm:

A small point about SRC - their three Capitol albums don't show any soul influence that I can see BUT for their fourth album ( unissued until
the late nineties when it was released as a CD
on One Way as "The Lost Masters" they do a version
of - amazingly - "When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes"

In their early days (as the Scott Richardson Case) they were very influenced by UK bands -
their early singles include covers of songs done
by the Pretty Things and Cream.

Top of pageBottom of page   By BOB BABBITT (152.163.188.68) on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 07:51 pm:

HEY MO-FU’S.......THE “BABBITT” HERE..........JERRY PLUNK AND THE FLAMING EMBERS.....
JERRY WAS ONE FUNKY WHITE BOY SINGER............BUT.............ON ALL OF HIS RECORDS....ALL OF THEM...... THE BAND WAS THE FUNK BROTHERS OR CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE FUNK BROTHERS ALONG WITH OTHER TOP DETROIT STUDIO CATS...RUDY ROBINSON, RAY MONETTE, ANDREW SMITH, DENNIS COFFEY, ECT.......
HOLLAND, DOZIER AND HOLLAND ALBUM GAVE JERRY’S LIVE BAND CREDITS ON THE ALBUM.....INSTEAD OF THE FUNK'S.............

ALSO IN MY ESTIMATION PERHAPS THE ULTIMATE WHITE /BLACK ROCK/FUNK BAND OF THAT ERA WAS A BAND CALLED THE “SCORPIONS”.....I ADMIT THAT I WAS A MEMBER OF THIS GROUP, AND NOT BEING PREJUDICE, I FEEL THAT THIS GROUP WAS HARD TO BEAT!!!! THE MUSIC WAS A MELTING POT OF DIFFERENT STYLES FROM FUNK TO ROCK TO BEATLES TO BLUES TO ETHEREAL BALLADS, THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE GROUP WAS AHEAD OF ITS TIME MAY HAVE BEEN A PROBLEM? AT THAT TIME WE WERE TOLD BY SEVERAL RECORD COMPANIES THAT WE HAD NO DIRECTION, BUT NOW THEY CALL THAT ECLECTIC.. ALONG WITH MYSELF ON BASS, RAY MONETTE (WHITE) WAS THE GUITAR PLAYER, ANDREW SMITH (BLACK) WAS THE DRUMMER, MIKE (CAMPBELL) (WHITE) CHAMPION WAS THE VOCALIST, ONE SUPER FUNKY DUDE! .........
ANY KEYBOARDS (OVERDUBS) WAS JOHNNY GRIFFITH (BLACK)........
ONE ALBUM WAS RELEASED ON TOWER RECORDS BUT SOON AFTER IT CAME OUT THE COMPANY WAS CLOSED DOWN AND THE ALBUM WAS SQUASHED.......MOTOWN THEN SIGNED THE ACT ONLY TO HAVE THE RARE EARTH GROUP STEAL RAY FROM US, WHEN WE TRIED TO REGROUP WITH GUITARIST PAUL WARREN. (GUITAR SOLO ON PAPA WAS A ROLLOING STONE ...16 YEARS OLD) AND KEYBOARDIST TOM BAIRD(ARRANGER AND PRODUCER)ONCE AGAIN THE RARE EARTH GROUP HAD TOM BAIRD SENT OUT TO LA TO PRODUCE THEM AND PUT ANOTHER FREEZE ON US...ALTHOUGH WE DID RECORD SOME THINGS WITH PAUL, THE COMPANY RELOCATING TO LA STOPPED ANY FURTHER RECORDING AND THE PRODUCT WAS PUT AWAY IN THE VAULTS??? NOT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THE GREAT DETROIT FUNK SOUL BANDS I FEEL THAT THE SCORPION BAND WAS A LEVEL ABOVE.................

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 08:16 pm:

Bob;
Is there any chance the Scorpion lp can be reissued ; do you know where the masters are? I've seen the cover on the 'Fuzz Acid & Flowers' website and I'd love to find that album.

Davie - thanks for the info on the 4th SRC album. I had no idea it existed ; I will check that out too

Steve K

Top of pageBottom of page   By Steve LItos (209.100.86.4) on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 08:34 pm:

Bob Babbitt-
Did you ever see how much the Scorpion album goes for in today's market? One was on e-bay recently & it went for big bucks. It looks like a cult classic to me. Here's the auction:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2511554417&category=1593

Maybe it will get a CD release & become a hit!

Top of pageBottom of page   By douglasm (68.113.15.28) on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 10:31 pm:

SteveK....
....Plumb Street? Haven't thought of that in years. Ever go to the Wisdom Tooth? Jeez....we ARE getting old.
Everyone.....
....thank you for your input. The whole mess was prompted by listening to a Third Power LP and thinking "I used to like them, but it's so flat now".
And nowhere did Grand Funk's "Locomotion" come up. I tip my hat.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Lynn Bruce (65.60.202.214) on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 11:24 am:

There's one thing I failed to mention on my post on this thread.When I was a full-time musician,I was on the road about 80 percent of the time,and didn't get to know alot of local Detroit musicians.BUT,when I did play in the Detroit area,the clubs would usually have a black singer or singing group on fri,sat,and maybe sun. The bands were pretty much divided along racial lines in the 60s.Which means that a lot of the white bands backed up soul singers and groups. So maybe thats another way that the bands got a soulful touch to their sound.

For the small amount of time I spent playing in the Detroit area, this is who came in and sang on the week-ends at the clubs I worked at--

Nolan Strong, the Supremes(weeks before the first big hit)Edwin Starr,the Royal Jokers,Danny Woods,Bobby Martin&the Martiniques,ect.

The bands that never went much on the road must have backed up a whole lot more soul groups then this.Not only did we work together,but we partied together also.We were way ahead of the times and all of us turned a little more grayer,instead of a black and white thing.

Bobby Martins parties at his house after the gig were something else,a blind pig set up,music gambling,dancing,and his mother in law made the best barbeque chicken in the world!!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 11:30 am:

Lynn;
I envy the situation you describe - I would have loved backing Nolan Strong , Edwin starr etc. I can't imagine how thriving the club scene must have been at that time.

SteveK


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