|By SisDetroit (22.214.171.124) on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 12:12 am:|
I'm anxious to hear this about the staff in the tape library.
|By John Lester (126.96.36.199) on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 02:37 am:|
But do remember Ralph, this is a family website!! You wouldn't want the site moderator after you...
|By Ralph (188.8.131.52) on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 09:11 am:|
Wow Sis, you must really want to hear about this to start a seperate thread LOL. I promise I'll get to it later. Speaking of the tape library also got me thinking of Ms. Fran Hurd who developed and ran the library. I also plan on setting up a thread for this very talented woman whom I feel is definitely one of the pieces in the Motown puzzle. I'll get to all of this as soon as I can.
|By Ralph (184.108.40.206) on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 09:13 am:|
It's a good thing the moderator is slightly naive. Most of this stuff will go over his head.
|By John Lester (220.127.116.11) on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 10:55 am:|
DON'T you believe it. Our moderator is sharper than you think..........except when it comes to WOMEN!!
Just kidding my friend, just kidding!. Hehe
|By Ralph (18.104.22.168) on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 11:11 am:|
I'd call that one a BULLSEYE John.
|By SisDetroit (22.214.171.124) on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 12:51 pm:|
Yes, Ralph. I like to laugh about good things. And I know with your Motown experience you have lots of good things to express.
You were a part of Motown, as was McLean, Bob and the others. We know there were lots of funny stories coming out of there. Berry told a few of them in his book. His book let me know that Berry could laugh and tell jokes even when he was taking care of business.
So, on the other thread, when I said you sounded like my Diretor, I knew you had something to tell us about Motown when you were Manager.
We'll be waiting.
|By Ralph (126.96.36.199) on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 09:43 pm:|
One of the departments under my supervision was the Library Services. The Library was run by Fran Hurd. This was her baby. She developed it. She perfected it. Fran was made to be a librarian. Very precise and methodical. even though she and the library were under my jurisdiction I left it basically alone. I intend on starting a Fran Hurd thread because I think it is important to the Motown story so I won't go any further tonight on Fran.
The tape library was located in the Donavan building. Fran had three people working for her in the libary. Brenda Barnett, A young guy named Kenny and Yvonne. One of the functions of the library was to retrieve tapes from the archives that were to be sent to Studios A and B for the night's sessions.
these tapes would then be driven to the studios by my driver, Lawrence Wells.
Anybody here ever read Mad Comics and see the Spy versus Spy segment? This is EXACTLY what Lawrence looked like. I never ( and I mean NEVER ) saw Lawrence dressed in any thing but a black raincoat, black navy hat turned all the way down and sunglasses. The secretaries were freaked by him but Lawrence was cool.
So Lawrence would get the tapes to the studios where they would be locked in a cabinet until the engineer for the night session came in to get them.
I mentioned Yvonne. I'm trying to remember her last name. She was beautiful and somewhat flighty. She was a lot of fun to be around and she was a hell of a lot smarter then first percieved. She just had her own way of doing things.
Night duty was shared between Yvonne and Kenny. The library was open until about 11 P.M. One night while Yvonne was on duty the phone rings and it's Norman Whitfield calling from Studio B. One of the tapes he requested for the night session had not been sent. Needless to say he was rather upset. Norman was a busy producer and he really didn't like being inconvenienced. And, because he was Norman, he was unloading some of his displeasure onto Yvonne. When he stopped to catch his breath, Yvonne said to him " Well you know Norman, I would like a fur coat. ". And Norman said something to the effect of what the hell did she mean by that? She replied " Sometimes we can't always get what we want Norman ". And Norman went BALLISTIC!! He came into my office the next morning ready to rake me I'm sure but when he started telling me about it we started laughing uncontrollably. Beleive me, when Norman got you laughing ( and he had a way of doing it to me ) there was nothing to do but laugh. I suppose you would have to know him AND Yvonne to really get this one, but it is something I have laughed about over the years.
From what I remember I kept this from Fran and all was soon forgotten.
|By mhc (188.8.131.52) on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 10:38 pm:|
That's the kind of stuff that I love to read on this forum: stuff that takes you right inside the corridors and studios of Motown/Philly. Thanks, Ralph.
|By SisDetroit (184.108.40.206) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 12:05 am:|
That was great Ralph!!! I laughed so hard, I screamed. I can imagine how shocked Norman was to have gotten a response like that, and he wasn't expecting it. Yvonne handled him.
I guess you saw Norman's character on the Temptations Movie. He was funny in the movie.
MHC - Yes, you're right. I also love to read things like that. I know there is more funny incidents that Ralph and the others can let us know about.
|By STUBASS (220.127.116.11) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 02:00 am:|
GOOD ONE RALPH: HAVING MET NORMAN ON A FEW OCCASSIONS...HE ALWAYS SEEMED SO LAID BACK AND MELLOW TO ME...THAT I JUST WOULDN'T IMAGINE HIM GETTING UPSET AT JUST ABOUT ANYTHING...BUT THEN AGAIN...I NEVER WORKED WITH HIM...BUT AS I'M SURE YOU KNOW...BRUCE DID SOME PROJECTS WITH HIM!!!...SOUNDS TO ME LIKE YVONNE HAD SOME RATHER LARGE "CAHONES"!!!...STU
|By John Lester (18.104.22.168) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 04:09 am:|
Is it Fran Heard or Fran Hurd? I have seen the name spelt different ways..
And would it be Evonne Brooks for your lady Yvonne?
I'd love to see this man Lawrence Wells - this is exactly what I would mean by someone being called "cool".
|By john dixon (22.214.171.124) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 05:57 am:|
indeed, Ralph, thank you for that great post. We eat that stuff right up. I'm sure the majority of us here would much rather read something like this rather than threads like "If You Were A Cuticle, Would You Be Ragged Or Manicured?" or "Wall-eyed R&B Singers"...
|By Nish (126.96.36.199) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 09:09 am:|
This is great stuff, Mr. Terrana!! Keep it coming, please!
|By Ralph (188.8.131.52) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 10:53 am:|
I just woke up this morning and see that the Norman Whitfield story is going well. I'll have to see what else I can dig up.
John Lester: Regarding Fran's last name. Now you have me wondering. I have known someone out here in California with the last name..Hurd.. and I'm wondering about Fran now. Heard or Hurd? I THINK it was Hurd.
RE; Yvonne: Yes it could be Evonne Brooks. where do you get your information?
Sis: I thought the movie Norman Whitfield was a misrpresentation of the man. They had him all dressed up like a Detroit pimp, when, in fact, Norman always wore a nice casual shirt, slacks, and usually a leather jacket.Very cool looking.
Stu: Norman wasn't very laid back when I knew him. He was juggleing a lot of work in those days and actually very nearly worked himself to a state of exhaustion. One afternoon we were sitting in my office talking and he told me he felt funny. I told him to lie down on the leather couch that was in the office and got a damp cloth to put on his head. He didn't seem to improve and eventually I called in an ambulance and he was taken to Ford Hospital's emergency room to be examined. It all turned out well, but it was determined he was rather tired and needed a break. I think the next day he was back at it in the studio. Harry Balk used to tell me if he had three Norman Whitfields, no company would be able to compete with Motown.
Marshall: I'm sure you have a funny story or two from your studio experiences.
|By John Lester (184.108.40.206) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 03:05 pm:|
The time for you to get worried is when I tell you who you are going to meet, not who you have already met!!
|By Ralph (220.127.116.11) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 07:08 pm:|
I'm beginning to wonder about you anyway.
Maybe I should pay the strictest attention to anything you might come up with.
You still haven't told me how you came up with Evonne's name?
|By KevGo (18.104.22.168) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 07:54 pm:|
Great story...I guess we all need someone like Evonne to keep things from getting too heavy.
With your anecdotes & Lawrence looking like Spy Vs. Spy, I'm surprised your area wasn't called the Joke & Dagger Department!
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By John Lester (22.214.171.124) on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 02:25 am:|
If you really wanna know.....you can email me
|By HW (126.96.36.199) on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 12:04 pm:|
More library stories and names please - it also helps those who have inherited that legacy (and paperwork).
|By mel/casper (188.8.131.52) on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 12:14 pm:|
Hey its John 'Doris Stokes' Lester then.
Can you feel the vibes John/Doris.
|By SisDetroit (184.108.40.206) on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 01:07 pm:|
Ralph - Berry wrote in his book that" Russ was the one I worked with most. He loved competing with me to see who could get the best mix....he always wanted his own shot to beat out the procucers, and many times he did.
Is there any recording in particular that can be mentioned on a mix that Russ did?
Harry - I guess you did inherited the paper work. (LOL) Perhaps Ralph can give you some hint to assist you a teenie-weenie bit, but, we don't have any problems with your finding the songs, making those outstanding compiliations.
|By Ralph (220.127.116.11) on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 04:14 pm:|
I suppose Russ would be the one to answer your question regarding any specific recordings. I do know that he and Berry were very competitive together. When Russ was really zeroing in on a mix he used to say he was going for the throat. Berry always liked that about Russ and would say things like " Yeah..go for the throat now ". They really did have a remarkeable working relationship.
Harry: I'm not sure what else I can offer you that might help you. I'll have to think about it. What sort of paperwork do you have?
|By HW (18.104.22.168) on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 11:45 pm:|
The title cards, the session logs, the tape boxes, the DM lists - Fran and her staff's work. Just keep telling stories, you never know what thread is valuable but I like pulling on them.
|By John Lester (22.214.171.124) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 01:28 am:|
and Mr W..most importantly
..the recordings themselves!
|By SisDetroit (126.96.36.199) on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 08:37 pm:|
Ralph - My beloved David Ruffin is no longer with us. David was a very humerous individual. I know there is something he did to make you laugh. Could you tell us something about David Ruffin that may stand out in your mind?
|By Sue (188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 11:15 pm:|
Good idea, Sis ...
|By Ralph (184.108.40.206) on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 09:37 am:|
I don't have any first hand stories to tell. My good Friend Joe Peraino who was supposed to come to the forum but as of yet hasn't, did some touring with David. I remember him telling me all sorts of odd and funny things that took place during this tour. Problem is Sis, I can't remember a thing. when I next speak with Joe I'll ask him to tell me some of the stories.
|By SisDetroit (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 01:31 pm:|
Thanks Ralph. Perhaps someone else will come on and tell a humorous event about Mr. DR. I know their out there somewhere. I need something to make me laugh right now. :o)
|By Ralph (18.104.22.168) on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 01:45 pm:|
Wish I could be the one Sis. C'mon...somebody make Sis laugh.