Before Berry & Motown - What Songs Were Playing On Your Hi-Fi?

SoulfulDetroit.com FORUM: Archive - Beginning April 17, 2003: Before Berry & Motown - What Songs Were Playing On Your Hi-Fi?
Top of pageBottom of page   By JoeR (170.148.92.53) on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 02:50 pm:

I'd like to address this to the seasoned posters, particularly from DETROIT. I recall Otis Williams make mention of The Teenagers and Cadillacs being heard in his house.

What songs or artists played in your home while growing up in Detroit, (or anywhere else) before Berry Gordy started Motown?

In New York City, my momma loved Johnny Ray and the Platters. My dad was listening to Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez.

JoeR - http://mypages.netopia.com/channels

Top of pageBottom of page   By TonyRussi (68.18.230.25) on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 03:36 pm:

My Dad was originally a country singer so before I got into radio/records at age 10 I heard Hank Williams, Patsy Cline ect.then 1961 MOTOWN.

Top of pageBottom of page   By UncleWoody (67.38.2.168) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 12:07 pm:

We soulful white guys in Detroit found and were listening to WJLB, Frantic Ernie Durham, Senator? Bristol Bryant?, Joltin' Joe Howard, and other DJ's.
The music was from Jimmy Reed (Peepin'), John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, and more. A song that haunted me all my life since was "Gonzo" by James Booker. And then came Smokey's "My Momma Told Me" which launched me into Motown. Not as a replacement but in addition. I still love the blues.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph (209.240.198.62) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 12:17 pm:

I was into Little Richard, Fats Dominoe, Jerry Lee Lewis, Earl Bostick and my favorite all time ballad by Ed Towmsend..For Your Love...

Top of pageBottom of page   By Lynn Bruce (65.60.202.214) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 12:36 pm:

All that Ralph &Uncle woody said,plus doo-wop groups. As a future drummer I REALLY loved to play BO Diddlys songs. Hey Bo Diddly was the best song in the whole world for me when I was not in the mood to practice. When I was about 12 or 13, I used to play that beat for hours(much to the dismay of my parents neighbors)

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph (209.240.198.62) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 12:44 pm:

Right Lynn...All the Do Wop groups. Also forgot to mention the Platters and Chuck Berry.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Lynn Bruce (65.60.202.214) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 12:57 pm:

How could we forget Chuck Berry!! When I was about 15or16 I saw the Allen Freed show at the Windsor arena.When Chuck was playing,I was in my glory.When he finished we were outside and were thrilled when he said goodbye as he hopped into his pink Cadillac with long chrome air horns on the hood.
Flash forward a few years and here I am with Babbitt backing him up. Who says dreams don't come true!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph (209.240.198.62) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 01:10 pm:

I love the documentary with Keith Richard putting together a back-up band for Chuck. the interview with Bruce Springsteen where he is imagining a conversation with his grandchildren about the high point of his career...backing up Chuck Berry. you're a lucky guy Lynn.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Lynn Bruce (65.60.202.214) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 06:10 pm:

No one ever asked me and I never thought much about it,but backing up Chuck Berry, the guy whose riffs were copied by just about every rock guitar player in the world was one of the high points of my career also.(At least it looked good on the resume) lol

Top of pageBottom of page   By dvdmike (12.84.119.246) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 06:31 pm:

Pre-Motown was a bit before my time, but my parents were listening to doo-wop, jazz & blues.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie (62.254.0.9) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 06:35 pm:

Pre-Motown we didn't own anything to play records on anyway, so it was whatever was on the radio - in England, in the late fifties. But, family folklore recalls me sitting on the steps of the caravan we lived in, singing "Jailhouse Rock" at the age of five!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph (209.240.198.62) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 06:59 pm:

Lynn,
You did something most of us young musicians would have gven anything in the world to do.
I wish I could say the same.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 08:01 pm:

Boy, I was born the same week the Four Tops' "Reach Out! I'll Be There" was a top selling single (okay, I just gave away my age! :) ).
As for what my family listened to prior to Motown, according to Mom it was the following:

Mahalia Jackson
Rev. James Cleveland ("Peace Be Still" on Savoy Records)
Soul Stirrers w/Sam Cooke
Sam Cooke (solo)
Jackie Wilson
Platters
Lena Horne
Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers (Dad's favorite)
Amos Milburn ("Down The Road Apiece")
Anything by Duke Ellington
Marian Anderson

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By R&B (138.238.41.118) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 12:41 pm:

EVERYBODY THAT KEVGO MENTIONED,PLUS..THE DRIFTERS,THE COASTERS,MARVIN AND JOHNNY,THE CHANTELS,LITTLE RICHARD,THE EVERLY BROS.ROY HAMILTON,NAT KING COLE,BROOK BENTON,DINAH WASHINGTON,SARAH VAUGHAN,FRANK SINATRA,JOHNNY MATHIS,LITTLE WILLIE JOHN,MICKY AND SYLVIA,THE DUKAYS,JAMES BROWN,THE ISLEY BROS.,BOBBY VEE!WHEW IS THAT ENOUGH?

Top of pageBottom of page   By JoeR (170.148.10.41) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 12:59 pm:

TONYRUSSI -

Motown seems a bit extreme (pardon my lack of a better term) from Country music. Were you still at home with your parents? and if so, how did they react?

As far as my household, the Motown sound for mom was not quite a major change from the Platters. I'd call it an upgrade on mom's part.

Altough dad was raised on latin music, I believe Motown is what turned him into soul music even after living through the Teenagers, Cadillacs and Channels. He knew the (R&B) music was there but seems like Motown caught his ear.

JoeR - http://mypages.netopia.com/channels

Top of pageBottom of page   By JoeR (170.148.10.41) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 01:02 pm:

KevGo

I think I'm a year or two older than you LOL

Anyhow, I'm quite sure you know The Teenagers still perform with original members Jimmy Merchant and Herman Santiago along with younger brother Lewis Lymon, Bobby Jay (WCBS-FM radio DJ) and Timothy Wilson on lead.

JoeR - http://mypages.netopia.com/channels

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 01:54 pm:

JoeR:
I met the "updated" Teenagers at a Felix Hernandez Rhythm Revue Dance Party in 1998 at the Roseland Ballroom. They were all dressed to the nines - especially Timothy who wore a BAAAAD red suit! Very kind men, indeed. They didn't sing at the event (drat!) but they were there to celebrate the dance's (& radio program's) anniversary.
Timothy's "Baby Baby Please" is one of my favorite rare soul grooves.
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sly fan (67.115.73.249) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 02:01 pm:

My mom recalls listening to Jackie Wilson ("Reet Peet" is a personal favorite), Big Joe Turner, Louis Jordan, Gene Chandler, Don Julian and The Meadowlarks (who she also went to Junior High and High School with), The Penguins, Johnny Ace...

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 02:31 pm:

Sly Fan:
I'm a Don Julian/Meadowlarks fan, too. They were one of the few groups to make the transition from Doo Wop to R&B/soul.

BTW - The Jackie Wilson tune is "Reet Petite (The Finest Girl You'd Ever Want To Meet)" :)

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Lynn Bruce (65.60.202.214) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 07:48 pm:

DAMN, After reading this threads songs that people listened to before Motown. I wish I had everyones songs on my own cd for cruisin down the highway.
WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT TASTES,BUT WE ALL HAVE GOOD TASTE!
SLAITE VA TO THE IRISH!! GOD BLESS THEM

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sly fan (67.115.75.58) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 07:56 pm:

Thanx Kev!! that was a typo..."Reet Petite (I can hear that big band sound).


Yes, I am proud owner of the original vinyl on Dooto Records!! My mom recalls Don being a really down to earth guy. "Heaven in Paradise" is a really beatiful record!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By M.McLeanTech (66.218.41.10) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 10:54 pm:

"THE THING" (1949) ...and I discovered a Bomp, Ba, Bomp, right before my eyes!

"Commonna my House" Teresa Brewer

"How Much Is That Doggy In The Window" Patti Page

"Tennesee Waltz" Patti Page

"Cry" and "The Little White Cloud That Cried" Johnny Ray

"Well OK, You Win, I'm In Love With You" Peggy Lee

"A Guy Is A Guy" Doris Day

"It's All In The Game" Tommy Edwards

"Thank You Pritty Baby" Brook Benton

"Let's Get Together, Yea, Yea, Yea! (From "The Parent Trap") Hailey Mills

"Ka Sera, Sera, Whatever Will Be Will Be!" Doris Day

"White Christmas" Bing Crosby

"That's Amore" Dean Martin

"I Love You More And More Everyday" Al Martino

"Begin The Beguine" The Andrews Sisters

"Mona Lisa" Nat King Cole

"Glow Worm" The Mills Brothers

"What A Wonderful World" Louis Armstrong

"San Francisco" Tony Bennett

"There's a Rickety Rickety Shack" Fletcher Henderson

"Hello Montreal! Fred Waring

"Building A Nest For Mary" Al Friedman

"Dance Little Lady" B. A. Rolf & his Orchestra

"Tiger Rag" Duke Ellington

"The Mooch" Duke Ellington

"Only The Lonely" Frank Sinatra

"Love Letters" Ketty Lester

"Mind Over Matter" Nolan Strong

Mike McLean

Top of pageBottom of page   By M.McLeanTech (66.218.41.10) on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 12:33 am:

The above, and $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee, as Harry Balk would say.

Top of pageBottom of page   By dave (207.241.133.153) on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 01:26 pm:

All the above...and don't forget the great stuff Louis Prima & Keely Smith were putting out!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Michael cleoharvey (160.79.83.208) on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 11:56 am:

My brother had a singing group that was signed to Columbia records for a while in the late fifties and early sixties. As a result as a small child, I listened to a great deal of male doo-wop and songs like Duke of Earl, Jackie Wilson, Ray Charles etc. It is the reason why I love great background harmonies to this day. There were a lot of different tastes in our house so I listened to everything from Nancy Wilson to Della Reese, to Nat King Cole, to Giselle McKenizie and Lena Horne. Come to think of it, the music world seemed less compartmentalized then.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo (64.115.26.80) on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 02:07 pm:

Michael:
What was the name of your brother's group & their songs? Maybe I can find out if their work has been reissued.
Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Michael/Cleoharvey (160.79.83.208) on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 02:25 pm:

KevGo:

I want to thank you for your emal to me, meant a lot. You, Susan Whitall, and Common were the reason I returned to the forum.

Unfortunately, nothing was ever released on my brother's group. They were signed to a development/management deal by a manager who wanted to polish them and give a sound. Their original name was Reggie and the Darktones but the name went through several incarnations during their tenure. After a couple of years, the group started infighting and got frustrated that they were not as far as they thought they should be. They figured if the manager wanted them and they were at Columbia then they could go anywhere. They started to give a great deal of problems and were dropped before any "finished" product was ever recorded. They found out the the real world was a hard place and broke up soon after.

My brother is now a lawyer in California and I take every opportunity to remind him that he had a chance to have the recording career that I always wanted. LOL!!!
Michael

Top of pageBottom of page   By medusa9e (66.73.3.199) on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 08:05 am:

I came 2 Detroit N 1961 from the south.
The only music I knew then was what my mother used 2 sing by Dinah Washington and old gospel songs. I was later raised n and Orphanage , and we weren't allowed to have music, so when I came 2 Detroit, I didn't have any real interest in music. My Dad (whom I was living with at the time) used 2 play a lot of beatle records, but my aunt Florence introduced me to the sounds of Aretha Franklin and my uncle James introduced me 2 MOTOWN, and I'm so glad about it!!!!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Soulpuss (24.102.217.36) on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 08:33 am:

SHIRLEY & LEE
FATS DOMINO
LLOYD PRICE
DINAH WASHINGTON
BROOK BENTON
BOBBETTES
PLATTERS
DRIFTERS
JACKIE WILSON
CLYDE McPHATTER
LOUIS JORDAN
RAY CHARLES
SARAH VAUGHAN
TAB SMITH
BIG JAY McNEELY
PAUL ANKA
JIM LOWE
PATTI PAGE
BRENDA LEE
MARTY ROBBINS
GUY MITCHELL
BILL DOGGETT
BILL BLACKS COMBO
ROSCOE GORDON
JOHNNY ACE
JESSE BELVIN
COOKIES
CHUCK WILLIS
IVORY JOE HUNTER
TITUS TURNER
JOE TURNER
B.B. KING
LITTLE WILLIE JOHN
GENE & EUNICE
BILLY ECKSTINE
CLOVERS
ORIOLES
CARDINALS
JIMMY BECK
AMOS MILBURN
ERNIE FREEMAN
LOUIS PRIMA
LITTLE RICHARD
BILL HALEY & COMETS
LARRY WILLIAMS
PAUL GAYTEN
DAKOTA STATON
DAVE BRUBECK TRIO
LEE MORGAN
LITTLE ANTHONY & IMPERIALS
WYNONIE HARRIS
JAMES BROWN
CLARENCE HENRY
PEEWEE HUNT
EVERLY BROS.
JOHNNY MATHIS
BIG MAYBELLE


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