|By Lowell (220.127.116.11) on Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 10:51 pm:|
Hi Gang, It has been a while but we are pleased to present Part I of the Johnnie Mae Matthews Story, generously and finely written by Graham Finch, and produced by David and me.
I am just a novice sitting back in awe as the story of this fabulous era of Detroit unfolds over the successive webisodes of Soulful Detroit. However, I must say I am very moved by the story of this incredible and strong woman who moved the hearts of so many by her music, productions, and incredible creative energy. It give me goosebumps and and elevates her to my Pantheon of Detroit heroes. I hope you enjoy this webisode as much as I have in creating the visuals for it.
I have also been touched by a recent outpouring of donations to the SoulfulDetroit Project. I have thanked you all in private, but I thank you again for your support which drives us to try to take this wonderfully unfolding community and history still higher and higher. Thank you and enjoy the Story of Johnnie Mae!
|By LTLFTC (18.104.22.168) on Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 11:04 pm:|
Graham, David and Lowell;
Thanks for another wonderful webisode. It's heartwarming to see one of the true pioneers finally get her props; where else would this happen ? Not only was her passing ignored by the local media, but she's under the radar of 'collector' type magazines. Graham's notes radiate love and respect and are , as always, so informative. Lowell's graphics , as always, complement the text perfectly ( the Timmy Shaw page is especially cool to look at ).
Thanks again, and I look forward to part 2.
|By JoB (22.214.171.124) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 03:38 am:|
Well, personally, it's nice to be able to read her REAL story, especially after the way she was depicted in the "Temptations" movie---as a greedy, self-serving tyrant-diva whose life was totally ruined after she no longer worked with the Temptations...
Thanks Lowell, I haven't read it yet but I know it'll be interesting and informative as usual...
|By MEL&THEN SOME (126.96.36.199) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 07:50 am:|
Loved the Johnnie Mae piece fella's,
some outstanding pics as well as info
by the way,
would love a pair of "think and thins"
|By Ritchie (188.8.131.52) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 08:06 am:|
Yet another triumph for Soulful Detroit. A superb effort all round.
Reading through the latest webisode, it struck me how fortunate we SD-ers are. This kind of in-depth coverage is usually restricted to specialist magazines with a high cover price and a limited readership. How lucky we are to have a bunch of guys who are happy to present the story for everyone to enjoy, at no cost to the reader. Soulful Detroit is a national (and international) treasure. Thank you.
|By acooolcat (184.108.40.206) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 08:42 am:|
Many thanks to David and Lowell for helping me to put this article together. As folks here have already said - the graphics are second to none.
|By SisDetroit (220.127.116.11) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 11:04 am:|
Lowell - A great job! You brought out the photo (which was on the obituary) of Johnnie Mae into real life form.
RITCHIE - Did I mail you a copy of the Michigan Chronicle on the story of Johnnie Mae, which was issued the Wednesday after her death or funeral?
|By Ralph (18.104.22.168) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 11:57 am:|
Graham, David and Lowell,
This time you guys went and DID it! I was totally captivated. The early pictures of Mike Terry, Hank Cosby. Jamerson et al are nothing short of astounding. I had mentioned at some earlier time that I had briefly gotten to know Johnnie Mae when she did some recording at Tera Shirma in the very early days of the studio's existence. However, at that time I never really knew what she was about. It would take Soulful Detroit.com to enlighten me on the accomplishments of this incredibly talented woman. Thank you so much for this wonderful opening segment of the Johnnie Mae Mathews story. Very well done as usual.
|By STUBASS (22.214.171.124) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 12:22 pm:|
JOHNNIE MAE MATTHEWS CAME AROUND A FEW TIMES DURING THE MID 60'S TO WATCH MY GROUP (THE STRIDES) PERFORM!!!...I DIDN'T REALLY KNOW WHO SHE WAS...NOR DID I KNOW JUST WHAT SHE WAS TRYING TO DO CONCERNING US!!!...PERHAPS...LOOKING FOR THE *NEXT* TEMPTATIONS OR SOMETHING...BUT APPARENTLY...THE PEOPLE MANAGING US WEREN'T INTERESTED IN HER PARTICIPATION...OR...SHE WASN'T INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING HERSELF...I HAVE NO REAL CLUE!!!...
|By SisDetroit (126.96.36.199) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 12:39 pm:|
It was great seeing the photo of her singing with the Funk Brothers backing her. That was a great find Graham!
|By SisDetroit (188.8.131.52) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 12:58 pm:|
Was that Johnnie Mae or was that Carlis singing at Phelp's Lounge?
Did Richard Street & The Distance also record "Come On" for a different label?
|By KevGo (184.108.40.206) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 04:56 pm:|
David, Graham & Lowell:
I'm here at the office taking care of some biz before I leave for Chicago/Detroit/St. Louis in about a week.
Great job with the Johnnie Mae Matthews story! Well researched and the photos of her are classic.
Kudos to all involved!
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By acooolcat (220.127.116.11) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 08:03 pm:|
Sis - that's Johnnie Mae singing. I don't think that particular photo was taken at Phelps - I'm not sure what club it is. Any ideas?
You mention a Chronicle article published after her death. Thats news to me. Do you still have it?
|By Eli (18.104.22.168) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 08:33 pm:|
Excellent webisode guys and totally captivating indeed!!!
|By SisDetroit (22.214.171.124) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 09:01 pm:|
I'm trying to remember how high the stage was at phelps. That stage looks low. But, they change over the years.
In the early 60's I wasn't old enough to get into night clubs. So I missed a lot of that great talent. (Just think how long I waited to see Sam Cooke perform in a club, but by the time I was old enough, Sam Cooke was gone.) So without specifying how old I am, I can tell you that I missed it in the early 60's.
I believe I sent Ritchie a copy of the Chronicle. I will look for my copy, and let you know. (It would be easier to call Steve.) I'll send an email to him, he may just respond.
|By Rich (126.96.36.199) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 09:58 pm:|
Thanks David, Lowell & Graham, excellent exposure for Johnnie Mae along with tremendous graphics.
Much appreciated !!
|By nikki (188.8.131.52) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 12:27 am:|
Wonderful webisode - great photos and information! Glad to see JMM get her due recognition. I love her voice and her style. Thanx for sharing her story.
|By acooolcat (184.108.40.206) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 12:52 am:|
"Come On" was first released on Johnnie Mae's Northern label, and then Warwick. There was a second Warwick 45, which is shown - all three 45s have the same flip side.
|By SisDetroit (220.127.116.11) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 01:02 am:|
Thank you Graham.
|By Lowell (18.104.22.168) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 04:25 pm:|
Ha ha! SisDetroit writes "So without specifying how old I am, I can tell you that I missed it in the early 60's."
It reminds me of the saying that "If you remember the 60's, you weren't there".
|By sdl (22.214.171.124) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 04:42 pm:|
Great read. Thank You.
I have a question about the spelling of Richard Street's name on the "Come On" 45rpm -- Is it an error or is that his real last name? Anyone Know.
|By SisDetroit (126.96.36.199) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 06:15 pm:|
Lowell - LOL, I am giving hints, round and about at how old I am. You know how some say they wish they had been old enough to enjoy the 60's, wish they had been there? Well I was in between the 60's. (You leave your dads house to the husbands house still not free to go as you please. I rectified that in a hurry.) So, by the time I was foot-loose fancy and free, I was old enough to go to clubs, and did I ever. :o)
|By SisDetroit (188.8.131.52) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 07:06 pm:|
My heart is aching for Timmy Shaw's "Throw It Out Of Your Mind." I need to hear it.
|By Ron Murphy (184.108.40.206) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 07:28 pm:|
Richard Strick is a type-o for sure. even Johnnie's first name was spelled Joanie on her own Northern 45 titled Give Me True Love
|By SisDetroit (220.127.116.11) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 07:50 pm:|
Graham - I'm still looking for the Chronicle. I've got so much junk. What's going to happen to my "Junk" when I'm gone? :o)
|By acooolcat (18.104.22.168) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 08:35 pm:|
There are a few typos on Johnnie Mae's labels. I'm not sure if "Johnny" was a typo or if she just wanted her name to look different. (See the "I Have No Choice" scan on the first page)
|By Carl Dixon London (22.214.171.124) on Sunday, July 20, 2003 - 03:08 pm:|
Nice webisode - captivating, as usual.
|By acooolcat (126.96.36.199) on Sunday, July 20, 2003 - 08:38 pm:|
I've just found out - thanks to Eric Leblanc - that Johnnie Mae was born in 1922, and not 1934. Johnnie Mae's daughter has confirmed this, saying that her mother reduced her age when she moved to Detroit, around 1947.
|By Meagre Student IanW (188.8.131.52) on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 07:37 am:|
A++ Graham. You've passed your PHD in Soulology!
|By Lynn Bruce (184.108.40.206) on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 01:56 pm:|
Graham, your right,because when I did some session work with her in the late 50s,she sure didn't look like she was in her twenties.I was in my teens but she looked like she was in her forties.
|By Stephanie (220.127.116.11) on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 01:58 pm:|
Good Web Episode its good to read things like this
|By acooolcat (18.104.22.168) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 01:14 am:|
Thanks Ian and Stephanie - we're all learning here. I know I am.
Lynn - I first met Johhnie Mae in the late 1990s and I wouldn't have guessed her age.
When I last saw her, with David, she did look older and tired, but I didn't know she was suffering from cancer at the time.
Cheers, Graham - currently in Saigon