Motown and Pat Boone
Fred Bronson asked that I post this link. It's a retrospective from 1975. Sorry but the pictures and link didn't copy. I have no idea how to do that.
1975: Motown Records Goes Country, Jazz, Pat Boone
When one thinks of Motown, one doesn't think of Nashville, but the company founded in the Motor City is mining gold with its country label, Melodyland. Herb Belkin, Motown's L.A.-based vice president of creative operations, joined the company six months earlier from Atlantic. His mission at Motown: expand the label's image in other genres, including rock and jazz. When Belkin came on board, 95 per cent of the music released on Motown could be considered traditional R&B. There were 52 acts on the roster when Belkin signed on; today, there are 46, with seven of them in the country field, 14 on the CTI jazz imprint and a third of the remainder identified as rock artists.
Belkin told Billboard's Eliot Tiegel that Motown was not abandoning soul music, with label superstars Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder getting the personal attention of label founder Berry Gordy, Jr.
Motown's first hot country act, discovered by John Fisher and John Widdicombe, is T.G. Sheppard, whose debut release "Devil in the Bottle" looks like a sure shot for No. 1 on next week's country singles chart. (The song did achieve pole position the following week, and the follow-up, "Tryin' to Beat the Morning Home," spent a week at No. 1 in June).
Motown is also signing country artists through Mike Curb, who brought well-known names like Pat Boone, Ronnie Dove and Jerry Naylor to Melodyland. Naylor's "Is This All There Is to a Honky Tonk" is already charting in Billboard. (Fifties pop icon Boone made his country singles chart debut the week of April 5 with "Stranger Things Have Happened," which peaked at No. 64. He had three more Motown country hits before a final country chart entry on Warner/Curb in 1980. Best known for his 1964 pop hit "Right or Wrong," Dove had two country chart entries on Decca in 1972-73 before signing with Melodyland. "Please Come to Nashville" entered the singles chart the week of April 12 and peaked at No. 75. The follow-up, his final Motown chart entry, was "Things," which reached No. 25).
[Billboard, Feb. 8, 1975, page 3]
The link, pictures and video worked fine when I clicked on them.
Mike....That's cos you're clever and I'm not!
Hey, I've just noted smiley's for the first time!
I did'nt know that last friday was the aniversery of richie's, buddy and the big bopper's death's. I just watched la bamba a few days ago.
And the Pat Boone motown connection has always interested me.
Yeah i've always wanted to hear a funky version of[april love]with the adantes on backing vocals,hehehehe!