The route to Detroit for most African Americans was via the
Deep South. For Betty Haskins it was straight East from the
Michigan port of Muskegon, which lies 200 miles from Detroit.
Taking her artist surname from a close friend, her first
audition was for Johnnie Mae Matthews who had recently gained
a foothold on the Detroit music scene with her Northern label.
Recording a Lupine Published song in May 1962, Betty got a
real break when when it was leased to Atlantic Records in New
That song was "My man - he's a lovin' man" and it
was written by Johnnie Mae and her chief songwriter
James Bennett. It was recorded in Bristoe Bryant's studio on
East Alexandrine in August 1962 and gave Betty a blistering
start going R&B #7, Pop #101.
The follow up was the equally brilliant "You'll never
change" which was co-written by Robert West and Willie
Schofield. For some reason, the song flopped, leaving Betty
with no future at Atlantic.
Betty's contract now fell to her manager, Robert West,
who recorded "Witchcraft in the air"/"You
killed the love". The song was co-written by Jack
Thomas who provided a significant slice of the song base at
Sadly that record flopped too and Betty opted to find
more work in Manhattan, this time turning up at Calla records
That partnership provided Soul Music fans with one of the
classic songs of the era in "Let me down easy"
which reached #20 in the R&B charts in April 1965.
Notes thanks to