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View Full Version : New Book: "The Grandfather of Motown Records, Dr. (Thomas) "Beans" Bowles.


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marv2
08-13-2010, 01:44 AM
http://www.michronicleonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=824:book-celebrates-life-and-career-of-a-motown-unsung-hero&catid=30:top-headlines&Itemid=86

When the word “Motown” is said or written, what first comes to mind are the superstars — the Supremes, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Four Tops and many more.



But there were so many others who contributed heavily to making the company what it was — musicians, songwriters, producers, arrangers, session singers, engineers, conductors, etc.


One of them is bandleader-musician-writer Dr. Beans Bowles (Thomas Bowles Sr.) who is receiving long overdue recognition by way of a new book titled “Dr. Beans Bowles, ‘Fingertips,’ The Untold Story,” painstakingly written by one of his sons, Dennis Bowles. (He and his brother, Thomas Bowles Jr., are also musicians and used to perform as the Other Brothers).


“Fingertips” is in the book’s title because Bowles was the chief composer of the song, although acknowledgement of that was a long time in coming.


Mary Wilson of the Supremes has referred to Beans Bowles as “the grandfather of Motown Records.” In his autobiography, “To Be Loved,” Berry Gordy Jr. described Bowles as “our saxophonist/flute player extraordinaire.” He also recalled Bowles “serving double duty on the road, musician and tour manager.”

Indeed, Bowles and other seasoned veterans like Maurice King, Cholly Atkins, Harvey Fuqua and Earl Van Dyke were godsends to Motown. Through them, the Motown artists, young and inexperienced, learned how become good at their craft.


It was, in fact, Bowles who told Gordy that his artists lacked polish and needed professional instruction. He laughingly recalled one of the Marvelettes, a group fresh out of Inkster High School, walking out on stage looking around and chewing gum.


Gordy saw his point and the grooming began.


It was also Bowles’ idea to put together the famed Motortown Revue that toured the nation by bus.


“The Untold Story” goes into great detail, providing just about everything a person could want to know about Bowles, augmented by many classic photos.


Bowles, perhaps best known for the years he spent as musical director for Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, is lavishly praised in the book by a number of notables.


Gladys Knight: “Beans was definitely the go-to person. Everybody always said, ‘Well maybe we had better call Beans.’”


Martha Reeves: “He was a master of all trades. Whatever was called for, Beans did. He was a fine musician, a wonderful gentleman.”


Stevie Wonder: “He was a friend, a teacher and also like a father. In 1963 he wrote ‘Fingertips’ and it was in that year that I was able to do the things with him that helped to change my life.”


Smokey Robinson: “We went down many roads together. His contribution to Motown is irreplaceable.”


Otis Williams: “Beans was a catalyst for our career. He was our first manager, as well as a teacher of how to be a professional and in other areas concerning life.”


Dennis Bowles said, “My father was taught love, sharing, giving and respect for all people. He was taught right from wrong. Most of all, Dad was taught God’s word,” and also noted that he felt of responsibility to pay tribute to Thomas “Beans” Bowles and the entire Bowles family. It was a labor of love.


For more information, call (313) 205-8321. — SVH



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marv2
08-13-2010, 02:02 AM
Here is the cover of the new book.

tmd
08-14-2010, 08:24 AM
Sounds good

theboyfromxtown
08-14-2010, 10:43 AM
I sent an email to that link to buy a copy but got no luck. Anyone know how I can buy a copy?

satipe
08-15-2010, 05:56 PM
I am so happy about this book!

The Boy (sorry, I do not know your name), I spoke to his son Dennis a few nights ago and he told me that there is great interest in the book. You can call him at the number Marv listed above which is 313-205-8321 and he will help you get a copy.

theboyfromxtown
08-16-2010, 02:18 PM
Thank you Satipe

I shall have to call from the UK so I better find out who else wants a copy.

My name is John Lester

splanky
08-16-2010, 04:10 PM
I'm not calling any phone number to order any book I know nothing about except what is posted on this thread.
Who are the publisher's of this book and why can't I find any information about it on the web. It's not a BankHouse book.
It's not listed on Amazon or ebay as far as I've found. It's not in Borders or Barnes and Noble. How did it come about?...

mellow_q
08-16-2010, 04:36 PM
Splanky, as much as I'd like to see what this book is about, I kinda agree with you. There is at least a 3-month period betwen the time the book is delivered from the printer and the actual publishing date. Assuming this guy(s) published it himself, he should at least set himself up on Ebay and/or Amazon for a potential quick influx of cash to pay for the printing bill and other hidden costs (i.e. an insurmountable amount of postage just to send out review copies).

Marc Taylor

theboyfromxtown
08-16-2010, 04:58 PM
I wish I was sensible like you guys. I am very naive.

Thanks for the warning.

satipe
08-16-2010, 06:53 PM
Splanky and Marc, I share your concerns but I believe this is a book that Beans' sons Dennis and Harold either wrote or provided the information to a writer. If it is the same book as what I think it is, it was written a few years ago but there was no interest from any publisher as Beans was never really a household name. Dennis also has a video of a "Roast/Toast to Beans Bowles" (maybe 1998) that was an event to try and raise a little much needed money for him - it had video messages from Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Otis Williams, etc. and personal appearances from Duke Fakir, The Contours, Dennis Edwards, Bobby Rogers and others.

Marc, I am pretty sure Dennis is doing it by himself so maybe you could contact him to let him know some of your concerns-I think he might appreciate your help.

I have a very soft spot for Beans and his history as he was like a Grandpa to me and always tried to help my students. When he was very ill, he came to Toronto to visit one school to meet Shane and Christopher (two students with severe behaviour issues) who had telephoned him and written him as well. It was such a wonderful meeting that was actually mentioned at the roast/toast and his funeral as well. I used to go see him as much as I could and called every Sunday and most of the time Dennis was either there or answered the phone when I called.

I cannot vouch for the quality or writing style of the book but I do trust Dennis and if you have concerns or questions, you should call him, 313-205-8321. If you do not like what you hear, then do not buy the book but please ask questions to be sure for yourself.

Beans was a very great man and I miss him.

satipe
08-16-2010, 06:57 PM
Hello John,

I am sorry as I do not have an e-mail for Dennis (Beans' son) which would be far cheaper a connection so I am afraid you will have to call and decide if you want the book.

All the best....

robbert
08-16-2010, 07:55 PM
C'mon John, invest a little bitta money... you'll not regret it :D

mellow_q
08-16-2010, 09:39 PM
Satipe,

Your word is good enough for me. I'll give him a holla and let you (and everyone else here) know how I make out.

Marc T.

marv2
08-16-2010, 10:12 PM
I had the pleasure to meet and see Dr. Bowles perform with some of Detroits' best jazz musicians at Chene Park in June1994. I will never forget it. It was just awesome.....

midnightman
11-03-2010, 04:50 AM
Ooh this is a great topic for further discussion. I always wanted to know more about "Beans". Looks like he was also a great organizer of a lot of things that made Motown what it became.

motown_david
11-03-2010, 06:00 AM
I was given a copy of this book as a gift and I would recommend that anyone interested in the early history of Motown buys the book. The first half of the book is the more interesting and some of the behind the scenes stories that are told are most revealing. I like the story of Marv Johnson's fall from favour when he hit one of the Holland brothers in the mouth! There are also many family photos to view.
2 email addresses are given at the end of the book if anyone wants to contact Dennis Bowles:
Dbowles213@aol,com
and
Shonuff12003@yahoo.com

motown_marc
11-03-2010, 07:24 AM
Years ago a concert to honour Dr Beans Bowles was taped on VHS. I then called one of his sons and they mailed me a copy of the VHS. My experience is that it's all very reliable and the book must absolutely be worth while ordering.

marv2
11-03-2010, 08:35 AM
Years ago a concert to honour Dr Beans Bowles was taped on VHS. I then called one of his sons and they mailed me a copy of the VHS. My experience is that it's all very reliable and the book must absolutely be worth while ordering.

Marc do you remember who was on that show and what year it was held?

topdiva1
11-03-2010, 08:37 AM
I'm not calling any phone number to order any book I know nothing about except what is posted on this thread.
Who are the publisher's of this book and why can't I find any information about it on the web. It's not a BankHouse book.
It's not listed on Amazon or ebay as far as I've found. It's not in Borders or Barnes and Noble. How did it come about?...


Have you never heard of the world of "SELF PUBLISHING".

topdiva1
11-03-2010, 08:38 AM
I was given a copy of this book as a gift and I would recommend that anyone interested in the early history of Motown buys the book. The first half of the book is the more interesting and some of the behind the scenes stories that are told are most revealing. I like the story of Marv Johnson's fall from favour when he hit one of the Holland brothers in the mouth! There are also many family photos to view.
2 email addresses are given at the end of the book if anyone wants to contact Dennis Bowles:
Dbowles213@aol,com
and
Shonuff12003@yahoo.com


I am certain we will learn many things that have not been said before.

motown_marc
11-03-2010, 02:09 PM
Marv,

1770

This is the VHS-cover. It says that Beans is 71 here. He died at 73 on 28 Jan 2000. Which means that the tape is from 1998.

marv2
11-03-2010, 04:50 PM
Marv,

1770

This is the VHS-cover. It says that Beans is 71 here. He died at 73 on 28 Jan 2000. Which means that the tape is from 1998.

Thank you very much Marc.

topdiva1
11-04-2010, 02:02 PM
This book is very insightful of the early years and the formation of Motown Records. It slows down a bit near the end, and loses some of it's quick speed from the beginning - it is as almost Beans was suddenly cut out of the more interesting and witty things that went on at Motown.

midnightman
11-04-2010, 03:22 PM
^^ As most biographies tend to do.