Yesterday 10:23 PM

RIP Barrett Strong

From BestClassicBands.com-

Barrett Strong, whose recording of “Money [That’s What I Want]” became the first hit single for the new Motown Records complex in 1960, has died, according to multiple sources. The song was at first credited to Strong, then, three years later, authorship was changed to that of label founder Berry Gordy Jr. and Janie Bradford [Berry’s secretary at the time].

“Money” was later covered by the Beatles in 1963, and many other artists in subsequent years. Recorded in late 1959, it actually appeared first on Gordy’s Tamla label and was re-released on his Anna label, named after Anna Gordy [Berry’s sister]. The single’s brisk sales gave the businessman the impetus [and capital] he needed to continue releasing recordings from the company’s headquarters in Detroit.

Strong was 81. Details on cause and place of death have not been announced.

“Money” reached #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 but jumped to #2 on the trade magazine’s R&B chart. Strong never placed another single on the pop chart but he did place two further singles on the R&B chart in his post-Motown career, 1973’s “Stand Up and Cheer for the Preacher,” on Epic Records [#78] and ’75’s “Is It True,” on Capitol [#41].

Although Strong was a one-hit wonder under his own name, he subsequently maintained a substantial career as a lyricist for the Motown empire. Teamed with Norman Whitfield, Strong co-wrote such enduring classics as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” a massive hit for both Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight & the Pips; Edwin Starr’s “War”; the Undisputed Truth’s “Smiling Faces Sometimes”; and a string of classic soul hits cut by the Temptations, including “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” [which won the Grammy for Best R&B Song in 1973], “Cloud Nine,” “I Can’t Get Next to You,” “Ball of Confusion,” “Psychedelic Shack” and “Just My Imagination.” The latter became a #1 hit for the Temptations and was later covered by the Rolling Stones.

Barrett Strong was born Feb. 5, 1941, in West Point, Miss. He left the Motown operation in 1971 when the company shifted its base of operations to Los Angeles. He continued writing and recording into the 1980s, but met with little success. Strong was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.
Yesterday 06:59 AM

Tommy Good Protest!

A re-enactment of a Tommy Good fan protest from 1964; his fans wanted his record released!
Yesterday 08:26 PM

Mickey McCullers Who Is He?

Mickey McCullers was from Detroit [as far as I know] and he was a good friend of Smokey Robinson & his wife Claudette. Mickey was also well known as a singer across the Detroit clubs and Smokey issued a good story piece on him. Motown Junkies then remixed and summarised Smokeys story and published it. Well worth a read with the primary view as to each of the songs and Mickey's singing ability

Mickey McCullers had two 45's issued by Motown one on "Tamla" in 1962 and the second on "VIP" in 1964, Smokey wrote both songs on each of the two 45's, and this would have given Mickey a second chance. Sadly both 45's didn't sell, and that was the end of Mickey's Motown contract.

Having read "Mickey McCullers" Smokey's summary, it focuses on the two records as to how Mickey did in recording his first record in 1962, followed by his second chance in the studio which came later in 1964. Mickey did well in the clubs as a singer, however he struggled in the Motown recording studios on both of the two 45's.

Other than the above and the Motown Junkie's piece we know nothing about him, I have scoured around for any photographs, more details as to whom he was, did he have a family, where was he from, lived and/or anything else about him. I have quite a number of Motown Books including Adam Whites "Motown" monster, but not a mention, same goes for many others.

He had two great records [with the Andantes] albeit hard to find, I cherish them both, but what about him? do we have anything else?

I Have attached below the two 45's.

Today 12:42 AM

Did I hear some of our favorite girls Sunday during the football games?

On Sunday the 29th, during the two championship football games, I heard very brief clips [[like five seconds or less) of songs that I immediately recognized. However, the clips were soooo brief that I could not tell for sure that they were original.

But one was Nowhere to Run and the other was When Will I See You Again. So was that our real Vandellas and Degrees or just some cheap imitation because they did not want to spring for the real thing? Surely someone else heard these clips and can confirm.
Today 03:23 AM

Billboard's Hot 100/ Top 40 Motown Chronicles - 1973 - [Pt. 1]

Billboard's Hot 100/ Top 40 Motown Chronicles - 1973

Because of the amount of content, the year 1973 is being divided into three threads.
This is Part I:
January - April

Billboard’s Hot 100/ Top 40
Chart #01

Jan 6 , 1973

previously on Motown and Billboard's
Hot 100/ Top 40:

Number of singles reviewed this week: 49
last week: 60

producers: Baker-Harris-Young; A new Philadelphia discovery checks in with a "Smiling Faces" type of message song well-packaged in Stylistics mode. The result is catchy and distinctive. Promising group writes and produces own material. Song has pop potential. BUDDAH 339

The Motown machine was well-geared in 1972 particularly when it came to the continued successes of the Jackson Five faction of the company. Other names, including some of the biggest, were fractured or for various reasons less productive. 1973 begins the year with the charts showing a brighter promise for other acts of the label besides the J5. This week, Stevie Wonder charges into the Top 10 to #4 from #16, a 12 point bolt that makes it the biggest moving record within the Top 40. SUPERSTITION already makes it to the #1 spot on the Soul chart this week. Marvin Gaye also gains this round advancing seven points to #27 with TROUBLE MAN, Gaye's first venture into film scoring. The Jackson Five are still in the picture, as are The Temptations, while their current records have peaked, both remain on the Top 40 for a total of four Motown charters. Four other singles on the Hot 100 give the label a solid representation of 8 positions, including this week's strangest Hot 100 debut by Bobby Darin at #92 [ A focus on that release to come] titled 'HAPPY'.......[New Year!]

The Top 10:

The new year begins with a new #1. It took Carly Simon just six weeks on the Hot 100 to reach the pinnacle with her self-written tune YOU'RE SO VAIN. Carly bumps out Billy Paul, ending his 3 week reign at the top with ME AND MRS. JONES, now slipping to #3. Between the two is Gilbert O'Sullivan's CLAIR, his second week there with the hopes of scoring his second #1 in a row. One new record makes the Top 10 amongst a tight race, bolting in at #4 is Stevie Wonder's SUPERSTITION, with Helen Reddy's I AM WOMAN making room by dropping from #7 to #14.

The Top 40:


Four records from Motown are on the Top 40:
SUPERSTITION - Stevie Wonder - surging chart performance, #4 from #16
^ TROUBLE MAN - Marvin Gaye #26 bulleting up from last week's debut of #33
- Temptations - avalanches to #27 from #14
CORNER OF THE SKY - The Jackson Five maintain a presence at #39 from #25

Biggest mover in the Top 40: 12 spots
SUPERSTITION - Stevie Wonder #4 from #16

Five newbies, all US acts, 1 +Top 10 bound+, 0 PI related, 0 Motown
Highest debut:

LOVE JONES - Brighter Side Of Darkness #32 up 12 from #46 [One Hit Wonder]
DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT - King Harvest #34 up 9 from #43 [One Hit Wonder]
+ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH+ - John Denver #35 up 6 from #41 [2nd Top 40 hit]
JAMBALAYA [ON THE BAYOU] - Blue Ridge Rangers #37 up 11 from #49 [First time artist]
REELIN' AND A ROCKIN' -Chuck Berry #40 up 15 from #55 [ 14th and final Top 40 hit]

The Hot 100:

new arrivals, 3 Top 40 bound, 3 first time to chart on the Hot 100, 1 Philly International related, 1 Motown, 1 by proxy.

Highest debut:
third tier:

#83 - DANNY'S SONG - Anne Murray
#92 - HAPPY - Bobby Darin
#93 -DON'T LEAVE ME STARVIN' FOR YOUR LOVE - Holland Dozier former Motown producer/songwriters
#97 - SHES GOT TO BE A SAINT - Ray Price
#98 - SOUL SONG - Joe Stampley
#99 - ON AND OFF - Anacostia
#100 - SLOW MOTION PT 1 - Johnny Williams

one debut:
1st week: HAPPY - Bobby Darin #92 DEBUT

3rd week: ^I CAN'T STAND TO SEE YOU CRY - Smokey Robinson & Miracles #53 up 9 from #62
4th week:^DADDY'S HOME - Jermaine Jackson #41 up 13 from #54
5th week: ^SILLY WASN'T I - Valerie Simpson #81 up 3 from #84
off: none

A very good week for:
The Jones'

ME AND MRS. JONES is still in the Top 10 after being the last #1 of '72 , and the biggest debut on the Top 40 is LOVE JONES at #37. The Brighter Side Of Darkness are 3 high school chums from Chicago with an added 12 year-old, Darryl Lamont, to supply the Michael Jackson-like ending to this schoolyard tale:

The group has caused problems during a trip to LA for a SOUL TRAIN appearance and they won't regain their footing, recording only one album with their displeased 20th Century label.

Billy Paul's [born Paul Williams] overnight success was twenty years in the making, Paul's first records were released in 1952 on Jubilee. Paul, a Philadelphia native, is right at home in the hands of Gamble and Huff and their various labels since 1968. Paul tailored MRS JONES into a jazzy sound that suited him.

'Jones' addictive theme has brought both acts their biggest successes but also leaves each as largely one hit wonders. Paul will scratch the Top 40 one more time in a couple of years with THANKS FOR SAVING MY LIFE.

Paul, a long time friend of Marvin Gaye, cites various female singers and Billie Holiday specifically as his biggest stylizing influence so he likely is pleased by Motown's current ambitious film and album project dedicated to Holiday.
Yesterday 02:19 PM

RIP Maurice Fagin of the Monitors

I just viewed a post on Facebook [from the 'Motown-The Music & The Memories' group] stating that Maurice Fagin of The Monitors has passed on. No further info on it right now. Rest In Music, Power & Peace Maurice Fagin.


Ralph Terrana

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