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Today 03:19 PM

Let's Share Some of Our Special Motown Collectables

Hi Friends,

I posted yesterday a photo of an autographed Mary Wells LP that I found in my collection.

Since we're all on a kind of hiatus, I thought it might be fun if we used a thread to share some of our favorite Motown collectables. Before the holidays, my buddy Gary (philles/motown_Gary) posted his Spector LP collection which was fun to view.

Perhaps you have something in your collection you'd like to share with SDF. This is a good time if you do.

Thanks!

Kenneth
Today 02:48 PM

House Of Beauty / HOB Records

In some quarters HOB is listed as a gospel subsidiary of Motown.

Seem to have a couple of recognisable names on their records early on - Herman Griffin & The Rayber Voices, Voices of Tabernacle, The Contours (though I think that may be a different group).

Berry Gordy wrote (and arranged?) "I Need You" and "I'm So Glad" for Herman Griffin. The music for "I'm So Glad" seems to be copyright to Rayber Music Writing Co. "I Need You" is the first song published by Jobete.

I've not read much about this label so I'm guessing the Motown connection may be overplayed, or is it?
Today 01:46 PM

young Smokey Robinson covering "Adios My Desert Love" - by Nolan Strong & the Diablos

Smokey is 14 or 15, I think, but he sounds about 10 or 11!
A great cover for some young kids!

"Adios My Desert Love"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq_clXl1ypU
Today 02:30 PM

How Bill Withers Defined Soulful Selflessness

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/04/arts/music/bill-withers.html

"He treated his utterly distinctive voice as a vehicle, not a centerpiece, and wrote songs about everyday lives with remarkable compassion.


The music of Bill Withers radiated a quality that’s rare in pop songs and, really, anywhere else: selflessness.
It’s in the subjects that Withers, who died on Monday, chose to sing about: his grandmother’s hard-won wisdom in “Grandma’s Hands,” the suicidal regrets of a failed husband in “Better Off Dead,” and in one of his most indelible songs, “Lean on Me,” a churchy pledge of unconditional help and compassion.
Perhaps it was because Withers was already a grown-up, in his early 30s, when his recording career started. He was raised in a large family in West Virginia coal country, served in the Navy and worked factory jobs before getting the chance to record. He hadn’t been sheltered from the everyday lives that he would write about.

Withers’s most triumphant years, the early 1970s, were also an idealistic time for soul music. Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Earth, Wind & Fire and others were writing community-minded songs that melded urban realism and utopian aspiration. Withers could be every bit their peer, particularly in the ways he brought big issues down to personal stories, like his portrait of a badly wounded Vietnam veteran, “I Can’t Write Left-Handed.” And when he wasn’t observing outside characters, Withers could also depict the deepest jealousy, loneliness and melancholy, in songs like “Who Is He (And What Is He to You),” “You,” and his despondent megahit, “Ain’t No Sunshine,” a model of profound simplicity.



His voice was at the center of every song, reedy and gritty, strong enough for preacherly declamations and smooth enough to carry a lover’s endearments. Yet he chose to treat that utterly distinctive voice modestly — as a vehicle, not a centerpiece. He sang his stories with down-home fervor, but he was also more than willing to let the sense of the words dissolve into rhythm and incantation, into impulses and feelings.
Withers made it seem — with deep-rooted knowledge and virtuoso skill — that each song was creating its own borderless style and groove on the spot, steeped in but never beholden to blues, gospel, country, jazz, folk, rock or any other defined idiom. Imagine Withers’s voice removed from songs like the defiant “Use Me,” and the grooves he devised (with his top-notch studio bands) nearly capture the mood on their own — though Withers’s vocals would also engage those grooves with every phrase.


Withers was ill-used by a recording business that second-guessed his songwriting. In his acceptance speech at his long-belated 2015 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, he defined A&R, record label jargon that stands for artists and repertoire, as “antagonistic and redundant.” After his 1974 album “+‘Justments,” filled with brooding songs about love gone wrong, Withers and his new label, Columbia, recast him as a more conventional romantic crooner. He had some suavely commercial moments: “Lovely Day” in 1977, which for its final minute flaunts one almost impossibly sustained note after another, and “Just the Two of Us,” which appeared on a 1980 album by the saxophonist Grover Washington Jr.


Withers’s musical ingenuity lingers on his later albums in some eccentric rhythm tracks and sly chord progressions — and he did manage to resist making disco. But the joyful, risky self-invention of his early albums had given way to professionalism. He made his last album in 1985, then earned a living from his publishing catalog, refusing offers to record again.
The Withers album to savor is the one he recorded live at Carnegie Hall in 1972. He brought a band of first-call studio musicians and gathered all of his best early material, seasoned by serious touring. Songs that had been limited to three minutes in studio versions get a chance to groove longer and harder: “Use Me” rides a backbeat of audience handclaps to syncopated ecstasy, and tops that with a reprise. Withers’s voice had a rawer tone than his studio performances without sacrificing any improvisational subtleties.

And the songs were populated not with one singer’s ego, but with friends, relatives, lovers, rivals and, in an all-out 13-minute, key-changing, wah-wah throwdown, a week in the life of an entire neighborhood, “Harlem.”
It’s not about Withers; it’s about music where everybody lives.'




























He treated his utterly distinctive voice as a vehicle, not a centerpiece, and wrote songs about everyday lives with remarkable compassion.








Bill Withers began his recording career in his 30s, which meant he hadn’t been sheltered from the everyday lives he would write about.Credit...Jake Michaels for The New York Times


By Jon Pareles



  • April 4, 2020

















Today 01:51 PM

John Perrone aka Midnight Johnny - RIP

Andy Skurow has just posted on his Facebook that John Perrone has died. I can only speculate at the cause of death as no details are known as yet.

RIP John :(

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