Today 08:28 PM

Hattie Littles - Touch Me In The Morning

Hattie Littles - February 14, 1937 to 15 June, 2000.

I absolutely love this track from Hattie Littles. She recorded some very good stuff for Motorcity - including 2 solo albums and a "Very Best Of". Another favourite of mine is "The Right Direction". But thank goodness Ian Levine brought her back for his Motorcity project.

I find Hattie's vocals one this very touching [[no pun intended) and I really enjoy listening to her. Of course it's such a great song to begin with - and at least we have Hattie's version for posterity.

Today 07:47 PM

Motorcity "DIVAS" And Other Fun Releases! - Philles/Motown Gary

The fun thing about Motorcity Various-Artists collections is that they were often-times based on a theme. One such example is the 2-CD "DIVAS" collection and the Tribute to H-D-H collection, among others.

As per usual, we ask that you not post any comments until Kenny has completed the uploading process, thus maintaining continuity within the thread's presentation. Kenny or I will let you know when the uploading is complete.

In the meantime, thanks for your patience.

Philles/Motown Gary
Today 04:32 PM

The Valadiers "No Competition"

Wasn't sure where to post this - the track "No Competition" featured on both the EU "Dancing In The Streets" series [["Blue Eyed Soul" Volume 14) and on "The Best Of Motorcity" Volume 15 but this version surpasses the earlier one by some margin. In fact it's a classic. I'm getting shades of "Midnight Johnny". Love it.

This is what Ian Levine says about it
"This song is by The Valadiers and was co-written with me and lead singer of The Satintones, Vernon Williams, who has now sadly passed away to that Soul Heaven in the sky. It is a fun stomping piece of Motownesque exuberance. We remixed and revisited it for our 2006 album "Solid Ground". I must particularly thank "Hitsville Chalky", real name Roy Gennard, who went to Detroit and specially filmed this performance. Let's just say they've still got it!! The Valadiers were Motown's first official white group, but fooled everybody because lead singer Stewart Avig's voice sounded so black. Despite recording a multitude of songs between 1960 and 1963, they only had three singles released, their huge hit "Greetings This Is Uncle Sam", released in October 1961 on the Miracle label, and their two follow ups, "Because I Love Her", in May 1962, and "I Found A Girl" in January 1963, both on the Gordy Label. The last of these was released in England on the Oriole label's Motown series. The group never actually split up, but changed their name to The Latin Counts and became a more multi-racial group, as Stewart changed members of his group over the years. The Latin Counts have had many local Detroit releases on independent labels through the last forty years. When we arrived in Detroit, in March 1989, original lead singer, Stewart Avig, came to see me at the St. Regis Hotel and asked me to record them, if they changed their name back to The Valadiers. In recent years, they have merged with another mid Sixties Detroit group, The Shades Of Blue, who made the hit "Oh How Happy", which was originally written for them by Edwin Starr. The Valadiers were booked to come over to England for a Soul Weekender in Northampton and I was bitterly saddened and disappointed that their appearance got cancelled, that was truly unfair."

And now it seems I must look out for a 2006 album called "Solid Ground". It's a never ending story lol

Today 03:02 PM

Motorcity: Soul Giants 4 CD Box Set: New Backgrounds


50 Soul Classics from the 60s and 70s.....

Many performed by the original legendary hit makers from the USA....

- features exclusive, previously unreleased versions -

A track-by-track review of the 'Soul Giants' box set, noting the differences between earlier released Motorcity titles and their later versions from 1995 with new backgrounds, many of which were included in this set.


Track 1: Mary Wells - My Guy 3.25

[Original Motorcity Version:
Reference: Charly/Motorcity 'Keeping My Mind On Love' album.

Track, also length, seem identical on all following additional references:

Hot Productions: 'Very Best Of Mary Wells'
Essential Gold 'Motor City Sings Smokey's Songbook'
Down Town Dancing In The Streets Series - Vol 1: 'Million Sellers'
Quality - Motor City Dance Party - Vol 2 : 'Love Dancin'

A different arrangement from the Motown original. Intro lacks impact here. A light, skipping beat, with finger snaps. Addition of string sounds. Nice echo on background vocalists, who sing lines of lyrics, in contrast to 'call and answer' responses of Mary Wells' Motown original. A pleasant production, if lacking in the distinctive sound quality of the original hit version.]

Soul Giants version 2.41:
A shorter track length. A simple, stripped down production, in an attempt to emulate the hit version. No string sounds this time. Prominent organ, as with the Motown original. Drum, bass and piano seem basic computer generated sounds. Less echo used, and with lead and background vocals identical to the earlier Motorcity version.

Track 2: The Contours - This Old Heart Of Mine 3.05

[Original Motorcity version:
Reference: Charly/Motorcity 'Flashback' album.

The distinctively prominent drum, bass and piano of the Motown original are missing from the intro, which soon leads into standard Motorcity 'hammer hitting metal' drum sound. Track bounces along, rather than with the emphatic drive and rhythm of the Motown original, and with good vocals, although a less impassioned lead.]

Soul Giants version 2.56 :

Shorter, and with an intro which more effectively replicates the Motown original, albeit with a more mellow toned version. The sax is noticeably more prominent throughout than with the version above, with a different short solo in the middle break - and the string sound seems more sparingly used. A good attempt at having The Contours replicate the Motown original by the Isley Brothers, and quite a nice little track in its own right, without trying too hard to give it a 'Motorcity' sound.

Track 3: Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Heat Wave 4.00

[Original Motorcity version:
Reference: Object Enterprises 'This Is Soul-2' four CD set.

As a get-up-and-dance track, this to me is excellent, but for the threat of a tick-tock computer drum sound. Even so, it gets away with it, and always makes me smile and move to the beat. A full production, string sounds, big echo, and surely the sweet, high harmonies of The Andantes on background vocals. In its own way, I love this as much as the original Motown version, with Martha still in enthusiastic and uninhibited voice - but more mature and controlled - riding the wall of 'instrumentation' sound and effortlessly powering her way through to the fade.]

Soul Giants version 3.05:

Shorter, with a solid drum and sax led intro. No string sounds. Same lead and background vocals, but with Martha's voice lower in the mix, and less echo. Prominent sax middle break. Additional drum work on the chorus.
Today 11:58 AM

The Best of Motorcity [[Vols. 1-20)

When it was suggested that I start a MOTORCITY RECORDS thread, I jumped at the chance! I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I'm enjoying compiling it!

I'm starting with the Various Artists "Best Of Motorcity" [[Vols. 1-20) series which were released as compilations between 1994 and 1997.

II need to expres a HUGE thanks to Kenny [[Kenneth) for uploading this project for me.
Best Regards,


A HISTORY OF IAN LEVINE'S MOTORCITY RECORDS PROJECT [[courtesy of WIKI). [[Open the link and select History.)





Today 05:33 PM

St. Paul/Minneapolis Twin Cities Soul Radio KUXL - Two Motown Classics

Unfortunately, we only get to hear snippets, but it's so nice that this radio aircheck from Minnesota station KUXL opens with the last few seconds of the Marvelettes' 'The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game' and ends with the first few seconds of Kiki Dee's 'Love Makes The World Go 'Round'. Nice surprise to hear both, but Kiki's was a real surprise.


Ralph Terrana

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