Today 09:30 AM

The Rick James documentary & The Mynah Birds unreleased Motown recordings

Greetings all and thank you for such wonderful Motown posts!

Apologies if this has been discussed before [[I couldn’t find a post on this).
‘Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James’ was an insightful documentary on an exceptionally talented yet troubled musical mastermind. Can anyone help shed more light on The Mynah Birds incredible story of Motown sessions between 18-26 January 1966 recorded for an album...

We’ve had the joy and pleasure of 5 recordings; 1966’s ‘It’s My Time’ / ‘Go On And Cry’ [[V.I.P. 25033), ‘I’ve Got You [[In My Soul)’, ‘I’ll Wait Forever’, and the 1967 new group member more soulful re-recording of ‘It’s My Time’.

In the documentary, and in other interviews, Mynah Birds drummer, Rickman Mason, says they recorded “24 hours a day” over a few days, and that there were 6-8 1966 recordings. Given Motown’s norm of 3 songs an hour, this would seem to make sense?

He also states that the 1966 recording sessions had contributions from Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Tammi Terrell. Neil Young said; “Smokey Robinson dropped in and was helping us, and some of The Four Tops would come in and back up our vocals, standing behind us as we sang. They made us sound cool”.

John Taylor’s widow Carolyn has five separate song-writing contracts signed by Rick James and her late husband for Jobete Music, dated 18 January 1966;
“We Gotta Go”, “Don’t Change Your Mind” and “Pretty Words”.

Could there really be 1966 recorded takes with The Mynah Birds and those other established Motown artists?! They are not identifiable on the 5 released recordings. That could be members of The Four Tops providing the additional backgrounds/harmonies on the 1966 and/or 1967’s versions of ‘It’s My Time’ and ‘Go On And Cry’?

It would be a dream [[and further significant music history) to hear Neil Young harmonise with Tammi Terrell… or The Supremes backing Rick in ‘66… or the first collaboration with Smokey pre ‘Ebony Eyes… or Stevie tinkering on the piano….

This is how I understand it went down:
1965 - Demo audition backing track of ‘No Greater Love’ produced by Harvey Fuqua.
1966 - The above 4 released recordings with musicians Neil Young, John Taylor, Rickman Mason, Bruce Palmer, produced by Mike Valvano, R. Dean Taylor, Mickey Stevenson.
1967 - Re-recording of ‘It’s My Time’ with musicians Bill Ross, Al Morrison, Neil Merryweather, Vernon Wayne Pickel, prodec by R. Dean Taylor.
1968 - 2 other unreleased recordings; ‘Masquerade’ and ‘Fantasy’.
1969 - Rick co-writes and produces ‘Out In The Country’ for Bobby Taylor and ‘Sunshine Train’ for The Spinners [[and possibly for The Miracles and The Marvelettes?),

Does anyone know more on these unreleased Rick James & co recordings? And what other Motown artists may have been at - and contributed to - the sessions?

As a side note, this means Rick James and George Clinton were both around at Motown on and off 1965-1969 as both were in the pool of staff songwriters.

Thank you for any help!
Yesterday 01:27 PM

Berry Gordy, Joni Mitchell, Bette Midler, & More Celebrated At Kennedy Center Honors

From UDiscoverMusic.com-
This year’s Kennedy Center honorees Joni Mitchell, Bette Midler, Berry Gordy, Lorne Michaels, and Justino Díaz were celebrated this weekend with a reception at The White House, a medallion ceremony at The Library of Congress and a formal, black-tie event at the performing arts center’s Opera House. The tributes and performances were filmed for a special broadcast that will air on CBS on December 22.
President Joe Biden and the First Lady attended the gala event Sunday night, a return to tradition that did not go unnoticed by host David Letterman. “It is very nice to see the presidential box once again being occupied,” Letterman said. In President Trump’s four years in office, neither he nor Melania Trump attended the Kennedy Center Honors.

Boxer turned songwriter and entrepreneur Berry Gordy turned an $800 loan from his family into a multimedia empire. The Motown mastermind brought the soul of Detroit to the rest of the world with artists like Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson Five, and many others. Stevie Wonder recalled his first meeting with Gordy. “I was 11 years old and you said ‘Ok, I heard you’re good. What do you do?’ And I said ‘I play harmonica and I sing.’ I said, ‘As a matter of fact, I can sing better than Smokey Robinson.’”
After receiving his medallion, an emotional Berry Gordy told the audience, “I am so blessed to be in the company of the other honorees, this particular group of honorees whom I have known and admired for a long, long time.” Gordy continued, “to get to meet them and talk to them and let them know how much I appreciate them has been a wonderful feeling for me tonight.”
Upon receiving his nomination, Berry Gordy said, “The Arts not only give voice to the voiceless, but connect us, transform us, and soothe our souls. The Kennedy Center Honors epitomizes the recognition and value of both the Arts, and the Artist. I am thrilled to become a part of this prestigious American legacy.
“Growing up in Detroit, I was not only Black but the ‘black sheep’ of my family. I was a failure at everything I did until I was 29 years old, while my younger brother Robert was not only a family favorite, but strangely, a favorite of mine as well. He inspired me with his loyalty, love, and graciousness. Throughout the years I’ve been blessed with many wonderful memories, but this – the Kennedy Center Honors – is one that will be forever in my heart. Thank you.”
Visit the Kennedy Center’s official website for more information.

Yesterday 09:23 AM

Nice washington post article about berry gordy and motown

Interesting story about Berry Gordy and Motown in Washington Post. Berry is a Kennedy Center honoree and will be honored this Sunday. The event will be broadcast on CBS at a later date. I wonder which Motown artists will be there to honor him

12-06-2021 06:40 PM

FOREVER - remix by Marvin Gaye and the Marvelettes

I came across this version totally by accident. I had never heard Marvin Gaye's version and doing some research I discovered that there is a remix
version by Marvin Gaye and the Marvelettes.

How many other members have been aware of this?


Not a bad song but the Marvelettes performance is in my opinion one of their very best songs ever recorded by them.
12-02-2021 06:21 PM

Wife of Legendary Music Exec Clarence Avant Shot and Killed During Home Invasion

Horrible news. The fact that Clarence’s condition is “unclear” gives me a worse feeling, though:



Ralph Terrana

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