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  1. #1

    The Detroit Sound & The Motown Sound

    I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but I thought it'd be a good subject to revisit if it has. I've been listening to a lot of Invictus/Hot Wax recordings lately and it got me to thinking about the Detroit Sound and the Motown Sound. We know the Funk Brothers moonlit around the city throughout the 60's for Ric-Tic, Golden World, etc. and later for Invictus/Hot Wax. There are clearly similarities in sound almost to the point several non-Motown recordings sounded as though they were cut down in the Snakepit due to the Funk Bros., but there are also their differences. I know the Funk Bros. weren't on every recording cut in Detroit, but what exactly is the difference between the Detroit Sound and the Motown Sound? Is it the differences in studios, recording equipment, EQ's, producers, the usage of non-Funk Bros.? And exactly makes them different from the sounds coming out of Chicago, Memphis, Muscle Shoals, etc.

  2. #2
    Brad that is a good question. Give a listen to Jackie Wilson's "Higher & Higher" for Brunswick and tell me that does not sound like a Motown record? To me, the Detroit Sound, Motown Sound, Invictus/Hot Wax, Westbound, etc etc. were the sound of a "Region"That basically covered the North Central Great Lakes (i.e. Michigan, Northern Ohio, SW Ontario, Canada and even as far as Buffalo and Toronto.) It definitely was created by local musicians, singers, songwriters, producers etc. If you ever noticed the difference in sound of Motown recordings that were done on the West Coast during the sixties and perhaps the early seventies, you have a big clue about what I mean by a "Regional Sound".

  3. #3
    Curtis Mayfield was the "Godfather" of the "Chicago Sound". You just knew when you heard one of his songs or productions. Eugene Record of the Chi-Lites made a major contribution to the "Chicago Sound", along with the Dells and Chess Records.

  4. #4
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    The Motown sound and The Detroit Sound are made up of a combination of elements including:

    1) Vision of the label's executives ((Berry Gordy wanting his recordings to sound great in auto speakers),

    2) Acoustics in particular studios and related sound engineers' way of doing things

    3) Particular arrangers used

    5) staff songwriters styles

    4) session musicians used

    There are differences in sound from United Sound, to The Snakepit to Golden World (Studio 2)

    Other companies used United Sound, Correc-Tone, and many other smaller, private studios in Detroit.

    Different combinations of Funk Brothers and other Motown session players were used by non-Motown Detroit labels, together with non-Motown musicians. Some arrangers worked exclusively for Motown. others partly for Motown and partly as free-lancers.
    Last edited by robb_k; 10-23-2015 at 11:54 PM.

  5. #5
    ...if you go to Section 2 ...there's listed many of the 60's Detroit labels

    http://www.anorakscorner.com/LabelListingsKey.html

    ...next

    ...look up each label here ...and see what sounds were released

    http://www.soulfulkindamusic.net/labels.htm

    ...then check them out on youtube ...you'll soon recognise the difference between the slick and polished Motown Sound ...and the earthier ...sometimes more soulful ...Detroit Sound...IMHO...!


  6. #6
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    As someone who was a mid-teenager in 1959, and grew up in his prime young adulthood, during Motown's classic years, and whose first love in music is Motown 1959-66 recordings, I can almost always tell a Motown recording by ear. I've only been surprised a handful of times hearing recordings "blind". Many, many people say that many (if not most) of the Golden World and Solid Hitbound recordings sound like Motown. But I disagree. Even though they have some elements the same as Motown, mainly due to using many of the same musicians, and sometimes using the same arrangers (several of whom had previously worked for Motown). But that is only one element. They generally used different recording studios with differing acoustics, and thus, different recording engineers. Their producers (sometimes ex-Motown producers, but often not, were often after a sound different from Motown.

    I have only heard a handful of recordings that might have fooled me into thinking they were Motown recordings:

    1) "Lucky To Be Loved By You" by Emanuel Lasky, recorded at United Sound for Thelma Records, produced (and likely arranged) by ex-Motowner, Don Davis, and recorded using mostly Motown session players moonlighting, and almost all the other session players had been session players for Motown earlier in their careers.

    2) "Happiness Is Here" by Tobi Lark. recorded at United Sound, produced and arranged by ex-Motowner, George McGregor for ex-Motowner Dave Hamilton Topper Records, and recorded using mostly Motown session players moonlighting, and almost all the other session players had been session players for Motown earlier in their careers.

    3) "The Man Who Don't Believe In Love " by Marv Johnson, a Jobete Music song, written by Marv, was produced and recorded for United Artists in New York by Lockie Edwards Jr. and arranged by Horace Ott, and recorded using New York session players. Despite the different recording studio and New York producer, arranger and musicians, this sounded like a Motown record. Johnson, a veteran Motown songwriter, knew exactly what he wanted, which was the epitome of The Motown Sound. So, his song writing and advice or direction to his new York arranger. influenced the sound enough to produce a Motown sounding recording, even with no Motown musicians in a non-Motown recording studio.

    4) "Me Without You" by Mary Wells, produced for 20th Century Fox by ex-Motowner, Robert Bateman, written by ex-Motown songwriter Sidney Barnes, and J.l (J.J.) Jackson ( who collaborated regularly with Motown Jobete Musics New York office staff in songwriting and arranging recordings in The Motown style,, and arranged by Jackson, himself, and recorded either at United Sound in Detroit, or in New York, using session musicians regularly used by Motown's New York Jobete Music office.

    5) "My World Is On Fire" by Jimmy Mack, produced and written by ex-Motowner Mike Valvano, arranged by ex-Motowner Mike Terry, and recorded at Terra Shirma Studios, using mostly moonlighting Motown musicians, and those few who weren't, had previously worked at Motown.

    6) "That Was My Girl" by The Parliaments, produced by ex-Motowner George Clinton, written by ex-Motowners George Clinton and Sidney Barnes, and recorded at Golden World Studios, arranged by ex-Motowner Joe Hunter, using almost exclusively musicians who were Motown moonlighters, and those few who weren't, had previously worked at Motown.
    Last edited by robb_k; 10-24-2015 at 12:23 AM.

  7. #7
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    We've got a very interesting thread going here and I don't want to see it get buried. I'm interested in other posters examples of songs that were so very much like a Motown recording that if you listened to it "blind", without knowing what it was, you'd think it had been recorded by Motown. And, conversely, I'd like to see lists of songs that many people say "sound like Motown (usually because The Funk Brothers played on them) that you feel DO NOT have all or several of the elements of classic Motown cuts, and so, sound different from Motown.

    To me, most of the Golden World/Ric Tic, Solid Hitbound/Groovsville, Thelma, Correc-Tone cuts (and those are the major labels that sounded most like Motown) did NOT sound fully like Motown, due to lacking one or two or three of its elements. To me, Golden World and Solid Hitbound recordings didn't has as "full" a sound as Motown. They sounded more "hollow", or "tinny". For me, Thelma Records got the closest. Then, Correc-Tone Records. But, those Top 4 (and a few of Dave Hamilton's) were a LOT closer than most of the smaller Detroit labels.

    But, I'm curious to hear from others.

  8. #8
    Great thread! For me two examples would be Edwin Starr's "Agent Double-O-Soul" and "Stop Her On Her On Sight (SOS)." Jackie Wilson's "Whispers (Gettin' Louder)" has much more of a "Motown Sound," to my ears, than "Higher And Higher."
    By the way, whose backing vocals are those on the Edwin Starr recordings?
    Last edited by mowest; 10-24-2015 at 02:25 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mowest View Post
    Great thread! For me two examples would be Edwin Starr's "Agent Double-O-Soul" and "Stop Her On Her On Sight (SOS)." Jackie Wilson's "Whispers (Gettin' Louder)" has much more of a "Motown Sound," to my ears, than "Higher And Higher."
    By the way, who's backing vocals are those on the Edwin Starr recordings?
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    Good question. Wingate used Pat and Diane Lewis (of The Adorables), Their other members Betty and Jackie Winston, and also, The Debonaires. But, I'm not sure.
    Last edited by robb_k; 10-24-2015 at 02:02 PM.

  10. #10
    Speaking of Pat Lewis, "Love's Creeping Up On Me" and "Warning" are dead ringers for Motown productions.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by mowest View Post
    Speaking of Pat Lewis, "Love's Creeping Up On Me" and "Warning" are dead ringers for Motown productions.
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    Not to ME! They sound like perfect examples of The "Golden World" Sound. The Motown Sound is a lot more of a full sound. It has several more sound elements than do the Golden World/Ric Tic/Solid Hit/Revilot/Groovesville cuts. Ed Wingate, JoAnn Jackson, and Don Davis all wanted it that way (different from Motown. The latter has the bass and drums more prominent, as they can be heard (isolated) better in the more hollow sound.

    Dennis Coffey should comment on this, as he was a session man for ALL of Motown, Ed Wingate, Solid Hitbound, Harry Balk, and a lot of the small Soul indie labels. HE could tell us the exact reasons for the differences, including the recording studio acoustics, different styles of arrangers and recording engineers, and the producers.

  12. #12
    Two words.........................Cool Jerk! by the Capitals.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Two words.........................Cool Jerk! by the Capitals.
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    Yes, the musicians were ALL current moonlighting Motowners, and a few ex-Motowners. and you can hear arranger Mike Terry's sax, and (I think) Uriel Jones on Drums, and a familiar guitar (Robert White?). It sounds like it could have been a Contours' recording. The instrumental has a lot of really, crisp, clear and sharp instruments heard, individually, without much reverb, and no fuzziness.
    Last edited by robb_k; 10-24-2015 at 04:27 PM.

  14. #14
    Robb,

    How weird that you should use the word "tinny" to describe the Golden World productions! My friend Mike and I used exactly the same word at the time when discussing Golden World even though we conceded that was the closest anyone had come to replicating the Motown sound.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    Robb,

    How weird that you should use the word "tinny" to describe the Golden World productions! My friend Mike and I used exactly the same word at the time when discussing Golden World even though we conceded that was the closest anyone had come to replicating the Motown sound.
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    I'm pretty sure that I heard from several sources that JoAnne Jackson and Ed Wingate WANTED their recordings to sound the way they made them, so that the bass and drums (beat) would be more prominent(more up front) and clearer. Their best recordings weren't inferior to Motown's, - just different sounding. It was a matter of taste. Golden World Studio was a fine recording studio. The sound they got there was SO very good, that Berry Gordy bought them out -
    NOT JUST to kill competition, but to get and use that studio.

    Mike McLean told me that he always felt that Motown could have had a much better sound in their recordings, but Berry Gordy didn't want a highly sophisticated level of recording he wanted the sound that he ordered Mike to set up. I got the idea that if Mike had his way, we would have heard Motown using the most sophisticated sound engineering equipment and techniques used in recording the highest quality of Classical Music. That might not have been appreciated, listening to it through auto stereo systems of the mid 1960s.

    I'm still waiting for Dennis Coffey and Ralph to comment on the difference in the two sounds. It would also be nice if Ray Monnette (is he still with us?) , Mike McLean, Jack Ashford (is he still around), Russ Terrana, and Robert Bateman would comment. We also had a few other ex-Motown sound engineers on this forum for some years.

    I think we did have a similar thread years ago, with many of the people that had made the sound, participating.
    Last edited by robb_k; 10-24-2015 at 05:10 PM.

  16. #16
    Brad, that's a loaded question, and everyone here is talking about the performances and production, but none of them have mentioned the obvious: the technical side of it.

    The acoustics of the Snakepit, combined with the stacks of Pultec EQs, compressors, and EMT plates, among other things, were the chief reason Motown had such a unique sound. Even the custom-built consoles, and the Altec monitor they used had an impact on that classic sound. That's why no one else got those sounds.

    Stax recorded their classic hits in an old movie theatre, usually cut live, and in mono, until 1966. Stax didn't do too much signal processing. They went for that raw, organic feeling. They captured the moment rather than sculpt the sound like most others did.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    Brad, that's a loaded question, and everyone here is talking about the performances and production, but none of them have mentioned the obvious: the technical side of it.

    The acoustics of the Snakepit, combined with the stacks of Pultec EQs, compressors, and EMT plates, among other things, were the chief reason Motown had such a unique sound. Even the custom-built consoles, and the Altec monitor they used had an impact on that classic sound. That's why no one else got those sounds.
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    THIS is what I was looking for. Which I why I was hoping that Ralph, Russ, Bob Ohlsson and Mike McLean would comment on this thread.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    Brad, that's a loaded question, and everyone here is talking about the performances and production, but none of them have mentioned the obvious: the technical side of it.
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    And at least one poster above (I, myself) DID mention the technical side:

    The Motown sound and The Detroit Sound are made up of a combination of elements including:

    1) Vision of the label's executives ((Berry Gordy wanting his recordings to sound great in auto speakers),

    2) Acoustics in particular studios and related sound engineers' way of doing things

    3) Particular arrangers used

    5) staff songwriters styles

    4) session musicians used

    There are differences in sound from United Sound, to The Snakepit to Golden World (Studio 2)

  19. #19
    Did Motown change the recording equipment, consoles, etc. at Golden World once they took it over and began recording there? I've noticed in liner notes that around 1967 band tracks were being laid down at Golden World; however they sound like they were cut down at Hitsville. Would the sound be the work of post recording production during the mixing and mastering process or was the equipment changed to match the equipment at Hitsville so the sound was right at the start of the process?

    I would love to hear Ralph and the guys discuss the technical side on the sound.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    Did Motown change the recording equipment, consoles, etc. at Golden World once they took it over and began recording there? I've noticed in liner notes that around 1967 band tracks were being laid down at Golden World; however they sound like they were cut down at Hitsville. Would the sound be the work of post recording production during the mixing and mastering process or was the equipment changed to match the equipment at Hitsville so the sound was right at the start of the process?

    I would love to hear Ralph and the guys discuss the technical side on the sound.
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    I think it's a combination of BOTH changing the equipment at Golden World and the different mixing and mastering techniques. But, I'd like to hear from Ralph, Russ, Mike, Bob and any other technical people that were there at the time.

  21. #21
    slightly off topic....but im sure members who havent heard this will be interested...its a good job Berry Gordy never got to hear about this one !https://youtu.be/gZEz_xdpcTk?list=PL...r0-7698ONrWaKC

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by platters81 View Post
    slightly off topic....but im sure members who havent heard this will be interested...its a good job Berry Gordy never got to hear about this one !https://youtu.be/gZEz_xdpcTk?list=PL...r0-7698ONrWaKC
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    Interesting!
    Motown would only have spent lawyer fees on this if it had garnered any sales. Given that I've never seen nor heard of that issue, it likely didn't have any more than a few hundred sold locally in Philadelphia. If it had even been a minor regional charted record (top 100), I'd probably have seen it and bought it. The same goes for Gordy's contacts' eyes and ears. Had it experienced a modicum of sales, one of them would have noticed it, and brought it to his attention. Then he'd have decided to sue or not (but only put out money, if he'd have a chance to get compensated monetarily, IF the purpitrators were making enough money to warrant a compensation award.

    Perhaps the record is so rare because it never got released, because one of Gordy's contacts among the Philadelphia recording community tipped him off about it, and he threatened the label owner with a lawsuit BEFORE the record could be sent to distributors, and the label owner squashed the project before it got started?

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by platters81 View Post
    slightly off topic....but im sure members who havent heard this will be interested...its a good job Berry Gordy never got to hear about this one !https://youtu.be/gZEz_xdpcTk?list=PL...r0-7698ONrWaKC
    A total rip off of "Come See About Me"!

  24. #24
    Never heard the Claudine Clark song before......I'm surprised they had the nerve to copy it so blatantly

  25. #25
    I can generally instantly tell the difference between a Detroit recorded Motown recording and a Detroit-recorded non-Motown recording. To me the main difference is the attention that Motown paid to production, with particular emphasis being given to make certain that the rhythm sounded crisp and any strings or horns didn't sound muffled. Possibly some of this was due to the studio acoustics but no doubt all of this emphasis on production was to make the records sound good on AM radio.

    There are a few exceptions of course, some of the Ric-Tics and Golden-Worlds have that very polished "Motown" sound, but generally non-Motown Detroit recordings sound slightly "unfinished" to me.

    Curiously, to my ears, the closest that any other label consistently got to sounding like Motown was Brunswick with those Chicago recordings produced by Carl Davis. I think that this was all down to the similarly meticulous production standards. Take a listen to "Come Over To My Side" by BILLY BUTLER, the production to me sounds very "Motown", and the fact that there are stylistic similarities to "Reach Out" make it even more so .....

    Of course it is possible that some Motown session musicians were playing on "Come Over To My Side", they were certainly playing on Jackie Wilson's "Higher And Higher".

    Roger

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    THIS is what I was looking for. Which I why I was hoping that Ralph, Russ, Bob Ohlsson and Mike McLean would comment on this thread.
    Good luck with that.

    It may help to put one of their names in the thread title, because it is obvious that the rank and file of this forum doesn't want to talk about the technical stuff. What they may not get is that the technical details had everything to do with the Motown sound.
    Last edited by soulster; 10-29-2015 at 01:50 PM.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by platters81 View Post
    slightly off topic....but im sure members who havent heard this will be interested...its a good job Berry Gordy never got to hear about this one !https://youtu.be/gZEz_xdpcTk?list=PL...r0-7698ONrWaKC
    ...another to keep Berry's lawyers happy...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMPx1fpvzSM


  28. #28
    I dont know how these people have the nerve to do it.

  29. #29
    I did check it out on Google, and at least one link credits the composers as Stevenson-Hunter-Moy.

    If that's true, I would assume royalties would go to them as for 'My Baby Loves Me'.

    Whether permission needs to be requested for any change in lyrics, and whether that permission was granted, I can't say.....

  30. #30
    Another egregious example, hot though it is:


  31. #31
    Exhibit 2 (note the bridge @ 1:55):


  32. #32
    Brad,
    Some tech updating was done at Golden World when sold to Motown, but not much. The studio was already in good shape. However this was before my time at Motown so I can't really say what was done. As studio manager I persuaded various producers to try the studio for basic track cutting. Most producers were hung up on the sound of Hitsville and were reluctant to try tracking anywhere but Studio A.. I finally convinced Frank Wilson to give it a shot. Next came Norman Whitfield. The studio began gaining popularity. The reality was Golden World was a better studio than Studio A but lacked the reputation that Studio A enjoyed.

    When Motown began it's move west it was first decided to keep a small contingent in Detroit. The plan was to do a total upgrade to Studio B so that it could catch up to Motown L.A.s studios. After a few false starts the company decided to abandon that plan and simply close Detroit up.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Another egregious example, hot though it is:

    "Love Is Like An Itching in My Heart" with different lyrics.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Exhibit 2 (note the bridge @ 1:55):


    This one is not at all like the Motown Sound. The backing track sounds like something you'd find on perhaps Westbound Records ("Westbound #9).

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
    I can generally instantly tell the difference between a Detroit recorded Motown recording and a Detroit-recorded non-Motown recording. To me the main difference is the attention that Motown paid to production, with particular emphasis being given to make certain that the rhythm sounded crisp and any strings or horns didn't sound muffled. Possibly some of this was due to the studio acoustics but no doubt all of this emphasis on production was to make the records sound good on AM radio.

    There are a few exceptions of course, some of the Ric-Tics and Golden-Worlds have that very polished "Motown" sound, but generally non-Motown Detroit recordings sound slightly "unfinished" to me.

    Curiously, to my ears, the closest that any other label consistently got to sounding like Motown was Brunswick with those Chicago recordings produced by Carl Davis. I think that this was all down to the similarly meticulous production standards. Take a listen to "Come Over To My Side" by BILLY BUTLER, the production to me sounds very "Motown", and the fact that there are stylistic similarities to "Reach Out" make it even more so .....

    Of course it is possible that some Motown session musicians were playing on "Come Over To My Side", they were certainly playing on Jackie Wilson's "Higher And Higher".

    Roger
    The intro is a rip -off of "Reach I'll Be There". Billy's voice though nice, is too weak to handle this type of production.

  36. #36
    Very Marvin/Motown-like:

    J. J. Barnes/BABY PLEASE COME BACK HOME
    [Groovesville, 1967]
    Written by Don Davis & J. J. Barnes

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gryvwrv_sio

    Thanks to MrJohnnyNumbers for this YouTube posting.

  37. #37
    I think one big difference in the sound when I recorded at Motown and other studios was the sound of the studios themselves plus the sound engineers. You also had the influence of different arrangers and producers. We did our thing but the arrangers and producers directed us on what they wanted to hear above and beyond the arrangement. In my case sometimes it was a guitar lick or feel that I created on the spot that they liked. Motown was the most successful company back then and I always felt most Detroit record labels wanted to be Motown. The success of Motown helped all Detroit record labels and independent producers because Detroit was where you went to get that Detroit hit sound. CBS and RCA wanted to build offices and studios in Detroit but when they discovered they could not use the Funk Brothers on a regular basis they decided against coming here.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by dennis_coffey View Post
    I think one big difference in the sound when I recorded at Motown and other studios was the sound of the studios themselves plus the sound engineers. You also had the influence of different arrangers and producers. We did our thing but the arrangers and producers directed us on what they wanted to hear above and beyond the arrangement. In my case sometimes it was a guitar lick or feel that I created on the spot that they liked. Motown was the most successful company back then and I always felt most Detroit record labels wanted to be Motown. The success of Motown helped all Detroit record labels and independent producers because Detroit was where you went to get that Detroit hit sound. CBS and RCA wanted to build offices and studios in Detroit but when they discovered they could not use the Funk Brothers on a regular basis they decided against coming here.
    So why didn't CBS and RCA open up when Motown left Detroit?

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    So why didn't CBS and RCA open up when Motown left Detroit?
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    By 1972-73, the new trend in Soul was "The Sound of Philadelphia". Detroit was NOT the "happening sound". CBS already had a large presence in Philadelphia (special relationship with a couple studios, and so, they didn't need to make the permanent fixed cost commitment.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    This one is not at all like the Motown Sound. The backing track sounds like something you'd find on perhaps Westbound Records ("Westbound #9).
    Point taken...but did you listen to the passage I pointed out?

  41. #41
    I feel in a technical sense, the "Motown" sound and the Detroit sound intertwined but it's safe to say that there was no "Detroit" sound before Motown. Which is pretty remarkable to say the least. I definitely feel the difference though because Motown made sure its instruments were loud enough to blast through radio stations in the '60s in ways some other "Detroit soul" records didn't? But I'm quite a novice about this.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    I dont know how these people have the nerve to do it.
    ...here's another doff-cap to Motown

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ1fdGqQofg


  43. #43
    At least Smokey gets the writer's credit.

  44. #44
    There is a new thread on the main forum on Westbound Records which was also a part of the "Sound of Detroit".

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by grapevine View Post
    ...here's another doff-cap to Motown

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ1fdGqQofg

    That's acceptable as an answer record rather than a copy.

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Point taken...but did you listen to the passage I pointed out?
    I'm sorry I didn't, but I will.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    I feel in a technical sense, the "Motown" sound and the Detroit sound intertwined but it's safe to say that there was no "Detroit" sound before Motown. Which is pretty remarkable to say the least. I definitely feel the difference though because Motown made sure its instruments were loud enough to blast through radio stations in the '60s in ways some other "Detroit soul" records didn't? But I'm quite a novice about this.
    Well we did have folks like Little Willie John, Jackie Wilson, Della Reese, etc, etc but you are right, there was no identifiable sound that said "Detroit" coming out of the city.

  48. #48
    I also played on Westbound Number 9. I used to see Eddie Willis, Pistol Allen, Johnny Griffith, and Uriel Jones on many non Motown and non HDH sessions back in the day. Bob Babbitt and I also did many non Motown and non HDH sessions together. When Joe Hunter left Motown, I did a lot of sessions with him too. He was also arranging. When Mike Terry and Jack Ashford were hired by Ed Wingate, I recorded with them at Golden World. Mike Terry was also a great arranger. I think the Detroit/Motown sound always started with the musicians who followed the work. We established the musical footprint and groove for everyone to follow in the recording process. I used Bob Babbitt, Uriel Jones, Pistol Allen, Jack Ashford, Bongo Eddie, and Earl Van Dyke on Scorpio. They were my friends and played on my session when I asked them to do it. I also used Ray Monette from Rare Earth and Joe Podorsik in the Detroit Guitar Band. This was another example of a non Motown, non HDH hit record.

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by dennis_coffey View Post
    I also played on Westbound Number 9. I used to see Eddie Willis, Pistol Allen, Johnny Griffith, and Uriel Jones on many non Motown and non HDH sessions back in the day. Bob Babbitt and I also did many non Motown and non HDH sessions together. When Joe Hunter left Motown, I did a lot of sessions with him too. He was also arranging. When Mike Terry and Jack Ashford were hired by Ed Wingate, I recorded with them at Golden World. Mike Terry was also a great arranger. I think the Detroit/Motown sound always started with the musicians who followed the work. We established the musical footprint and groove for everyone to follow in the recording process. I used Bob Babbitt, Uriel Jones, Pistol Allen, Jack Ashford, Bongo Eddie, and Earl Van Dyke on Scorpio. They were my friends and played on my session when I asked them to do it. I also used Ray Monette from Rare Earth and Joe Podorsik in the Detroit Guitar Band. This was another example of a non Motown, non HDH hit record.

    Dennis you were on "Westbound Number 9"? That was another favorite of ours and I agree with you in that the Detroit/Motown Sound started with the musicians with the majority of them living right there in Michigan. That ties into what I was earlier about "Regional sounds". The grooves you guys created were unique. Not unique but special enough that people across the World picked up on them and loved them!

    Do agree that musicians say from the Nashville or Miami music scenes just sound different than our guys?

  50. #50
    I was on "Westbound Number 9". Musicians sounded different in Muscle Shoals and Memphis. They sounded different in NYC or LA. New Orleans musicians also sounded different. I had the chance to play with all of them.

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