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  1. #1

    Velvelettes in the UK in 2018

    Chalky has just announced...


    Deal done ...Motown Legends


    THE VELVELETTES ON THE WAY TO UK 2018 ...with live backing band on phone last night to orginal founder member Cal she's looking forward to coming back to the uk ...

    Full dates and venues will be announced shortly confirmed Whitby Motown Weekender Northampton ...

    Plus another Act opening up announced Shortly .

  2. #2
    Isn't it ironic that the Velvelettes, who were given such short shrift by Motown back in the day, are really the only Motown girl group still performing together all these years later? I guess you could point to Martha and the Vandellas, but I think the current Velvelettes have more original members, don't they?

    I know I've said it before, it must have been hard back then to be a Velvelettes fan. They had some great songs and a lot of talent and were never even given an album. At least their true blue diehard fans like Mr. Lester hopefully get some small satisfaction about the fact they they outlasted nearly everyone else!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    Isn't it ironic that the Velvelettes, who were given such short shrift by Motown back in the day, are really the only Motown girl group still performing together all these years later? I guess you could point to Martha and the Vandellas, but I think the current Velvelettes have more original members, don't they?

    I know I've said it before, it must have been hard back then to be a Velvelettes fan. They had some great songs and a lot of talent and were never even given an album. At least their true blue diehard fans like Mr. Lester hopefully get some small satisfaction about the fact they they outlasted nearly everyone else!
    They do.....and they are now all in that magic decade!

    Had the ladies reached the high echelons of the music business in the 60's, I suspect I would have missed out on having 4 wonderful close friends. So I feel humbled and blessed...and a little grateful!

    What really does make these ladies special is that they understood why they were not promoted as much as some others. They realised that if one group did well, then it opened the doors for others. Cal recalls watching the TV with a Marvelette and a Vandella when the Supremes were on Ed Sullivan and they were all just thrilled to see their fellow label mates on TV.

    Cal was very close to Diana Ross because they used to share dressing rooms when it was usual for 2 to share a room. Bertha would share with her cousin Norma whilst Mary and Florence normally shared a room together.

  4. #4
    Great memories and thanks for sharing, @xtown! How lucky to know them so well.

  5. #5
    Kenneth,

    I think the challenge was that because of there not being an album available at the time and therefore on the picture sleeve of current album releases that the 45's were enclosed in at that time, I don't know that there was much of a following outside of the Great State of Michigan. Truth be told, I only became aware of the group in the early 80's as the lovely ladies who did Needle in the Haystack and He was Really Saying Something. My point being that I knew those two songs, there may have been a short bio mentioning that they met in college, and a photo in one of the Motown books that were starting to appear about then.

    Fast forward to now and without question they are my favorite Motown Girl Group. What a blessing that they are still with us today to enjoy, and for us to send them our fond wishes while they can enjoy it. We have been gifted with a treasure trove of material mostly unreleased, not limited to, but including the excellent 2 CD Anthology.

    Let Love Live
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    Isn't it ironic that the Velvelettes, who were given such short shrift by Motown back in the day, are really the only Motown girl group still performing together all these years later? I guess you could point to Martha and the Vandellas, but I think the current Velvelettes have more original members, don't they?

    I know I've said it before, it must have been hard back then to be a Velvelettes fan. They had some great songs and a lot of talent and were never even given an album. At least their true blue diehard fans like Mr. Lester hopefully get some small satisfaction about the fact they they outlasted nearly everyone else!

  6. #6
    Yes, I believe The Velvelettes are the only Motown group still performing which currently features members who were all in the original line-up.

    With the exception of the fifth original member (Betty Kelly), the current Velvelettes line-up is the original group.

    The Velvelettes, as a group, was formed with five members, which then reduced to four when Betty left to join The Vandellas, and then finally three.

    Even then, the group did not feature the same three ladies at all times....but Cal has been the lead singer throughout the entire history of The Velvelettes, both on stage and (with just one exception, I believe) in the recording studio.

    The group did have several changes in line-up due to family commitments, which would certainly have reduced their full potential for consistent work and future success as a singing group, and so it's not difficult to understand why the ladies were not given full promotion by Motown. Indeed, it was marriage which brought about the eventual breakup of the group.

    Perhaps that was the main reason why the ladies seem to have recorded far less in their career than the other three girl groups at Motown, all of which had bigger hits, and achieved greater recognition.

    Record sales aside, the quality of The Velvelettes' recordings was generally as good as anything to come out of the Hitsville studio.

    I'm hoping John, in starting this thread, will also post clips of their recordings (including the Midnight_Johnny extended mixes), together with background information.

    Also, some photos, noting which lady is featured in each picture.

    I hope I'm wrong, but I suspect that many SD members, together with guests reading these posts, may not always be able to readily identify each of the ladies in The Velvelettes group photos by their individual name......
    Last edited by westgrandboulevard; 12-08-2017 at 05:21 AM.

  7. #7
    For some reason, most people seem to instantly recognise Cal and Norma. Never quite understood why.

    Let's hope that the Velvelettes have something in Motown Unreleased 1967......eh Keith! :-)

  8. #8
    @motown4ever518,

    Well I can tell you, I was a Detroiter back then, and I only knew them from those songs that appeared on the 16 big hit series. They were from Kalamazoo, which is in western Michigan, and people from Detroit would kind of think about it the way they thought about Inkster, where the Marvelettes were from. Most people from Detroit would have never even been to Kalamazoo, and vice versa I'm pretty sure. At least back in those days. Of course I'm sure it's different now.

    I don't know. They just didn't get any promotion I think. They certainly deserved to have a lot more attention. Their music is fantastic.

  9. #9
    theboyfromxtown.....

    How did the name 'Velvelettes' come about, exactly?

    I can understand the connotation of the ladies sound being 'smooth as velvet', and the extra syllable does add additional rhythm to the name, but I can't imagine it was used to make the ladies sound like a sister group to the Marvelettes(?)

    There was a group called 'The Velvettes' who recorded for Mercury, and another called 'The Vel-Vets' who recorded for 20th Century Fox Records....not entirely sure, but would say they were formed after 'The Velvelettes'....

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    Isn't it ironic that the Velvelettes, who were given such short shrift by Motown back in the day, are really the only Motown girl group still performing together all these years later? I guess you could point to Martha and the Vandellas, but I think the current Velvelettes have more original members, don't they?

    I know I've said it before, it must have been hard back then to be a Velvelettes fan. They had some great songs and a lot of talent and were never even given an album. At least their true blue diehard fans like Mr. Lester hopefully get some small satisfaction about the fact they they outlasted nearly everyone else!
    Great news! I suppose the chief reason the girls are still performing together is they were younger than many of their contemporaries at Motown, so have age on their side, and having been off the road for quite some years, not having to put up with the rigours of touring, and playing in smoke-filled auditoriums, their health is probably better than many of those contemporaries.

  11. #11
    This is great news indeed! Good for them!!! Who's ‘Chalky’ by the way?

    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    Isn't it ironic that the Velvelettes, who were given such short shrift by Motown back in the day, are really the only Motown girl group still performing together all these years later? I guess you could point to Martha and the Vandellas, but I think the current Velvelettes have more original members, don't they?

    I know I've said it before, it must have been hard back then to be a Velvelettes fan. They had some great songs and a lot of talent and were never even given an album. At least their true blue diehard fans like Mr. Lester hopefully get some small satisfaction about the fact they they outlasted nearly everyone else!
    It kinda is ironic, kenneth, I have often thought that myself. Still, it’s so great to see. Love it.

  12. #12
    "Hitsville" Chalky is the promoter. Lots of us use some kind of moniker. When we originally registered on SDF back in the dark ages, we used to have to think of a moniker to accompany our real name. It was easy to think of something that was in line with our interest. So Snakepit WGB Stonedlove and many others came about. Once upon a time, we use to have a character called Just7Numbers!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by westgrandboulevard View Post
    theboyfromxtown.....

    How did the name 'Velvelettes' come about, exactly?

    I can understand the connotation of the ladies sound being 'smooth as velvet', and the extra syllable does add additional rhythm to the name, but I can't imagine it was used to make the ladies sound like a sister group to the Marvelettes(?)

    There was a group called 'The Velvettes' who recorded for Mercury, and another called 'The Vel-Vets' who recorded for 20th Century Fox Records....not entirely sure, but would say they were formed after 'The Velvelettes'....
    Read Cal's notes in Motown Anthology. It's on sale everywhere!

  14. #14
    And it's sitting by my laptop right now (as you well know...).

    You can tell I don't have those notes fully etched in my mind, can't you...and every time I read it, the print just becomes smaller...

    I can certainly remember the part where The Velvelettes thanked you for your input in the production of said Anthology, of course...LOL

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by westgrandboulevard View Post
    And it's sitting by my laptop right now (as you well know...).

    You can tell I don't have those notes fully etched in my mind, can't you...and every time I read it, the print just becomes smaller...

    I can certainly remember the part where The Velvelettes thanked you for your input in the production of said Anthology, of course...LOL

    lolol HW put that in. He also changed my spelling of Graystone to Greystone!

  16. #16
    "Needle In A Haystack" was one of the last 45's I bought in Miami in 1964 because my parents moved us up to Central Fla. but Needle made it to #12 on the big Pop Station in Miami WQAM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    "Hitsville" Chalky is the promoter. Lots of us use some kind of moniker. When we originally registered on SDF back in the dark ages, we used to have to think of a moniker to accompany our real name. It was easy to think of something that was in line with our interest. So Snakepit WGB Stonedlove and many others came about. Once upon a time, we use to have a character called Just7Numbers!
    Thanks boyfromxtown. I've seen those monikers in archive forum threads I think...

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