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  1. #1

    Were the Spinners invited to Motown 25?

    Anyone Know?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    Anyone Know?
    I never read anywhere that they were invited and failed to appear. Like poor Marv Johnson ---- he was not invited and totally overlooked.

  3. #3
    That’s a shame. I’m assuming Gladys and Pips were invited but turned it down? That’s impression I got from her comments....”....now why would we want to go and be a part of that?”

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    Anyone Know?
    No they weren't, along with a whole host of Motown artists from the Detroit days.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    That’s a shame. I’m assuming Gladys and Pips were invited but turned it down? That’s impression I got from her comments....”....now why would we want to go and be a part of that?”
    Gladys said that they declined because they felt that the show should be honoring the artists that built the company and not just the company itself.


    Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin were also not invited. Eddie asked and was told that he could buy a ticket sit in the audience. James Jamerson was not invited and had to buy a ticket. Marvin Gaye called Kat of the Marvelettes and asked her why weren't they there. She told him that they were not invited and he was pissed!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    I never read anywhere that they were invited and failed to appear. Like poor Marv Johnson ---- he was not invited and totally overlooked.
    They could have had Marv Johnson there if Ms. DePasse wanted him there. Remember just 6 years later, Ian Levine was able to get a great number of the original Motown artists together to record them in Detroit and LA.

  7. #7
    According to otis,david and eddie cussed out some execs so they were out,now as for the others it was a damn shame that they weren't there...what the f--k was adam ant????? Doing on that stage??

  8. #8
    I guess Because Diana liked dancing with him!

  9. #9
    ^ Or maybe Berry thought Adam Ant, and not some sparkly single gloved wonder of pop music, would bring in the kids...

    Honestly, I never put the Spinners in the list of classic Motown acts. That would be like asking why the Isley Brothers weren't asked. The Spinners became legends in a different label. It wouldn't have worked.

    The Marvelettes and E&D not being asked was a far bigger crime IMHO.

    BG should thank his lucky stars MJ saved the night. Michael really didn't know he did Motown a HUGE favor that night.
    Last edited by midnightman; 10-04-2018 at 08:32 PM.

  10. #10
    I remember renting the Motown 25 special when it was on vhs! I remember rewinding during several performances but fast-forwarding though Adam Ant! WTF was he doing there butchering one of my favorite songs by the Supremes!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    ^ Or maybe Berry thought Adam Ant, and not some sparkly single gloved wonder of pop music, would bring in the kids...

    Honestly, I never put the Spinners in the list of classic Motown acts. That would be like asking why the Isley Brothers weren't asked. The Spinners became legends in a different label. It wouldn't have worked.

    The Marvelettes and E&D not being asked was a far bigger crime IMHO.

    BG should thank his lucky stars MJ saved the night. Michael really didn't know he did Motown a HUGE favor that night.
    What kind of favor did Michael do for Motown? It was the other way around. Motown Productions allowed him to debut his latest single (for another record label) in front of a nationwide audience. The effect of Michael's performance was not known until after the special had aired and he is the one the benefited the most.

    The Spinners, Gladys Knight & the Pips, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, the Marvelettes, Kim Weston and all of the Funk Brothers should have been there. They should have also at least mention the names "Jean Terrell", "Florence Ballard" and "Paul Williams".

  12. #12
    Totally agree. At least Mary mentioned Florence but of course it got deleted!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    They could have had Marv Johnson there if Ms. DePasse wanted him there. Remember just 6 years later, Ian Levine was able to get a great number of the original Motown artists together to record them in Detroit and LA.
    Was that when Mary Wilson ran off with Ian Levines $10,000. He was so upset.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    Was that when Mary Wilson ran off with Ian Levines $10,000. He was so upset.
    The Ian Levine sessions were truly a match for Motown 25

  15. #15
    the Adam Ant and Linda Ronstadt performances were probably scheduled to show the impact of the labels music on different artists....why not ask Tony Bennett to sing For Once In My Life?...that is like the Quessential classic non Motown performance of a Motown standard.... Rare Earth also could have been included.

  16. #16
    How about the Vandellas?

    I suppose Martha was lucky enough to get her 30 seconds, so why share them?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    the Adam Ant and Linda Ronstadt performances were probably scheduled to show the impact of the labels music on different artists....why not ask Tony Bennett to sing For Once In My Life?...that is like the Quessential classic non Motown performance of a Motown standard.... Rare Earth also could have been included.
    I picked up the 2DVD set of Motown 25 a few years ago and in the interview section on DVD 2 with Suzanne DePasse, she stated that NBC did not want a TV special with all Black artists (!). So that (partly) explains some of the odd choices that she made about the acts that were on the show. That's one reason I'll always consider the Motown 25 special a very mixed bag.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    the Adam Ant and Linda Ronstadt performances were probably scheduled to show the impact of the labels music on different artists....why not ask Tony Bennett to sing For Once In My Life?...that is like the Quessential classic non Motown performance of a Motown standard.... Rare Earth also could have been included.
    I would have loved that!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    How about the Vandellas?

    I suppose Martha was lucky enough to get her 30 seconds, so why share them?

    The Vandellas were not invited by Suzanne DePasse.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    Was that when Mary Wilson ran off with Ian Levines $10,000. He was so upset.
    Interesting. I thought Wilson's sabotage of the Supremes reunion (red dress, etc) was her only transgression for that performance.

  21. #21
    "The original broadcast of the two-hour show was watched by 47 million people, according to Nielsen, with 35 percent of the country with a TV set turned onwatching Motown 25."

    So it was a massive hit for Motown and Suzanne DePasse and 35 years theres nothing gonna change that fact. Heres the original ad for it.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    I picked up the 2DVD set of Motown 25 a few years ago and in the interview section on DVD 2 with Suzanne DePasse, she stated that NBC did not want a TV special with all Black artists (!). So that (partly) explains some of the odd choices that she made about the acts that were on the show. That's one reason I'll always consider the Motown 25 special a very mixed bag.
    This was during the time when MTV would not play videos of Black artists. Two years later Motown at the Apollo aired, at least the artist selection of non-Motown artists made sense. They had Rod Stewart, George Michael, Boy George etc.

    NBC was just being racist and not giving the America public credit. I think people wanted to see the people that actually made the music rather than harking back to the 1950s when white artists covered popular songs by the original black artists. Sucks!

  23. #23
    Considering all the egos at Motown I think Susanne did good for making it happen.

  24. #24
    i think Adam, Linda and Jose Feliciano were absolutely only included to add some white performers. never mind of course that the Sups and Temps had perfectly handled musical specials back in the 60s with no token white additions.

    But this was also a tribute (mostly) to oldies and so maybe they wanted to add in a few more recent, current artists. hence Adam and (sort of) Linda.

    you also had Dick Clark (bandstand), Howard Hesseman and Tim Reid (WKRP in Cincy), Billie Dee Williams (film star), Richard Pryor (comedian) and John Moschitta (the fast talker) to help add in more general public references. Sure BDW and Richard were in movies but some of the general public might not have made that connection.

    GK&TP was one of the biggest missing performers and i've heard a variety of reasons. Namely being that they never felt part of the family and so why would they come pay tribute to said family?

    it is a terrible shame what they did to Mary Wells, martha and Jr. Those totally insignificant snippets of their songs was just pathetic. and same with not even inviting the Marvelettes. Odds if if they had been asked, Gladys would have sang 4 bars of Postman during this ill-advised segment.

    the other acts - Velvelettes, Chris Clark, Contours, Brenda, Kim, Isley's, Spinners, Originals all were small enough artists that the general public probably really would have had no idea who they were or what they sang. of course fans definitely missed them but their Motown recorded output really just doesn't have the immediate recognition among the avg public

    plus they were trying to build this as yesterday, today, forever. So they had to not only include the mega-stars from the 60s but make some sort of nod to the current artists like Rick James, Lionel, mary Jane Girls, Debarge.

    by the time you add up all of these, there's just no more room for anyone

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    What kind of favor did Michael do for Motown? It was the other way around. Motown Productions allowed him to debut his latest single (for another record label) in front of a nationwide audience. The effect of Michael's performance was not known until after the special had aired and he is the one the benefited the most.
    it's not that the Motown team "allowed" Michael to do Billie Jean. he demanded it as a condition of his appearance AND that he'd have control over final edits and production of the segment so that they simply couldn't chop it out.

    otherwise michael would not have done the special

    and to give Suzanne and team credit, MJ was just exploding as a mega star with Thriller and they couldn't have timed things better. his appearance and doing such as massive song only helped solidify the program ratings.

  26. #26
    yes, it was a shame the way Mary Wells, Martha Reeves & Junior Walker were treated like after thoughts & for the Marvelettes not to be invited was wrong on so many levels . I remember Martha telling Smokey she did not have anything to wear for this & he made sure she did. Gladys Horton always spoke her mine & I think some of those Calif. Motown people didn't want her around. After this Mary Wells & Martha Reeves did start making mega bucks on the "oldies" circuit, so it did get their names back out there.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i think Adam, Linda and Jose Feliciano were absolutely only included to add some white performers. never mind of course that the Sups and Temps had perfectly handled musical specials back in the 60s with no token white additions.

    But this was also a tribute (mostly) to oldies and so maybe they wanted to add in a few more recent, current artists. hence Adam and (sort of) Linda.

    you also had Dick Clark (bandstand), Howard Hesseman and Tim Reid (WKRP in Cincy), Billie Dee Williams (film star), Richard Pryor (comedian) and John Moschitta (the fast talker) to help add in more general public references. Sure BDW and Richard were in movies but some of the general public might not have made that connection.

    GK&TP was one of the biggest missing performers and i've heard a variety of reasons. Namely being that they never felt part of the family and so why would they come pay tribute to said family?

    it is a terrible shame what they did to Mary Wells, martha and Jr. Those totally insignificant snippets of their songs was just pathetic. and same with not even inviting the Marvelettes. Odds if if they had been asked, Gladys would have sang 4 bars of Postman during this ill-advised segment.

    the other acts - Velvelettes, Chris Clark, Contours, Brenda, Kim, Isley's, Spinners, Originals all were small enough artists that the general public probably really would have had no idea who they were or what they sang. of course fans definitely missed them but their Motown recorded output really just doesn't have the immediate recognition among the avg public

    plus they were trying to build this as yesterday, today, forever. So they had to not only include the mega-stars from the 60s but make some sort of nod to the current artists like Rick James, Lionel, mary Jane Girls, Debarge.

    by the time you add up all of these, there's just no more room for anyone
    I agree with many of your comments. I always thought Adam Ant was included in the special due to the fact that "Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go" had just been a hit by Soft Cell. Clearly Adam wasn't a part of that group, but they're both from the UK, and Adam was clearly a bigger name in 1983; would the US audience know the difference?

    I know that Kat has mentioned she was upset that the Marvelettes weren't included but what was the reality that they'd participate? By her own admission she had long retired; I don't know what Wanda's mental or physical health was at that time, so truly that just leaves Gladys, and I think you're right; she would have been given as much air time as Mary Wells and Martha. Hardly even worth getting dressed for.

  28. #28
    I think what a lot of people are forgetting also is that when this aired, it was a HUGE success. So much so that Motown just like in the 60's saw dollar signs, and knew there was money to be made off VHS sales.

    Does anyone know if the participants were paid for Motown 25? I seem to recall talk that most did it out of loyalty to BG, but when talk started of releasing this on video, Mary Wilson, rightly so, felt everyone should be compensated.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    ^ or maybe berry thought adam ant, and not some sparkly single gloved wonder of pop music, would bring in the kids...

    honestly, i never put the spinners in the list of classic motown acts. That would be like asking why the isley brothers weren't asked. The spinners became legends in a different label. It wouldn't have worked.

    The marvelettes and e&d not being asked was a far bigger crime imho.

    Bg should thank his lucky stars mj saved the night. Michael really didn't know he did motown a huge favor that night.
    i disagree about the spinner,although they only had two hits while at motown the songs were a part of their history-i'll always love you[65]-it's a shame[70].

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I think what a lot of people are forgetting also is that when this aired, it was a HUGE success. So much so that Motown just like in the 60's saw dollar signs, and knew there was money to be made off VHS sales.

    Does anyone know if the participants were paid for Motown 25? I seem to recall talk that most did it out of loyalty to BG, but when talk started of releasing this on video, Mary Wilson, rightly so, felt everyone should be compensated.
    I think the show itself was originally a benefit for Sickle Cell Anemia. But when the show was being prepared for VHS and profit was when Mary tried to negotiate. She wrote about it in her second book.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I think what a lot of people are forgetting also is that when this aired, it was a HUGE success. So much so that Motown just like in the 60's saw dollar signs, and knew there was money to be made off VHS sales.

    Does anyone know if the participants were paid for Motown 25? I seem to recall talk that most did it out of loyalty to BG, but when talk started of releasing this on video, Mary Wilson, rightly so, felt everyone should be compensated.
    It had 47 million viewers in the US alone. It was HUGE. It also gave a huge boost to the carreers of Mary Wells and Jr Walker and others.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I think what a lot of people are forgetting also is that when this aired, it was a HUGE success. So much so that Motown just like in the 60's saw dollar signs, and knew there was money to be made off VHS sales.

    Does anyone know if the participants were paid for Motown 25? I seem to recall talk that most did it out of loyalty to BG, but when talk started of releasing this on video, Mary Wilson, rightly so, felt everyone should be compensated.
    Yes it was a huge television ratings success but everything else you mentioned.........NO! NO! NO! The artists agreed to participate mainly because they were told that it was for a charity. They were told that it was for Sickle Cell Anemia Research. No they were not paid for their appearances. After the show aired and Ms. DePasse found out how popular the show was, she tried to pull a fast one and decided to sale the show commercially via VHS tapes in 1985. Many of the artists that performed that night felt like once again they were being ripped off my Motown. Mary Wilson filed a lawsuit immediately (that's my girl! LOL!).

    After this, I don't know what kind of financial arrangement Ms. Passe was forced to make with the Artists , but I do know that they were pissed that she used the fact that the TV Special was to benefit a charity and then turned around and tried to make it into a money making venture.

  33. #33
    I think it perked many careers but only for perhaps a year; and many hoped for the second coming

    Mary hoped for a recording contract but her voice remained non commercial; so she was reduced to writing a book and following and talking about Diana

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    it's not that the Motown team "allowed" Michael to do Billie Jean. he demanded it as a condition of his appearance AND that he'd have control over final edits and production of the segment so that they simply couldn't chop it out.

    otherwise michael would not have done the special

    and to give Suzanne and team credit, MJ was just exploding as a mega star with Thriller and they couldn't have timed things better. his appearance and doing such as massive song only helped solidify the program ratings.
    Exactly. That's what I said what I said. Take away MJ (AND Marvin, he almost didn't do it!), the special would've been a disaster and everyone knows that. I don't know why some of y'all don't take the wools out of your eyes. The non-MJ/Marvin list of people who eventually accepted participation was disastrous save for Stevie, the Miracles reunion and the Tempts/Tops.

    I like to see some of y'all tell me how this special would've worked without MJ... don't worry, I'll wait lol

    How is it when people talk about Motown 25 outside of Motown lovers and Detroiters, it's always MJ and Marvin and not anyone else. You don't even hear of the Supremes fracas that night that much as you used to.
    Last edited by midnightman; 10-05-2018 at 08:55 PM.

  35. #35
    My personal opinion is that the Temptations and Four Tops stole the show. Definitely MJ and Marvin were highlights as well but the rest was blah at best.

  36. #36
    And if I'm not mistaken, Motown 25 was the first appearance of Ronnie Tyson in the group. If you watch him, he's a PRO!

  37. #37
    I thought the DeBarge/High Inergy duet was just as exciting as anything else presented that night.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    My personal opinion is that the Temptations and Four Tops stole the show. Definitely MJ and Marvin were highlights as well but the rest was blah at best.
    i thought Richard Pryor was such a great host and real real funny IMO.

  39. #39
    I did say the Temptations and the Four Tops helped to make Motown 25 a hit... I'm just saying, the aforementioned ones made it legendary (MJ/Marvin). But yeah the Tempts/Four Tops definitely were a huge highlight to the show.

  40. #40
    I think one of the reasons why so many of the early artists were left out was due to Suzanne de Passeís lack of connection to them. She joined Motown in 1968 and probably didnít know who was at the label prior to her or had limited contact with early artists who were still at the label when she joined.

    Iím not sure I buy de Passeís reasoning that NBC didnít want a TV special with all black artists so thatís why she included Adam Ant, Linda Ronstadt, etc. NBC did TCB and GIT 15 years prior and those were far more racially tense times.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    I think one of the reasons why so many of the early artists were left out was due to Suzanne de Passe’s lack of connection to them. She joined Motown in 1968 and probably didn’t know who was at the label prior to her or had limited contact with early artists who were still at the label when she joined.

    I’m not sure I buy de Passe’s reasoning that NBC didn’t want a TV special with all black artists so that’s why she included Adam Ant, Linda Ronstadt, etc. NBC did TCB and GIT 15 years prior and those were far more racially tense times.
    Great points Brad. She needed to do her research. I know I was not the only one watching and wondering where so many others were that night.

  42. #42
    I've always felt that the performers[only the motown artist]after a medley each should have come back to sing one of thier classic songs,in it's entirety!

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by arr&bee View Post
    I've always felt that the performers[only the motown artist]after a medley each should have come back to sing one of thier classic songs,in it's entirety!
    Same here. I cannot understand why that did not happen. A lot of them were available and would have jumped at the chance to appear on national television again. Ian Levine was able to find most of them back in Detroit, so I know that was not the issue.

  44. #44
    I believe the Supremes were originally supposed to sing three in their entirety.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    I think one of the reasons why so many of the early artists were left out was due to Suzanne de Passe’s lack of connection to them. She joined Motown in 1968 and probably didn’t know who was at the label prior to her or had limited contact with early artists who were still at the label when she joined.

    I’m not sure I buy de Passe’s reasoning that NBC didn’t want a TV special with all black artists so that’s why she included Adam Ant, Linda Ronstadt, etc. NBC did TCB and GIT 15 years prior and those were far more racially tense times.
    That's true! Suzanne definitely didn't have no connection to EARLY Motown. She joined Motown in the late '60s as a teenager...

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    That's true! Suzanne definitely didn't have no connection to EARLY Motown. She joined Motown in the late '60s as a teenager...
    That's not an excuse. There were plenty enough of us watching on television that did not work for Motown at all, but not only knew of the missing artists, but respected them and enjoyed their music. She was just being her usual nasty self. Then turned around and tried to profit from what was suppose to be a charity event. Later for her..........

  47. #47
    For me just the fact that James Jamerson had to buy a ticket speaks volumes...

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    That's true! Suzanne definitely didn't have no connection to EARLY Motown. She joined Motown in the late '60s as a teenager...
    No, Suzanne DePasse was not a teenager, she was 22 years old when she joined Motown in 1968. She was friends with Cindy Birdsong. It was Cindy who introduced Suzanne to Berry Gordy in NYC. You remember how she treated Cindy later on in the 70s when Cindy was down on her luck and needed a job,right?
    Last edited by marv2; 10-10-2018 at 02:43 PM.

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by phil View Post
    For me just the fact that James Jamerson had to buy a ticket speaks volumes...
    Exactly Phil! Like he meant nothing! His talent played a huge part in making it possible for many of those artists and Motown to have hit records. He asked for a ticket to the show and was told "Go buy one"!

  50. #50
    i think Suzanne approached motown 25 with a specific eye to appealing to a broad audience. There are tons/zillions of amazing Motown songs. and so very many people that contributed along the way. but this wasn't intended to be a documentary that exhaustively reviewed all of motown's glorious history. it was a tv special that was being done to hype both motown's tv productions and their current stable of artists. also probably with some hope to drive sales of compilations and greatest hits and help line the company's coffers.

    To the average American watching that show, they'd probably have no idea who the Marvelettes were, that the Spinners recorded for Motown, some of the more obscure (but no less wonderful) artists and groups. Heck that silly Charlene song "I've Never Been To Me" is a huge hit with gays and drag queens but so many are shocked to learn it was a Motown song! other than heavy-duty fans, the avg american listener isn't investing the time or energy to understand the full history of a record label.

    therefore the decisions made for the lineup

    sure it may seem heartless to big fans but i'm assuming those numbers are small when compared to the millions of people that watched the tv special. The producers packaged it correctly as a (mostly lol) lovely stroll down memory lane. people would see their big well know stars, see some funny video clips from the era, have those "oh yeah!! i remember that song now!!" and then a week later buy some rehashed greatest hits package at Sam Goody

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