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  1. #1

    Are there any Motown Covers of Stax songs?

    I know that Stax covered Motown songs (so did everyone and their brother)

    https://www.amazon.com/Soulsville-Si...ds=stax+motown

    But did Motown artists ever return the favor?

    If so I can't think of any off hand

    And if not, what Stax songs would you have loved to hear a Motown version of? and by who?

    Marvin singing "I've been loving you too long"?

    The Funk Brothers doing Green Onions or Time is Tight?

    The Four Tops singing Who's Making Love?

    The Supremes version of B-A-B-Y?
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  2. #2
    David Ruffin " I could never be president"

    Bobby Taylor did a few..

  3. #3
    Marvelettes " So I can love you"

  4. #4
    Although he's leaning more towards Aretha's version, this one might count:

  5. #5
    Bobby Taylor recorded a live version of WHO'S MAKING LOVE.

    Edwin Starr and Blinky recorded I'LL UNDERSTAND.

    The Supremes and the Tempts recorded RESPECT.

    Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded HEAVY MAKES YOU HAPPY.

  6. While not recorded by artists directly on the Stax label, H-D-H produced The Elgins singing Wilson Pickett's "634-5789", which was written by Stax artist Eddie Floyd and Stax musician Steve Cropper, and "In The Midnight Hour" written in part by Steve Cropper. And Martha Reeves recorded a non-released cover of Sam and Dave's "Hold On, I'm Coming"

  7. #7
    And Blinky recorded Can't Turn You Loose live on stage

  8. #8
    And Dennis recorded Try A Little Tenderness (though admittedly after Motown :-) )

  9. #9
    Mary Wilson performed "Hold On I'm Coming" for years in her live shows.

  10. #10
    Dennis Edwards had a Gordy release on "Try a Little Tenderness" and it was also recorded by Bobby Taylor as well as Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.

  11. #11
    "Soul Man" was recorded by Bobby Taylor. "Green Onions" appears on the Tommy Good CD.

  12. #12
    Off the top of my head, these might have worked well:

    Private Number by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
    Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay by Marvin Gaye
    B-A-B-Y by Florence Ballard

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by rovereab View Post
    Off the top of my head, these might have worked well:

    Private Number by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
    Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay by Marvin Gaye
    B-A-B-Y by Florence Ballard
    good choices

    i could hear all these in my mind

  14. #14
    Can we really count Try a Little Tenderness” as a Stax song though? Sure Stax produced the definitive version, but it’s still a Tin Pan Alley era standard.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by jboy88 View Post
    Can we really count Try a Little Tenderness” as a Stax song though? Sure Stax produced the definitive version, but it’s still a Tin Pan Alley era standard.
    Probably not. Everyone from Bing Crosby to Aretha Franklin recorded that song before Otis Redding put his stamp on it.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Probably not. Everyone from Bing Crosby to Aretha Franklin recorded that song before Otis Redding put his stamp on it.
    really!?
    I have to look this up!!

  17. #17


    Bing Crosby

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimal Saint View Post
    what Stax songs would you have loved to hear a Motown version of? and by who?
    Otis Redding "Ole Man Trouble" by David Ruffin
    William Bell "I Forgot to Be Your Lover" by Marvin Gaye
    Soul Children "The Sweeter He Is" by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
    Eddie Floyd "Knock On Wood" by the Tempts w/Paul Williams on lead
    Temprees "If I Could Say What's On My Mind" by the 4 Tops
    Staple Singers "I'll Take You There" by Stevie Wonder
    Emotions "Stealin Love" by the Supremes w/Mary Wilson on lead
    Emotions "Show Me How" by Diana Ross

    Not that she would've been with Motown at this point, but I always thought Flo Ballard would've done a terrific "Mr. Big Stuff".

  19. #19
    I always thought a key business principle of Berry Gordy was to make money off song publishing through his jobete catalogue rather than releasing material where the company did not own the publishing rights. It was a very sound business decision, but it also maintained the integrity of the Motown Sound. There were very few Stax covers as you all have mentioned. My sole contribution is Respect Yourself by Bruce Willis.
    Cheers. Mike

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimal Saint View Post
    good choices

    i could hear all these in my mind
    Optimal Saint, I can evan see Flo singing B-A-B-Y with her rather lovely body language. She would have nailed this song IMO.

  21. #21
    My picks on what would have been good covers:

    Had he lived, Shorty Long could have covered Rufus Thomas's "Funky Chicken".
    "Cheaper to Keep Her" by Johnny Taylor - David Ruffin
    "Gee Whiz" by Carla Thomas - Mary Wells
    "Your Good Thing (Is About To End)" by Mabel John - Mary Wells

  22. #22
    The Supremes performed the Staple Singers "I'll Take You There" on their "Live In Japan" album.

  23. #23
    You learn something new every day. I looked up on Amazon the CD that was shown in the initial thread. I was surprised to learn that Billy Eckstine was a Stax artist at one time.
    Interesting.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    You learn something new every day. I looked up on Amazon the CD that was shown in the initial thread. I was surprised to learn that Billy Eckstine was a Stax artist at one time.
    Interesting.
    He can briefly be seen in the Wattstax documentary (not singing, but being interviewed).

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