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  1. #1

    Raynoma Gordy Singleton not mentioned on Motown Wikipedia

    I'm currently reading her book (Berry, Me and Motown) for the 2nd time and have no reason to disbelieve her account, though I understand that autobiographies can be very biased.

    What troubles me though, is that on the Motown Wikipedia page there is absolutely no mention of her despite her being clearly a big part of starting Motown. Surely she deserves recognition and her place in history. Should we go about correcting this?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motown
    Last edited by scanspeak; 11-14-2018 at 07:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Of course she should be remembered and documented in Motown's history.
    But chasing after Gordy's girlfriend with a gun probably affected this, along with her bootlegging activities in New York.
    But all serious fans know of her important role in the beginning and evolvement of Motown.
    Last edited by snakepit; 11-14-2018 at 08:34 AM.

  3. #3
    If you google Ray Singleton wiki you will see a documented history of her pre-Motown, Motown era, and her later stints with Shrine Records, etc.

    I don't know why they didn't list it as Raynoma Gordy Singleton. Would have been logical.

  4. #4
    Anyone can sign up and edit a Wikipedia article, so have at it. While edits are monitored by Wikipedia's volunteer army of watchers, I would guess that such a significant addition would be acceptable.

  5. #5
    Lowell
    That's good to know. Hopefully somebody with the required skill can insert some input regarding Ray Singleton's very important role in the early days.

  6. #6
    It's easy to include her contributions. Just make sure you source them because Wiki's bots can put the "need caution" tag.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by scanspeak View Post
    I'm currently reading her book (Berry, Me and Motown) for the 2nd time and have no reason to disbelieve her account, though I understand that autobiographies can be very biased.

    What troubles me though, is that on the Motown Wikipedia page there is absolutely no mention of her despite her being clearly a big part of starting Motown. Surely she deserves recognition and her place in history. Should we go about correcting this?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motown
    She was telling the truth. Many of the early Motowners have confirmed her contributions to the success of the company.

  8. #8
    Anybody can edit anything there which is why it’s unreliable

  9. #9
    She was extremely important. She raised the bar for Gordy's operations, both with her musical ability and organisation skills.
    I think the problem was that she also wanted to bring ' romance' into the equation.
    By her own account, she pressurised him into marriage, which he clearly didn't want, after coming off a strained marriage and divorce only a year before.
    He was involved with other women, and must have felt he was forced into it. It clearely strained their relationship.

    There was a similar thread on here recently.

  10. #10
    Her book was pretty good too; it was an early one. It seems to be she was the first person to publicly acknowledge that Rhonda Ross was Berry's child. However her book didn't come across as a bunch of celebrity fawning and claptrap; she didn't seem to feel she had to write about Diana Ross or Michael Jackson in order to attract sales and attention.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    She was extremely important. She raised the bar for Gordy's operations, both with her musical ability and organisation skills.
    I think the problem was that she also wanted to bring ' romance' into the equation.
    By her own account, she pressurised him into marriage, which he clearly didn't want, after coming off a strained marriage and divorce only a year before.
    He was involved with other women, and must have felt he was forced into it. It clearely strained their relationship.

    There was a similar thread on here recently.
    He also had a kid with her, Kerry. They got married in my hometown. He played away during all of his marriages.

  12. #12
    Whilst she was very important on the early days, her erratic behaviour meant that she became a liability to Berry and Motown.
    But she cetainly deserves recognition for her role.

    I'm sure I've seen a photo of the original loan agreement with Berberryco-op?? ...the famous $800 ....with Raynoma's signature on it...a dual partnership.
    Subsequent reproductions of the agreement have airbrushed her signature from it.
    Can anybody confirm this?

  13. #13
    With hundreds, perhaps thousands of edits on the Motown Wiki, it's very well possible that she was mentioned at one time.....and erased/deleted. Being that Wiki is "of the people", everyone has the ability to write and rewrite history.....who is important, and who's not.

    I've seen some unsavory edits on various Motown related entertainers over the years.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    With hundreds, perhaps thousands of edits on the Motown Wiki, it's very well possible that she was mentioned at one time.....and erased/deleted. Being that Wiki is "of the people", everyone has the ability to write and rewrite history.....who is important, and who's not.

    I've seen some unsavory edits on various Motown related entertainers over the years.
    Now who do you suppose would have done that! LOL

  15. #15
    I witnessed firsthand Ms (Gordy) Singleton at the Mowest studios in West Hollywood in the 80's. She appeared to be quite involved in the managing of the entire operation at that time...

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    If you google Ray Singleton wiki you will see a documented history of her pre-Motown, Motown era, and her later stints with Shrine Records, etc.

    I don't know why they didn't list it as Raynoma Gordy Singleton. Would have been logical.
    Name:  av-5.jpg
Views: 461
Size:  21.1 KB
    Raynoma Liles, Gordy. Singleton!

  17. #17
    She sure did have a lot to say about Miss Ross.

  18. #18
    She had a lot to say about many Motowners, that's why it was such a good book.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    She sure did have a lot to say about Miss Ross.
    Miss Ray said things I did not think I would ever hear in public. She did a couple of television inteviews during the time of her book release. One with Tanya Hart on BET. She was joined by Gladys Horton and they really got into about Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson. Gladys was not pulling any punches.
    Last edited by marv2; 11-20-2018 at 03:48 PM.

  20. #20
    I wished I had seen that BET interview. Love Raynomas and Gladys’ honesty!

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    She sure did have a lot to say about Miss Ross.
    Which you just love to point out.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  22. #22
    She also said Diana was the talented and nicest Supreme

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    She also said Diana was the talented and nicest Supreme
    It is clear you did not read her book! LOL!!!!

  24. #24
    To be fair she had both positive and negative things to say about Diana and about Berry.

    It's been a few years since I read Berry Gordys book. Did he give credit to Raynoma for the early beginnings of Motown?

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by scanspeak View Post
    To be fair she had both positive and negative things to say about Diana and about Berry.

    It's been a few years since I read Berry Gordys book. Did he give credit to Raynoma for the early beginnings of Motown?
    Yes he did in his book. Both books are in storage now, so I can't remember word for word what he said, but he did acknowledge her contributions.

  26. #26
    Thanks, I will cross-check them to confirm.

  27. #27
    I added a brief bit about Raynoma in the 'History' section:

    Miracles lead singer William "Smokey" Robinson became the vice president of the company (and later named his daughter "Tamla" and his son "Berry"). Several of Gordy's family members, including his father Berry Sr., brothers Robert and George, and sister Esther, were given key roles in the company. By the middle of the decade, Gwen and Anna Gordy had joined the label in administrative positions as well. Gordy's partner at the time, Raynoma Liles, also played a key role in the early days of Motown, leading the company's first session group, The Rayber Voices, and overseeing the label's publishing arm, Jobete.

    It's short but the main thing is she is mentioned! I hope it's OK (and the info is correct)

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    I added a brief bit about Raynoma in the 'History' section:

    Miracles lead singer William "Smokey" Robinson became the vice president of the company (and later named his daughter "Tamla" and his son "Berry"). Several of Gordy's family members, including his father Berry Sr., brothers Robert and George, and sister Esther, were given key roles in the company. By the middle of the decade, Gwen and Anna Gordy had joined the label in administrative positions as well. Gordy's partner at the time, Raynoma Liles, also played a key role in the early days of Motown, leading the company's first session group, The Rayber Voices, and overseeing the label's publishing arm, Jobete.

    It's short but the main thing is she is mentioned! I hope it's OK (and the info is correct)
    That's nice. I would have mentioned that she was Berry Gordy's wife in case Cliff or Kerry reads it.

  29. #29
    Good job Tom Tom!

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    That's nice. I would have mentioned that she was Berry Gordy's wife in case Cliff or Kerry reads it.
    Thanks marv. I was going to put 'wife', but they married in 1960 and at that point in the article it's still 1959, so I left it.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Good job Tom Tom!
    Thanks Boogie!!

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    Thanks marv. I was going to put 'wife', but they married in 1960 and at that point in the article it's still 1959, so I left it.
    I know Kerry is older than me and was born in 1959. Berry Gordy and Raynoma were married in Toledo. I don't see where a few months between years makes a difference.

  33. #33
    Good job Tom

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I know Kerry is older than me and was born in 1959. Berry Gordy and Raynoma were married in Toledo. I don't see where a few months between years makes a difference.
    Ok Marv, I added that she was his wife from 1960 to 1964

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by scanspeak View Post
    Good job Tom
    Thanks scans

  36. #36
    I just uploaded this clip from the Motorcity All Stars DVD (better quality than previous versions) which has Raynoma getting her groove on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDPKE6GAM_c&t=57s

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    Ok Marv, I added that she was his wife from 1960 to 1964
    Good job Tom Tom!

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Good job Tom Tom!
    Thanks marv

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    Ok Marv, I added that she was his wife from 1960 to 1964

    Tom,
    Just out of curiosity, have you read Raynoma's book?

  40. #40
    I knew Raye when she was head of the Creative Division in L.A. I knew of her way before then. To me, she was awesome.So much talent and energy. She definitely was a player in Motown's formative years. On one of my visits from Monterey, where I was living at the time, she made me an offer to do some writing and producing. We made plans to meet soon and talk things over but before I knew it, she was replaced. Big mistake in my humble opinion. What I saw in her that first meeting was a grim determination to get things moving at Motown. And she would have.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    Tom,
    Just out of curiosity, have you read Raynoma's book?
    No, I haven't, although it sounds great and I would like to.

  42. #42
    Nice job Tom. Raynoma's book was a good read and nice to see things from a different perspective.

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by McMotown View Post
    Nice job Tom. Raynoma's book was a good read and nice to see things from a different perspective.
    Thanks Paul.

  44. #44
    That paragraph now reads as:

    Miracles lead singer William "Smokey" Robinson became the vice president of the company (and later named his daughter "Tamla" and his son "Berry"). Several of Gordy's family members, including his father Berry Sr., brothers Robert and George, and sister Esther, were given key roles in the company. By the middle of the decade, Gwen and Anna Gordy had joined the label in administrative positions as well. Gordy's partner at the time (and wife from 1960-64), Raynoma Liles, also played a key role in the early days of Motown, leading the company's first session group, The Rayber Voices, and overseeing the label's publishing arm, Jobete.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by McMotown View Post
    Nice job Tom. Raynoma's book was a good read and nice to see things from a different perspective.
    It is a very good, raw book on Motown. I met Miss Ray before her book came out or I would have had her sign mine.

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    That paragraph now reads as:

    Miracles lead singer William "Smokey" Robinson became the vice president of the company (and later named his daughter "Tamla" and his son "Berry"). Several of Gordy's family members, including his father Berry Sr., brothers Robert and George, and sister Esther, were given key roles in the company. By the middle of the decade, Gwen and Anna Gordy had joined the label in administrative positions as well. Gordy's partner at the time (and wife from 1960-64), Raynoma Liles, also played a key role in the early days of Motown, leading the company's first session group, The Rayber Voices, and overseeing the label's publishing arm, Jobete.
    She also wrote the charts for the musicians that played on their recordings. She helped in scouting talent too.

  47. #47
    She should have been rightly compensated for getting Motown on the map. Interesting how her efforts appear to be wiped off Motown’s history. I met her at the Detroit book signing and found her to be extremely personable.

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by detmotownguy View Post
    She should have been rightly compensated for getting Motown on the map. Interesting how her efforts appear to be wiped off Motown’s history. I met her at the Detroit book signing and found her to be extremely personable.
    I remember when Mr. Gordy has his book signing at New Center. I wanted to say something about Miss Ray, but his brother Robert was glaring, so I said "Mary had more people for her book signing than he did; they were clear out the door...." LOL!

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    It is a very good, raw book on Motown. I met Miss Ray before her book came out or I would have had her sign mine.
    Yes I thoroughly enjoyed the book too, hence why I have now read it twice.

    What fascinated me the most was how savvy, intelligent and talented she was in business and music, yet her personal life was often in complete disarray.

  50. #50
    Yes I agree.
    That is why I asked Tom if he had read the book. It throws a lot of light onto the situation of why Raynoma was 'pushed' out of Motown.
    As I alluded to, she was very influential and important to Berry Gordy's plans, and there was obviously a relationship between them.
    But as Gordy's dreams were finally coming true, she made the mistake of trying to tie him down and become a stable, ' normal' husband.
    He was never going to be a Dick Van Dyke " Hi honey I'm home" at 6pm every night kind of guy.
    She forced into a marriage he clearly didn't want at the time.....he was involved with other women,he was running around clubs meeting all manner of record/music people, he was making money and living the life he clearly wanted....bear in mind , when Berry and Raynoma formed Tamla she had only known him about 18 months.
    He had a bad marriage to Thelma and now, he was aspiring to lead a life he always wanted.
    The marriage to Raynoma was doomed from day one.
    She was clearly very important to him from the business side but she seemed adamant to make it more, with a stable marriage as well.
    His needs and wants were obviously different to hers, and the treatment she received was , unfortunately, always going to happen. Her erractic behaviour became a problem that was leading to Major problems for Berry and Motown. Eventually he got rid of the problem!

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