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  1. #1

    Motown Artists Switching to Other Motown Subsidiary Labels

    Did any other Motown artists switch to another Motown subsidiary label as David Ruffin did when he switched/assigned to the Motown label being that he was had been a Gordy label artist as part of the Temptations? I am not speaking about guest appearances with an artist from another Motown label or specialty albums or even situations like Marvin Gaye (Tamla) recording the duet album with Diana Ross on the Motown label. I am speaking of just being assigned to another label.

    Am I correct that the Contours recorded under the Motown label? In that case, I guess Dennis Edwards move to being a Temptation moved him to the Gordy label, right?

    In Dennis' case, I wonder what the reasoning was that he was placed on the Motown label.

  2. #2
    The Supremes first 2 singles were released under the tamla lable.

  3. #3
    Wasn't Thelma Houston first Mowest before one of the bigger subsidiaries, Tamla?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post

    Am I correct that the Contours recorded under the Motown label? In that case, I guess Dennis Edwards move to being a Temptation moved him to the Gordy label, right?

    In Dennis' case, I wonder what the reasoning was that he was placed on the Motown label.
    The Contours switched from Motown to Gordy.

    Kim Weston switched from Tamla to Gordy.

    The Velvelettes switched from VIP to Soul.

    The Tempts switched from Miracle to Gordy.
    Last edited by reese; 03-18-2019 at 12:07 AM.

  5. #5
    Chris Clark: Motown: VIP. & Weed.
    Blinky: Motown Soul & Mowest.
    Four Tops: Workshop Jazz & Motown.
    Dorsey Burnette: Melody & VIP.
    Sammy Davis Jr.: Motown & Ecology.
    Debbie Dean: Motown & VIP.
    Kiki Dee: Tamla & Rare Earth.
    Downbeats/Elgins: Tamla & VIP.
    DRATS /Primettes: Tamla & Motown.
    Funk Brothers: Motown & Soul.
    Gospel Stars: Tamla & Divinity.
    Herman Griffin: Tamla & Motown.
    Danny Hernandez & The Ones: Motown & Rare Earth.
    Eddie Holland: Tamla & Motown.
    Isley Bros.: Tamla & VIP.
    Chuck Jackson: Motown & VIP.
    Marv Johnson: Tamla & Gordy.
    Bob Kayli (Robert Gordy) Tamla & Gordy.
    Rev. Martin Luther King: Gordy & Black Forum.
    Majestics/Monitors: Soul & VIP.
    Mickey McCullers: Tamla & VIP.
    Messengers: Soul & Rare Earth.
    Mynah Birds: Motown & VIP.
    Spinners: Motown & Soul.
    Bobby Taylor: Gordy & VIP.
    R. Dean Taylor: VIP. & Rare Earth.
    Temptations/Pirates: Miracle, Melody & Gordy.
    Velvelettes: Soul & VIP.
    Singin` Sammy Ward: Tamla & Soul.
    Kim Weston: Gordy & Tamla.
    Stevie Wonder/Eivets Rednow: Tamla & Gordy.
    There will be more.

  6. #6
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    Marv Johnson switched from Tamla to Gordy
    Eddie Holland switched from Tamla to Motown
    Popcorn Wylie switched from Motown to Gordy
    Singin' Sammy Ward switched from Tamla to Soul
    Gospel Stars switched from Tamla to Divinity
    Dorsey Burnette switched from Melody to VIP
    Chris Clark switched from VIP to Motown to Weed
    Bob Kayli (AKA Robert Gordy) switched from Tamla to Gordy
    Kim Weston switched from Divinity to Tamla to Gordy
    Little Stevie/Stevie Wonder(Eivets Rednow) switched from Tamla to Gordy to Tamla to Motown
    Hattie Littles switched from Gordy to VIP
    The Temptations actually switched from Miracle to Gordy to Mel-o-dy (as Pirates) to Gordy to Motown
    The Monitors switched from VIP to Soul
    The Miracles switched from Motown to Tamla and back to Motown
    G.C. Cameron switched from was it Soul or Gordy, to MoWest?
    Herman Griffin switched from Tamla to Motown
    Mickey McCullers switched from Tamla to VIP
    Jimmy Ruffin moved from Miracle to Soul
    The Spinners changed from Motown to VIP
    Weren't The Four Seasons or Frankie Valle on Motown and then MoWest?
    The Originals changed from Soul to Motown (of course, those '70s changes to Motown were caused by Gordy, Soul, and VIP being consolidated into the one and only label left, Motown).
    The Valadiers switched from Miracle to Gordy
    Downbeats/Elgins switched from Tamla to VIP
    Debbie Dean switched from Motown to VIP
    Mike and The Modifiers/Mike Valvano switched from Gordy to VIP
    Liz Lands switched from Gordy to Divinity
    Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers/Bobby Taylor switched from Gordy to VIP
    Martha and The Vandellas/Vells switched from Gordy to Mel-o-dy back to Gordy to Natural Resources to Motown
    The Serenaders switched from Motown to VIP
    The Four Tops switched from Workshop Jazz to Motown
    Earl Van Dyke (and The Soul Brothers, Motown Brass, Funk Brothers) changed from Tamla to Motown to Soul to Motown
    Chuck Jackson changed from Motown to VIP
    R. Dean Taylor switched from VIP to Rare Earth
    Messengers switched from Soul to Rare Earth
    Lamont Dozier /(Holland-Dozier) switched from Mel-o-dy to Motown
    Rita Wright/Syreeta switched from Gordy to Motown to MoWest to Tamla
    Blinky Williams switched from Motown to MoWest
    Danny Hernandez and The ones switched from Motown to Rare Earth
    Mynah Birds switched from VIP to Motown
    Last edited by robb_k; 03-19-2019 at 12:02 AM.

  7. #7
    I salute you robb.

  8. #8
    me too! both of you!

  9. #9
    And here was a recent thread on the subject https://soulfuldetroit.com/showthrea...=Blinky+labels

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Polhill View Post
    Chris Clark: Motown: VIP. & Weed.
    Blinky: Motown Soul & Mowest.
    Four Tops: Workshop Jazz & Motown.
    Dorsey Burnette: Melody & VIP.
    Sammy Davis Jr.: Motown & Ecology.
    Debbie Dean: Motown & VIP.
    Kiki Dee: Tamla & Rare Earth.
    Downbeats/Elgins: Tamla & VIP.
    DRATS /Primettes: Tamla & Motown.
    Funk Brothers: Motown & Soul.
    Gospel Stars: Tamla & Divinity.
    Herman Griffin: Tamla & Motown.
    Danny Hernandez & The Ones: Motown & Rare Earth.
    Eddie Holland: Tamla & Motown.
    Isley Bros.: Tamla & VIP.
    Chuck Jackson: Motown & VIP.
    Marv Johnson: Tamla & Gordy.
    Bob Kayli (Robert Gordy) Tamla & Gordy.
    Rev. Martin Luther King: Gordy & Black Forum.
    Majestics/Monitors: Soul & VIP.
    Mickey McCullers: Tamla & VIP.
    Messengers: Soul & Rare Earth.
    Mynah Birds: Motown & VIP.
    Spinners: Motown & Soul.
    Bobby Taylor: Gordy & VIP.
    R. Dean Taylor: VIP. & Rare Earth.
    Temptations/Pirates: Miracle, Melody & Gordy.
    Velvelettes: Soul & VIP.
    Singin` Sammy Ward: Tamla & Soul.
    Kim Weston: Gordy & Tamla.
    Stevie Wonder/Eivets Rednow: Tamla & Gordy.
    There will be more.
    The Spinners switched from Motown to VIP.

  11. #11
    Thank you for all of the input...wow, that's quite an impressive list. I noticed my last sentence in my original post said, 'Dennis', rather than the intended 'David'.

    Any theories/facts as to why the most of the artists listed were switched? In my opinion, each of the subsidiary labels featured a slightly difference variance of the Motown sound (Gordy music, to me, was grittier than the Motown music). I can see why many of the artists were switched based on the type of product they were putting out.
    Last edited by jobucats; 03-18-2019 at 01:33 PM.

  12. #12
    VIP seemed to be sort of the step-child. An act would be assigned to VIP first, and if it showed promise or picked up some momentum (or in Chris Clark's case, was personally involved with a higher-up), that act seemed to get shifted to one of the bigger labels. But if this were truly the case, why were The Velvelettes "upgraded" to Soul when the act had sort of run out of steam by that time, with all original members but Cal having left the act? Conversely, The Spinners got "demoted" from the flagship Motown label to VIP before moving to Atlantic, and the irony is that their highest-charting Hitsville number, "It's a Shame," was their final VIP recording. So perhaps this theory of mine is flawed. Maybe it could have been simply a matter of balancing the number of acts among the assorted labels, but it does seem that VIP seemed to serve as a "holding tank."

  13. #13
    I've seen an advertisement with the Messengers and the Originals listed on VIP. I don't think this ever happened on vinyl, but it did in print.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by BigAl View Post
    VIP seemed to be sort of the step-child. An act would be assigned to VIP first, and if it showed promise or picked up some momentum (or in Chris Clark's case, was personally involved with a higher-up), that act seemed to get shifted to one of the bigger labels. But if this were truly the case, why were The Velvelettes "upgraded" to Soul when the act had sort of run out of steam by that time, with all original members but Cal having left the act? Conversely, The Spinners got "demoted" from the flagship Motown label to VIP before moving to Atlantic, and the irony is that their highest-charting Hitsville number, "It's a Shame," was their final VIP recording. So perhaps this theory of mine is flawed. Maybe it could have been simply a matter of balancing the number of acts among the assorted labels, but it does seem that VIP seemed to serve as a "holding tank."
    True...VIP was basically a 2nd tier label...and also True...Ms Clark received all sorts of perks that continued well beyond her recording career when she temporarily moved in with the boss...I was with them in the Temptations dressing room at The Roostertail as she accompanied the boss and was basically playing mommy to his two sons that were with them...

  15. #15
    Other than the story of DJs not wanting to play too many songs from the same label what was the point of having so many labels

    Genre ones I get: divinity for gospel, rare earth for rock, I think melody was motowns country label

    But really what was the difference between VIP, Gordy, Tamla and Flagship Motown?

  16. #16
    Syreeta: Gordy (as Rita Wright), Mowest, Motown and Tamla

  17. #17
    Sometimes label changes were because of closing out certain labels, so they had to be moved. Occasionally, it was the other way around as they opening a new imprint that fit the artist better. Pretty much by the '80's, it was mainly just Motown, Tamla and Gordy. Most of the others had been closed, Soul, MoWest, Rare Earth, VIP, Miracle, Workshop Jazz, Black Forum, etc.

    There were a few esoteric imprints in the '80's, things like Motown Gospel, Motown Latin, etc. Plus, a few occasions where they lost the rights to the label name, Melodyland, for instance. That was then quickly changed to Hitsville, which really did not fit because it was their Country Artists, that Berry Gordy and Mike Curb were producing. Curb had an interest in the label. Hitsville then got changed to MC... Motown Country! Curb liked it because it could also stand for Mike Curb. When Curb and Gordy dissolved the label, Curb got custody of most of the Artists. TG Shepherd, Pat Boone, Jud Strunk and many others. They were all moved to Warner Bros./Curb.
    Last edited by greg jones; 03-18-2019 at 11:37 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    True...VIP was basically a 2nd tier label...and also True...Ms Clark received all sorts of perks that continued well beyond her recording career when she temporarily moved in with the boss...I was with them in the Temptations dressing room at The Roostertail as she accompanied the boss and was basically playing mommy to his two sons that were with them...
    Approximately what year was this? Thanks.

  19. #19
    Please forgive me if I've duplicated this, but as I glanced through the above examples, I didn't see this mentioned:

    Edwin Starr from Gordy (hit 45s & LPs) to Soul 45 ("Who Is The Leader Of The People") to Motown 45 & Soundtrack LP ("Hell Up In Harlem").

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