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  1. #1

    Was Thelma Houston The Last To Arise Via Motown's In-House Machinery??

    Just thinking about this.
    Although the in-house production style continued through the seventies , and much product resulted for existing acts, no new successes broke through from this process, except for Thelma Houston (new in the sense that she finally conquered the charts, became a recognized name , and thus became a formidable player in the performance circuit.)

    I can't think of another "new" act that emerged after her , and perhaps the J5 were the last before her to arise due to the old school gang of writers and producers hanging out in the halls of Motown??

    The rest broke through by their own musical talents and skills....Commodores , Rick James, Switch ....Lionel

    Or am I over looking others??

  2. #2
    Yeah, I think that's a fair assumption to make. I can't think of any artists arising through Motown's in-house production that made it big after Thelma. Although its probably fair to say that Motown's in-house machinery ceased to exist after the 70s?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Just thinking about this.
    Although the in-house production style continued through the seventies , and much product resulted for existing acts, no new successes broke through from this process, except for Thelma Houston (new in the sense that she finally conquered the charts, became a recognized name , and thus became a formidable player in the performance circuit.)

    I can't think of another "new" act that emerged after her , and perhaps the J5 were the last before her to arise due to the old school gang of writers and producers hanging out in the halls of Motown??

    The rest broke through by their own musical talents and skills....Commodores , Rick James, Switch ....Lionel

    Or am I over looking others??
    Yes you are. First of all Thelma's big big hit was a cover of Harold Melvin and the Blue's "Don't Leave Me This Way" a Philly International song.

    I feel that Tata Vega, High Inergy, Switch, DeBarge and El DeBarge were the last of the break through acts from "Berry Gordy's Motown".

  4. #4
    I was tempted to include DeBarge in my post, perhaps they are the last artist to arise through such means...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Yes you are. First of all Thelma's big big hit was a cover of Harold Melvin and the Blue's "Don't Leave Me This Way" a Philly International song. I feel that Tata Vega, High Inergy, Switch, DeBarge and El DeBarge were the last of the break through acts from "Berry Gordy's Motown".
    those artists you list released material through Motown , but really the projects were of their own doing ... using outside producers , musicians ( more than not) and even studios. Often they wrote their own material or at least chose it. I'm talking about artists that depended on the old Motown factory to mold their career.
    Although DON'T LEAVE ME THIS WAY was conceived elsewhere; the Motown version is just that , arranged and produced in house , recorded in house , with in house musicians . As the vocalist of the Motown production , Thelma Houston's involvement meant showing up to the Motown studio and being told "here sing this".

    I thought you might be right about High Inergy , it would make sense , a female vocal group, but I see they were produced by an unknown ( & with no Motown background) named Kent Washburn and recorded at ABC studios. Their breakthrough was mediocre at best anyway, one Top 40 hit that didn't break the Top 10.

    TomatoTom123 said:
    Yeah, I think that's a fair assumption to make. I can't think of any artists arising through Motown's in-house production that made it big after Thelma. Although its probably fair to say that Motown's in-house machinery ceased to exist after the '70s?
    Yes ....and where did they all go ??
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 07-03-2019 at 03:52 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    those artists you list released material through Motown , but really the projects were of their own doing ... using outside producers , musicians ( more than not) and even studios. Often they wrote their own material or at least chose it. I'm talking about artists that depended on the old Motown factory to mold their career.
    Although DON'T LEAVE ME THIS WAY was conceived elsewhere; the Motown version is just that , arranged and produced in house , recorded in house , with in house musicians . As the vocalist of the Motown production , Thelma Houston's involvement meant showing up to the Motown studio and being told "here sing this".

    I thought you might be right about High Inergy , it would make sense , a female vocal group, but I see they were produced by an unknown ( & with no Motown background) named Kent Washburn and recorded at ABC studios. Their breakthrough was mediocre at best anyway, one Top 40 hit that didn't break the Top 10.



    Yes ....and where did they all go ??
    Regarding High Inergy, long time Motown staff songwriters like Marilyn McLeod and Pam Sawyer and even Gwen Gordy wrote songs for them.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Regarding High Inergy, long time Motown staff songwriters like Marilyn McLeod and Pam Sawyer and even Gwen Gordy wrote songs for them.
    How does that work ...do they write for them specifically , or does the High Inergy camp comb through and choose from already available material written by them ?

    or both? or who knows?? or does it matter?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    How does that work ...do they write for them specifically , or does the High Inergy camp comb through and choose from already available material written by them ?

    or both? or who knows?? or does it matter?
    I really can't answer that, but I do know that Pam Sawyer and Marilyn McLeod wrote "Love Is All You Need" for the girls I believe. It was on their 2nd album.

  9. #9
    Marv, High Inergy''s "Love Is All You Need" was on the girls' first Gordy album, "Turnin' On".

    Boogie, I would say that Motown's in-house machinery ended when Motown left Detroit in 1972. Once relocated to California, they started bringing in outside songwriters and producers. The in-house production line of the '60s was a thing of the past. And so was "The Motown Sound", as we knew it. Motown still had its many moments of musical magic throughout the '70s, but the phenomenon of Motown's production line was history. New songwriters, new producers, new musicians, and new artists was the rule of the day at the new Motown.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I feel that Tata Vega, High Inergy, Switch, DeBarge and El DeBarge were the last of the break through acts from "Berry Gordy's Motown".
    WRONG!!! Mr. Gordy stated, in his book, that the jackson five were the last one's to come him!!!

  11. #11
    Teena Marie...Brought to Motown by Hal Davis where her career was shaped......

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by dvus7 View Post
    WRONG!!! Mr. Gordy stated, in his book, that the jackson five were the last one's to come him!!!
    If I say "I feel", how can I be wrong? Learn to read for understanding! If I had said "I know for a fact", then you may have grounds to get all excited like you tend to do...........

    Besides, that is not exactly what Mr. Gordy said in his book!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    Teena Marie...Brought to Motown by Hal Davis where her career was shaped......
    Exactly! That happened after the Jackson 5 came along too.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    Teena Marie...Brought to Motown by Hal Davis where her career was shaped......
    But not by the traditional in-house machinery , whose production efforts failed her. Only after Rick James stepped in, was her career launched , and thereafter much of her recordings were in her own hands.

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