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  1. #1

    The making of Hitsville

    I went to the Detroit premier last night. Looks like I was left on the editing room floor. But that is okay. The movie dealt primarily with the earlier days. All in all, I thought the movie was well done.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    I went to the Detroit premier last night. Looks like I was left on the editing room floor. But that is okay. The movie dealt primarily with the earlier days. All in all, I thought the movie was well done.
    Sorry your part wasn't shown Ralph but you could be on the DVD cause they always add bounus bits to the DVD. Im glad you liked the movie. Im gonna watch it tonight.

    Yours, with every good wish.

    Roberta

  3. #3
    Thanks for the tip, Roberta.

  4. #4
    I also attended The Making of Hitsville last night. I thought it was excellent. It covered some history of that era and the social impact of Motown for decades to come. Young people ought to view it just for the enlightenment, even if they don't remember the songs or the artists from the early days. Ralph and I will watch it again on Showtime. At least his name was in the credits.

  5. #5
    Certainly a compelling story. Interesting that they went directly to a cable network with it, not trying to first release it in theatres as was done with the SITSOM, Wrecking Crew, or other similar documentaries...

  6. #6
    Stu, much of the movie seemed to be all Berry and Smokey. But that was just fine. So good to see the love and respect these two guys have for each other.

  7. #7
    well it is called The Making Of Hitsville, not The Stars or The Hits Of Hitsville.. the making was indeed Gordy and Smokey..

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    Stu, much of the movie seemed to be all Berry and Smokey. But that was just fine. So good to see the love and respect these two guys have for each other.
    That's the impression I get Ralph...but it IS the "Making of Motown" and those two virtually "made" Motown...It's on tonight, so I plan to check it out...

  9. #9
    Yes, it is actually called "Hitsville: The Making of Motown," as you have noted. I'm sure you will find it light-hearted and enjoyable. The banter between Berry and Smokey is delightful.
    Last edited by 9A; 08-25-2019 at 09:13 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    I went to the Detroit premier last night. Looks like I was left on the editing room floor. But that is okay. The movie dealt primarily with the earlier days. All in all, I thought the movie was well done.
    You see that is the kind of thing that irks me about these programs having people that were not involved in the company or Detroit involved. Did they at least mention Al Abrams and Esther Gordy Edwards?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by 9A View Post
    Yes, it is actually called "Hitsville: The Making of Motown," as you have noted. I'm sure you will find it light-hearted and enjoyable. The banter between Berry and Smokey is delightful.
    Hi Nina. I'm glad you and Ralph at least got invited to the screening.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    You see that is the kind of thing that irks me about these programs having people that were not involved in the company or Detroit involved. Did they at least mention Al Abrams and Esther Gordy Edwards?
    Understood, but the issue if you will is the producers have to sell this program to a broad audience for the project to financially pay off which is why they recruit nationally known people with their OWN following to participate in these type projects and feature them in trailers and advertising (or else might play a tit for tat and include these people as a tradeoff to build THEIR careers as they did with Adam Ant in that Motown TV special as a favor to SOME industry associate, but Foxx and Legend don't need the exposure and the project needs them more than they need the project I'm sure)...not just appeal to those predictable viewers with a previous interest... Reminds me of a conversation I was once a a fly on the wall at a dinner conversation with the longtime manager and co-producer with a very famous singer, actor, film producer... His point was that for certain projects...they could find an actor for a million dollars that would be as good or better than another more famous actor that they would have to pay 6 million dollars...but in the end...in most cases...the star they pay 6 million dollars, based on their recognition and familiarity and box office appeal will generally make more money for their project than the million dollar actor who would have done the role just as well or better...Just how the business works... Jamie Foxx or John Legend, or whomever, will absolutely interest people in this documentary that otherwise might never tune in to watch...and the difference in those numbers can be HUGE and in the end... the object of the producers is to have a successful project that makes money...not just create a nostalgia event for diehard fans... In the end...although I haven't seen this film, it's interesting that someone got Berry Gordy, Smokey, and others before it's too late to go on video unscripted to reminisce about the making of Hitsville, like the title says...I believe that was the ultimate intent of the producers while telling the story of the unlikely growth of what started out as a virtual mom and pop operation into one of the most successful entertainment enterprises in music history......
    Last edited by StuBass1; 08-24-2019 at 09:26 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    Understood, but the issue if you will is the producers have to sell this program to a broad audience for the project to financially pay off which is why they recruit nationally known people with their OWN following to participate in these type projects and feature them in trailers and advertising (or else might play a tit for tat and include these people as a tradeoff to build THEIR careers as they did with Adam Ant in that Motown TV special as a favor to SOME industry associate, but Foxx and Legend don't need the exposure and the project needs them more than they need the project I'm sure)...not just appeal to those predictable viewers with a previous interest... Reminds me of a conversation I was once a a fly on the wall at a dinner conversation with the longtime manager and co-producer with a very famous singer, actor, film producer... His point was that for certain projects...they could find an actor for a million dollars that would be as good or better than another more famous actor that they would have to pay 6 million dollars...but in the end...in most cases...the star they pay 6 million dollars, based on their recognition and familiarity and box office appeal will generally make more money for their project than the million dollar actor who would have done the role just as well or better...Just how the business works... Jamie Foxx or John Legend, or whomever, will absolutely interest people in this documentary that otherwise might never tune in to watch...and the difference in those numbers can be HUGE and in the end... the object of the producers is to have a successful project that makes money...not just create a nostalgia event for diehard fans... In the end...although I haven't seen this film, it's interesting that someone got Berry Gordy, Smokey, and others before it's too late to go on video unscripted to reminisce about the making of Hitsville, like the title says...I believe that was the ultimate intent of the producers while telling the story of the unlikely growth of what started out as a virtual mom and pop operation into one of the most successful entertainment enterprises in music history......
    I understand also, but this still does not please me. Sorry.

  14. #14
    I'm glad I have Ralph's, Al's, Mary's and the other Motown related books so that I could get the more complete story of what really happened and who was involved. I'm glad I was blessed to meet and get to know so many folks from Motown. Thank you.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I'm glad I have Ralph's, Al's, Mary's and the other Motown related books so that I could get the more complete story of what really happened and who was involved. I'm glad I was blessed to meet and get to know so many folks from Motown. Thank you.
    Marvin, we cannot forget Miss Ray's book that provided us with some critical history on the develop of Motown not provided in other media.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I'm glad I have Ralph's, Al's, Mary's and the other Motown related books so that I could get the more complete story of what really happened and who was involved. I'm glad I was blessed to meet and get to know so many folks from Motown. Thank you.
    Yup, there are books out there with I'm sure more to come...some more realistic and truthful than others...Ralph told it quite well from his perspective as did some others, but some of the books are literary trash...so in the end...it's hard to tell the facts from the bullshit...

  17. #17
    Just finished it. The footage was amazing. All cleaned up and some that were in color that I had never seen in color before! Its ashame these footages can't be released in their full form. Besides the footage, it was okay. Same stories we heard many times before. I was getting kinda bored halfway through.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    Understood, but the issue if you will is the producers have to sell this program to a broad audience for the project to financially pay off which is why they recruit nationally known people with their OWN following to participate in these type projects and feature them in trailers and advertising (or else might play a tit for tat and include these people as a tradeoff to build THEIR careers as they did with Adam Ant in that Motown TV special as a favor to SOME industry associate, but Foxx and Legend don't need the exposure and the project needs them more than they need the project I'm sure)...not just appeal to those predictable viewers with a previous interest... Reminds me of a conversation I was once a a fly on the wall at a dinner conversation with the longtime manager and co-producer with a very famous singer, actor, film producer... His point was that for certain projects...they could find an actor for a million dollars that would be as good or better than another more famous actor that they would have to pay 6 million dollars...but in the end...in most cases...the star they pay 6 million dollars, based on their recognition and familiarity and box office appeal will generally make more money for their project than the million dollar actor who would have done the role just as well or better...Just how the business works... Jamie Foxx or John Legend, or whomever, will absolutely interest people in this documentary that otherwise might never tune in to watch...and the difference in those numbers can be HUGE and in the end... the object of the producers is to have a successful project that makes money...not just create a nostalgia event for diehard fans... In the end...although I haven't seen this film, it's interesting that someone got Berry Gordy, Smokey, and others before it's too late to go on video unscripted to reminisce about the making of Hitsville, like the title says...I believe that was the ultimate intent of the producers while telling the story of the unlikely growth of what started out as a virtual mom and pop operation into one of the most successful entertainment enterprises in music history......
    I agree with you 140% but we diehard fans are never gonna get what we want and if we did the movie - documentry would be 12 days long lol. That said I just watched it with my nephew and his husband and we loved it and its great to see the clips in color and cleaned up. I thought they did a real fine job and im gonna watch it again.

    fondly,

    Roberta

  19. #19
    I enjoyed it. What was interesting to me was the audio recordings from the quality control meetings and some other meeting audio. I wonder how many meetings were recorded and how many of those tapes survived. I doubt we'll ever get to hear any more.

  20. #20
    This is from the Detroit premier red carpet in Royal Oak Ralph:


  21. #21
    Hey Marv. where did you get the video?

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    I went to the Detroit premier last night. Looks like I was left on the editing room floor. But that is okay. The movie dealt primarily with the earlier days. All in all, I thought the movie was well done.
    That's unfortunate for us! Can you tell us what in general your piece is about?

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    I went to the Detroit premier last night. Looks like I was left on the editing room floor. But that is okay. The movie dealt primarily with the earlier days. All in all, I thought the movie was well done.
    That's a shame, Ralph. They spelled my name incorrectly in the credits.

  24. #24
    Peace......I honestly don't remember what was discussed in my interview. Done two years ago last March.

  25. #25
    John, do I know your connection to Motown? Sorry if I don't.

  26. #26
    None, I submitted the footage for the Arrid Extra Dry commercial.

  27. #27
    Oh, okay. Cool.

  28. #28
    How did you come by the commercial, John?

  29. #29
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    I look forward to seeing it some time.

  30. #30
    Watched the film last night. Good to see new archival material, the taped QC meetings were great. Learned a few more things I wasn’t aware of since Motown was before my time. So many artists to cover in so little time but overall it’s good for those just discovering Motown. From a selfish perspective, The Jackson 5 still caught the short end of the stick. In all, maybe 2 minutes worth of footage (very quick) clips that were never before seen...still baffles me that no one has released a project dedicated to their contribution to Motown. Don’t wanna hear about the “legal shield” that prevents this...that’s getting old. Release the 1970 Philly show! Clearly it exists. Release the documentary narrated by Ewart Abner which shows the J5 rehearsing for the Philly show. Somebody gotta step up!

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    Hey Marv. where did you get the video?
    It was out on Youtube Ralph. I am going to search for more with updates, ok?

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    How did you come by the commercial, John?
    I found the reel on eBay in 1998. Apparently, I'm the only person who owns it.

    Last edited by johnny_raven; 08-25-2019 at 10:22 AM.

  33. #33
    Cool, John. Post what you find.

  34. #34
    Ralph, they mention you in this Detroit News article on the premier:

    https://www.detroitnews.com/story/en...ry/2104263001/

  35. #35
    Also here in the Detroit Free Press article:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/news...ire/ar-AAGf40U

  36. #36
    I found so many rare Motown items over the years, I should buckle down and put them on YouTube. It would be a HUGE endeavor. Most are acetates, including Rare Earth's promo for the One World LP. The oddest item is a double sided acetate of Ron Miller performing tracks from the Funny Girl album.

  37. #37
    Thank you Marv.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    Thank you Marv.
    You are most welcome Ralph.

  39. #39
    I watched Hitsville on Showtime last night and I really enjoyed it. Hope that they have a DVD/Blu-ray release planned (and that it includes additional material).

  40. #40
    As a huge Motown fan I found it mostly a snooze overall but loved the Tops and Tempts clips and seeing the Original Vandellas.
    Last edited by luke; 08-25-2019 at 12:17 PM.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    I watched Hitsville on Showtime last night and I really enjoyed it. Hope that they have a DVD/Blu-ray release planned (and that it includes additional material).
    I agree. I'd like to see Ralph's interview (among others).

  42. #42

    Motown photo shoot

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    Only shot I could find of that day.

  43. #43
    I don't understand these people that produced and edit this film/documentary. People keep telling me that they have to try to reach a broad, generic audience. Why not try to educate them in the process? Most of what is known about Motown has been out there for decades. In this special year, why couldn't they get into the real nitty gritty which means Detroit and what was really involved in creating and building Motown there? I know 2 hours is not enough time. I would have preferred a multi-part series where they used the REAL people that worked at Motown and some of the artists that rarely, if ever get mentioned. I think people would watch that. Everyone has seen the Supremes, Tempts, Tops, Marvin and Stevie many, many times in these anniversary programs. Everyone has also seen historical documentaries where they learned something new. They should give it a shot! Maybe a Canadian company could do one since it seems that they make the best documentaries up there.

  44. #44
    I like your idea of a multi part series, Marv, but that more than likely won't happen.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    I like your idea of a multi part series, Marv, but that more than likely won't happen.
    Ken Burns did what I thought were too great documentaries that were multi-part. One was on Baseball and the other was on Jazz. This is the route that they should have took with the Motown Anniversary.

  46. #46
    I saw both, Marv. Excellent.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I don't understand these people that produced and edit this film/documentary. People keep telling me that they have to try to reach a broad, generic audience. Why not try to educate them in the process? Most of what is known about Motown has been out there for decades. In this special year, why couldn't they get into the real nitty gritty which means Detroit and what was really involved in creating and building Motown there? I know 2 hours is not enough time. I would have preferred a multi-part series where they used the REAL people that worked at Motown and some of the artists that rarely, if ever get mentioned. I think people would watch that. Everyone has seen the Supremes, Tempts, Tops, Marvin and Stevie many, many times in these anniversary programs. Everyone has also seen historical documentaries where they learned something new. They should give it a shot! Maybe a Canadian company could do one since it seems that they make the best documentaries up there.
    When has television, with the possible exception of PBS from time to time EVER been there to educate anyone???...More like medicate the masses and make a profit doing so...or as has been previously (in-artfully) stated...It's all about the Benjamins baby...LOL
    Last edited by StuBass1; 08-25-2019 at 03:47 PM.

  48. #48
    Ralph sat for an interview with a Canadian company a few years ago and never even received a copy of his interview, although they assured him they would send him one. Instead, he learned of a web site where they are showing the clips, but you have to pay to subscribe. Similar interview about his experience at Motown.

    Here's a link to the "teaser."
    https://www.sessionsx.com/ralph-terrana
    Last edited by 9A; 08-25-2019 at 09:12 PM.

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    When has television, with the possible exception of PBS from time to time EVER been there to educate anyone???...More like medicate the masses and make a profit doing so...or as has been previously (in-artfully) stated...It's all about the Benjamins baby...LOL
    You should see the documentaries produced for the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) and some of their news/social commentary programs like "The Fifth Estate". I've watched them for years and learned so very much about a variety of subjects. Even from watch David Suzuki's program "The Nature of Things" (seen in over 40 countries) for starters. We could do it here in America.

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by 9A View Post
    Ralph sat for an interview with a Canadian company a few years ago and never even received a copy of his interview, although they assured him they would send him one. Instead, he learned of a web site where they are showing the clips, but you have to pay to subscribe. Similar interview about his experience at Motown.
    I've been contacted for interviews in the past, even one from people representing Levi's that were doing a project on Detroit music. They arranged to meet me and I did an interview, spending about two hours with them and apparently never made it out of the blocks. Many of these projects are done on spec and never get past the finish line...

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