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  1. #1

    Marvin & "tammi" (valerie)

    The EASY album should've been released as MARVIN & VALERIE with notes saying the two songs Tammi was on. But to perpetrate such a fraud is pathetic.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Soulmusic4life View Post
    The EASY album should've been released as MARVIN & VALERIE with notes saying the two songs Tammi was on. But to perpetrate such a fraud is pathetic.
    I thought the object was to generate money to pay for Tammi's hospital treatment.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    I thought the object was to generate money to pay for Tammi's hospital treatment.
    I believe Marvin says that was the rationale to convince him to go along with it. I do believe Motown was paying all of Tammi's medical bills. That said, I don't think there were any substantial royalties at the time as the EASY album was the least successful of the three released under the Marvin and Tammi banner.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Soulmusic4life View Post
    The EASY album should've been released as MARVIN & VALERIE with notes saying the two songs Tammi was on. But to perpetrate such a fraud is pathetic.
    Look, this has always been the kind of thing something we, major enough knowledged Motown connoisseurs, know, but to aknowledge it, is never cool.
    Last edited by Ngroove; 09-14-2019 at 11:11 AM.

  5. #5
    ^^^ It's a topic I would prefer not to discuss.

  6. #6
    The waters have always been very muddy regarding who sang what and got even muddier when Valerie denied covering for Tammi other than the odd note here & there. I doesn't really matter now almost 50 years after the event! If history was to be altered then we would have to change some recordings to Diana Ross & The Andantes and The Marvelettes to just Wanda Rogers etc!

  7. Why do these "fraud" threads keep popping up? I notice with more regularity there is a thread about "who-did-background-vocals-on-this-and-that?" OR, the "How-Do-You-Feel-About-The-Andantes-Singing-On-So-And-So's-Music" thread. This one is a new twist though- an honest question, but the threads always seem geared to generate a lot of heat.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    I thought the object was to generate money to pay for Tammi's hospital treatment.
    That was always the reason given but does it make sense?

    What was to stop Motown from paying her bills anyway?

    Were there rumors that it wasn’t Tammi right away when the album came out or did those not surface for years later?

  9. #9
    I can imagine this was done with Tammi's blessing.

    She had just started receiving deserved recognition for her singing and was on her way to stardom, imo, when she was struck down by her illness. Continuing to record and having records released was probably important to her to help keep her name in the public eye. I assume she was hoping to beat her illness and resume her career, so having Valerie or someone at Motown help with this might have been a way to give her hope, during some very dark days, for the future that unfortunately she never had.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    Why do these "fraud" threads keep popping up? I notice with more regularity there is a thread about "who-did-background-vocals-on-this-and-that?" OR, the "How-Do-You-Feel-About-The-Andantes-Singing-On-So-And-So's-Music" thread. This one is a new twist though- an honest question, but the threads always seem geared to generate a lot of heat.
    It certainly does. It always bothered me how one sided the opinions are. People always point out why Valerie’s not telling the truth, but ignore the fact that Marvin’s take is just as sketchy, if not more.

    I personally don’t like the whole “Tammi was too sick to record” line. Yes she was indeed ill but she wasn’t confined to a bed the whole time. She had good days and bad days and lived normally on her good days. She was even dating during that time. Even if Valerie did sing for Tammi (in her natural voice, possibly sped up slightly) more than she claims, she was still involved in the productions. I’ll go as far as to say “Good Lovin’ Ain’t Easy To Come By” is the final MG & TT duet where Tammi does all her own singing. But that’s my opinion.
    Last edited by jboy88; 09-16-2019 at 04:49 PM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by johnjeb View Post
    I can imagine this was done with Tammi's blessing.

    She had just started receiving deserved recognition for her singing and was on her way to stardom, imo, when she was struck down by her illness. Continuing to record and having records released was probably important to her to help keep her name in the public eye. I assume she was hoping to beat her illness and resume her career, so having Valerie or someone at Motown help with this might have been a way to give her hope, during some very dark days, for the future that unfortunately she never had.
    I couldn’t agree more! Sadly, according to her “Unsung” doc, the doctors knew Tammi’s condition was terminal and they chose not to tell her for that very reason. I have a hunch that Nick & Val knew the truth as well, and intended “What You Gave Me” to be a farewell to Tammi. Ludie Montgomery stated that Tammi was eager to record the “Easy” album, even if Marvin was against the idea. Tammi fought hard in her last two years, which only makes me more appreciate of her.

  12. #12
    It'd be a shame if topics are shied away from and deemed as too sensitive or too provocative ....

    I understand that music is a vested part of our life experiences , for some more than others, and we'd prefer to lock this music up in a safe box to preserve them just as they were when we originally derived our pleasures from them. Why taint them?

    As a disco aficionado, it was rough to witness Donna Summer try to distance herself from the queen of disco image. I'd rather believe she loved every minute of it and would defend the music to the end. She didn't ask for the title, it just came to be, while her heart was actually in rock music. I think her life ended too soon for her to come full circle and realize just how blessed she was by how that era fell into place for her.

    (This is partly why I admire Mary Wilson. She has lived long , and is so appreciative of the life Motown has provided her and is these days probably Motown's premiere cheerleader.)

    So yes I'd rather think Donna Summer loved every moment of her whirlwind success via disco.
    But truth is even more important to me . Fake news is not my route.

    So here at SD, as someone who doesn't have an abundance of personal attachment to some of the music being discussed here, the 'getting real' parts found here are especially rewarding. I had no idea that Valerie Simpson passed herself off as Tammi Terrell on those recordings! Fascinating stuff!

    My initial response was how pathetic of Motown to want so badly to cash in on someone despite their being so ill that they would stoop to this.
    But in wanting to reason this out further , it certainly seems possible that Motown was simply trying to navigate their way through a rough spot, that they had a new star on the rise who would hopefully get better and they needed to maintain the momentum.
    Rather than simply cut Tammi out, certainly an option, and try for a successful new duo of Marvin with someone else, they chose instead to try to keep their pairing intact. This would be good for Tammi if all went well.
    Seems kind.

    Now, can you be dubious for the right reason? I have to think about that.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 09-15-2019 at 05:28 PM.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    It'd be a shame if topics are shied away from and deemed as too sensitive or too provocative ....

    I understand that music is a vested part of our life experiences , for some more than others, and we'd prefer to lock this music up in a safe box to preserve them just as they were when we originally derived our pleasure from them. Why taint them?

    As a disco aficionado, it was rough to witness Donna Summer try to distance herself from the queen of disco image. I'd rather believe she loved every minute of it and would defend the music to the end. She didn't ask for the title, it just came to be, while her heart was actually in rock music. I think her life ended too soon for her to come full circle and realize just how blessed she was by how that era fell into place for her.

    (This is partly why I admire Mary Wilson. She has lived long , and is so appreciative of the life Motown has provided her and is these days probably Motown's premiere cheerleader.)

    So yes I'd rather think Donna Summer loved every moment of her whirlwind success via disco.
    But truth is even more important to me . Fake news is not my route.

    So here at SD, as someone who doesn't have an abundance of personal attachment to some of the music being discussed here, the 'getting real' parts found here are especially rewarding. I had no idea that Valerie Simpson passed herself off as Tammi Terrell on those recordings! Fascinating stuff!

    My initial response was how pathetic of Motown to want so badly to cash in on someone despite their being so ill that they would stoop to this.
    But in wanting to reason this out further , it certainly seems possible that Motown was simply trying to navigate their way through a rough spot, that they had a new star on the rise who would hopefully get better and they needed to maintain the momentum.
    Rather than simply cut Tammi out, certainly an option, and try for a successful new duo of Marvin with someone else, they chose instead to try to keep their pairing intact. This would be good for Tammi if all went well.
    Seems kind.

    Now, can you be dubious for the right reason? I have to think about that.
    And this is why I must "think before I post." Wow. At first, I thought this was just going to be another thread where buttons were going to be pushed just to get a riot going on, but there have been some really good posts here arguing both sides and I'll be the first to admit I'm learning something new here.

    I like your observations on Donna Summer and her uneasy relationship with the whole Queen Of Disco thing vs. Mary Wilson's realization of the basis and source of her fame and even more important, her not just accepting it but relishing it.

    I especially like how you brought up something I hadn't even considered: Motown could have easily just cut Tammi out and tried to place another duo into the public's conscious or paired Marvin with another female artist to continue the duets. I knew about Motown's reasoning that the residuals from the sale of the "Easy" album would go toward her bills, and I thought that was a rather chivalrous gesture, even if it seemed to be a shaky sort of logic.

    You made some great observations here that gives me a whole new context to this subject.

  14. Quote Originally Posted by jboy88 View Post
    I couldn’t agree more! Sadly, according to her “Unsung” doc, the doctors knew Tammi’s condition was terminal and they chose not to tell her for that very reason. I have a hunch that Nick & Val knew the truth as well, and intended “What You Gave Me” to be a farewell to Tammi. Ludie Montgomery stated that Tammi was eager to record the “Easy” album, even if Marvin was against the idea. Tammi fought hard in her last two years, which only makes me more appreciate of her.
    All the insights I've been reading in the latest posts are definitely fantastic. This thread has ended up being really thought-provoking to say the least. Like you said, Tammi's valiant fight til the end really gives me a deeper appreciation for the person she was.

    On sort of a side note, the recent unearthing of the Tammi/Marvin track "We'll Be Satisfied" made me wonder why that wasn't used for the "Easy" album. Being that it was a duet with Tammi and Marvin that hadn't appeared on the previous two albums, it might have made for a nice inclusion on Easy. Especially when you consider that "I Can't Believe You Love Me" and "More, More, More" were earlier Tammi singles that were retro-fitted with Marvin's voice, "Satisfied" would have been something new for the album.

  15. #15
    This topic has been discussed in several threads in the past, but I'm going to just sum up my feelings on the subject.

    It is definitely not Tammi on most of the "Easy" recordings. Even when I first bought the album, probably 5 years or so after Tammi's death, I wondered why her voice sounded so different on most of the cuts. I could tell that a couple cuts were Tammi solo recordings with Marvin's voice added, but the bulk of the recordings were new. To me, the voice sounded heavier and more exaggerated, almost in some instances a parody of how Tammi sang. Of course, at the time, I never would have imagined it wasn't Tammi singing, but I did wonder why she sounded so different.

    But I think the most compelling evidence that it is Simpson and not Terrell on the recordings is the session data, most of which was published in the Motown Singles sets, I believe. The session data for songs like "Good Lovin' Ain't Easy to Come by," "The Onion Song," and other selections which were released as singles show recording dates for Marvin Gaye by name, for "background vocals," and in some cases "additional background vocals," with no mention of Tammi (or Valerie, for that matter). But I think the absence of any mention of Terrell in the session notes speaks volumes.

    Simpson sidesteps the question in the notes to the Tammi Terrell Hip-O set, and Tammi's sister is understandably protective of her legacy.

    As much as I love Tammi and admire her valiant effort with her illness, and as much as I love Valerie for trying to protect Tammi's legacy, the truth will out and I find Marvin's explanation much more credible, as he had no reason to fabricate anything and in a sense, Valerie still does, albeit to her credit.
    Last edited by kenneth; 09-17-2019 at 02:56 PM.

  16. #16
    I think it important to note a couple things here. Tammi was never told her condition was terminal, therefore I doubt that anyone at Motown understood that as well. Going into 1969 as Tammi continued to steadily decline it probably became a little more obvious.

    I do believe Gordy's intention to keep releasing product on Marvin and Tammi was to assist in paying her mountain of medical bills. Everyone at Motown wanted Tammi to be well again. I do remember one female artist at Motown telling me that some thought rather than trying to get Tammi in the studio again that Gordy should have sent her to a tropical resort to live out her days. But understand, Tammi wanted to record.

    Also keep in mind, going into 1969 Marvin and Tammi were one of Motown's top selling acts. In order to sustain this momentum product had to be issued and therefore the decision made that Valerie would step in UNTIL Tammi could rally enough to record. As someone posted earlier, session notes do not list when Tammi did a session so the assumption has to be that she didn't.

    Gaye was very vocal about not wanting to deceive the public by putting out product with incorrect billing. But it's really no different than Diana recording with stand-in Supremes, Martha with stand-in Vandellas. This expedited timely issuance of product even if, perhaps, quality suffered.

    I see no nefarious intention on Motown's part by continuing to issue product as Marvin and Tammi to keep the duet current. In fact, it likely extended her life for a little while.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    All the insights I've been reading in the latest posts are definitely fantastic. This thread has ended up being really thought-provoking to say the least. Like you said, Tammi's valiant fight til the end really gives me a deeper appreciation for the person she was.

    On sort of a side note, the recent unearthing of the Tammi/Marvin track "We'll Be Satisfied" made me wonder why that wasn't used for the "Easy" album. Being that it was a duet with Tammi and Marvin that hadn't appeared on the previous two albums, it might have made for a nice inclusion on Easy. Especially when you consider that "I Can't Believe You Love Me" and "More, More, More" were earlier Tammi singles that were retro-fitted with Marvin's voice, "Satisfied" would have been something new for the album.
    That’s a really good question. It also would have given us one more song where we could truly say it’s Tammi. My guess is that Nick & Val didn’t know about the tracks existence or didn’t think it would fit in.

    It it was also stated in TCMS 1969 that Tammi Terrell had recorded a version of “Green Grow the Lilacs”, which at the time, turning up on a few albums as filler and/or b-sides.
    Since it didn’t turn up on the aforementioned Tammi Terrell anthology (or The MU series), it’s possible that it was never finished or was reassigned and never recorded. If Tammi did lay down some vocals for “Green Grow..”, it would of been a great idea to have Marvin fill in the gaps, at it too might have been included on “Easy”.

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