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  1. #1

    What's In A Name?$$$$

    Watching the in-depth interview with the Exciters on the main forum, it occurred to me that almost every well-known group from the 50s, 60s, and 70s changed their original name at or around the time of signing with a record company. Most of the Motown groups originally had different names as well. Now, I wonder if that was a general "practice" in the recording industry for nefarious reasons......or maybe not? hehehehehehe....

    For example:

    The Temptations were The Elgins
    The Supremes were The Primettes
    The Miracles were the Mascots
    The Four Tops were the Four Aims
    Martha and The Vandellas were The Del-Phis
    The Marvelettes were The Casinyets
    and on and on and on.........

  2. #2
    Group name changes usually took place because either the record company knew another group was using that name or that the original name weren't strong enough from a marketing standpoint (so yes Marv2 it's $$$$).

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Group name changes usually took place because either the record company knew another group was using that name or that the original name weren't strong enough from a marketing standpoint (so yes Marv2 it's $$$$).

    Thanks Motown Eddie. It also sounds like to me from hearing the stories of other groups outside of Motown that it was a way for the record companies to control the groups by changing their names and then owning/trademarking the names.

  4. #4
    Good post marv,as we know the coasters were the robins...ray,goodman,brown-aka-the moments...the impressions were the roosters...the chi lites were the hi-lites and so on....!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by arr&bee View Post
    Good post marv,as we know the coasters were the robins...ray,goodman,brown-aka-the moments...the impressions were the roosters...the chi lites were the hi-lites and so on....!
    JAI, exactly! It is like all the popular groups had their name changed once they signed with a label. The Shirelles were named the Poquellos. The O'Jays were The Mascots, and then The Triumphs.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Thanks Motown Eddie. It also sounds like to me from hearing the stories of other groups outside of Motown that it was a way for the record companies to control the groups by changing their names and then owning/trademarking the names.
    Indeed; it was rare for vocal groups from that era to own the names of their groups. Record companies liked having the ownership of the names in order to make more money from the acts (and they could continue to use the trademarked name when original members of the groups left the act). Also, Motown Records liked having group names that sounded optimistic (such as 'Miracles', 'Marvelettes', 'Supremes') to make them easier to market across the board (and around the world).

  7. #7
    And while we are discussing the ownership of group names, let's not forget that H-D-H at Invictus/Hot Wax had trademarked the names Chairmen Of The Board, Honey Cone, 100 Proof Aged In Soul, The 8th Day & The Glass House before the actual members of the groups were assembled (and in the case of Honey Cone & the Chairmen continued to use those names after the original members left the groups).

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Indeed; it was rare for vocal groups from that era to own the names of their groups. Record companies liked having the ownership of the names in order to make more money from the acts (and they could continue to use the trademarked name when original members of the groups left the act). Also, Motown Records liked having group names that sounded optimistic (such as 'Miracles', 'Marvelettes', 'Supremes') to make them easier to market across the board (and around the world).
    Didn’t Motown “forget” to Copyright or. Trademark the Supremes name overseas and Lynda and Scherrie grabbed it? Maybe it expired or something?

  9. #9
    Let's not forget Domingoes->Spinners

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by lockhartgary View Post
    Let's not forget Domingoes->Spinners
    Yes, that's right. It seemed to be common practice that music acts were required to change their names upon signing with a record company. Just an observation I've been making.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    And while we are discussing the ownership of group names, let's not forget that H-D-H at Invictus/Hot Wax had trademarked the names Chairmen Of The Board, Honey Cone, 100 Proof Aged In Soul, The 8th Day & The Glass House before the actual members of the groups were assembled (and in the case of Honey Cone & the Chairmen continued to use those names after the original members left the groups).
    Didn’t I read somewhere that the reason HDH had all those groups was because they’d signed so many solo acts that they couldn’t manage them all at once. I think that was the case at least for the Glasshouse and 100 Proof.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by jboy88 View Post
    Didn’t I read somewhere that the reason HDH had all those groups was because they’d signed so many solo acts that they couldn’t manage them all at once. I think that was the case at least for the Glasshouse and 100 Proof.
    I don't recall hearing that story about Invictus/Hot Wax having so many solo acts. However, in the case of 100 Proof Aged In Soul & The 8th Day, the company was able to release multiple singles at the same time from what was (mostly) the same act.

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