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  1. #1

    House Of Beauty / HOB Records

    In some quarters HOB is listed as a gospel subsidiary of Motown.

    Seem to have a couple of recognisable names on their records early on - Herman Griffin & The Rayber Voices, Voices of Tabernacle, The Contours (though I think that may be a different group).

    Berry Gordy wrote (and arranged?) "I Need You" and "I'm So Glad" for Herman Griffin. The music for "I'm So Glad" seems to be copyright to Rayber Music Writing Co. "I Need You" is the first song published by Jobete.

    I've not read much about this label so I'm guessing the Motown connection may be overplayed, or is it?

  2. #2
    HOB Records was a Gospel Music label from Detroit that did not have any affiliation with Motown Records other than the fact that some of the artists & producers (as well as Berry himself) worked with the HOB label. Motown did have the Divinity imprint that released Gospel music from 1959 through 1963. And while a group called The Contours recorded for HOB, this seems to be a different group from the one that recorded from Motown.


  3. #3
    I had read somewhere that the owner of the House of Beauty was a friend of Raynoma's as she went there. Berry produced Herman Griffin's records "I Need You" which turned out to be the first song published by Berry's publishing company JOBETE. "I Need You" was the first record to credit the Rayber voices, background singers. I recall the owners name being Carmen Murphy who was Ray's hairdresser. It was not a Motown subsidiary gospel label by any means.
    Last edited by woodward; 04-06-2020 at 10:21 AM.

  4. #4
    I recall reading that Diana and Mary used to rehearse at the House of Beauty.

    Also, interestingly enough, Scepter Records' gospel subsidiary was named HOB.

  5. #5
    Is that William "Mickey" Stevenson listed as one of the arrangers on that single?

  6. #6
    I did a google search yesterday and it returned an old post from SDF (2004) that shares some info about HOB records.

    https://soulfuldetroit.com/archives/...tml?1081526448

  7. #7
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    Carmen Murphy owned The House of Beauty (beauty salon she founded in 1948) at 111 Mack Ave., near the current Martin Luther King Blvd./Mack Ave. transit station. Ms. Murphy was one of the most successful Black business owners during the 1950s in Detroit. She was well connected with her neighbourhood's Southern Baptist church, and in late 1957, she decided she wanted to start a business producing Gospel records. She became friendly with Detroit Jazz pianist, Jack Surrell, who was a DJ at Radio Station WXYZ. He agreed to be her music company's main producer and A&R man, and run the music end of the operation.
    His Jazz band would be expanded to form their label's house band. They converted the beauty salon's large basement into a recording studio with an adjacent practise room.

    In early 1958, they founded House of Beauty (HOB) Records. After a few months, Surrell convinced Mrs. Murphy that they should also try to sell some secular records. They signed The Peppermints, which included Roger Craton(AKA Lee Rogers), Jesse Greer, and Duke Browner. They ran two concurrent record number series, both starting with 111 (from their street address), and using the same consecutive numbers. In early 1959, they hired Mike Hanks as a producer for secular music, so Surrell could concentrate on Gospel productions.

    Mrs. Murphy's connection with The Gordys started during the later mid 1950s, with Gwen's obtaining the photo and cigarette franchise at The Flame Show Bar at 4264 John R St. in Paradise Valley. Surrell knew musicians who played there, and Gwen was introduced to Mrs. Murphy. I think that Mrs. Murphy's entry into the music business may have influenced Gwen and Anna to decide to start their own record label (Anna Records) which would also take advantage of brother Berry's songwriting skills, along with those of his partner, Billy (Roquel) Davis. It was also said that Raynoma had already been a customer at Mrs. Murphy's beauty salon.

    So, it is unclear which connection was most instrumental in Berry's making a deal with Mrs. Murphy to have him produce a record on Herman Griffin in late 1958, which was his first to have the music published by his own music publishing company, Jobete Music, and was the first record for which he was the executive producer, as well as the hands-on producer who ran the recording session. Before that time, he had produced sessions for Robert West's Kudo Records, for which West was executive producer, for George Goldner's End and Mark-X Records, for which Goldner was executive producer, and for his sisters' Anna Records, for which Gwen and Billy Davis were executive producers. And, he had also operated The RayBer Music Co, together with Raynoma.

    House of Beauty Records produced many Gospel records during late 1958 through 1959, as well as a handful of secular records in addition to Berry's Herman Griffin release. The so-called "Contours" record was actually an instrumental by Jack Surrell's band, with a faintly-audible vocal chorus added. They were NOT the group who later became Motown's Contours. The Contours were the instrumental group behind Surrell's piano, and the "male voices" were other people. By the end of 1959, the Gospel records were not selling, due to the plethora of great Gospel music coming out of Detroit, and HOB having no experienced marketing agents. So, rather than continue to lose money, Mrs. Murphy sold her House of Beauty Gospel recordings rights (Gospel music publishing catalogue, Gospel master tapes, and the label name rights to Florence Greenberg's Scepter Records in early 1960.

    Jack Surrell decided to move on. Mike Hanks stayed with Mrs. Murphy's music operations as the new A&R man and top producer for the newly-named HOB Records, and would in the coming months also act as chief producer for her newly-formed Spartan Records, and some months after in early 1961, her new Soul Records label, and in early 1962, they added Starmaker Records. Mike Hanks left her employ in early 1962, to concentrate fully on his own, MAH's Records. Mrs. Murphy then hired Dino Courray to run her record labels, through to near the end of 1963.

    The Peppermints changed their name to The Barons, and were Mrs. Murphy's most successful act, but just having a local following. Their Spartan and Soul records sold well locally. Roger Craton, as Lee Rogers, had his best success after moving over to Mike Hanks' MAH's, D-Town, and Wheelsville USA labels. Courreay did record some well-known Detroit artists, such as Buddy Lamp (as Johnny West on Soul Records), Tyrone Douglas of The Barons, who went on to sing with The Magictones, Freddie Butler (on Starmaker), Harry (Lee) Gates, who was lead singer of The Caravelles on Mrs. Murphy's Starmaker Records in 1963, and lead of Detroit's first Dramatics group, who recorded "Toy Soldier" for Freddie Brown and Joe Hunter at Mickay's Records (leased to Juggy Murry's Crackerjack Records), and The Taylor Tones (featuring Motown's Sherri Taylor).

    Near the end of 1963, Mrs. Murphy shut down her music operations, and in early 1964 sold the rights to the name "Soul Records" to her friend, Berry Gordy, for $1.00, so he could use it for his newest record label.
    Last edited by robb_k; 04-07-2020 at 10:12 PM.

  8. #8
    Robb: Thank you for your input into this thread. You are by all means the leading world expert on things like this. We can all be thankful you are contributing this information to
    us. I had quietly hoped you would respond and you did not let me down. THANK YOU.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    Robb: Thank you for your input into this thread. You are by all means the leading world expert on things like this. We can all be thankful you are contributing this information to
    us. I had quietly hoped you would respond and you did not let me down. THANK YOU.
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    You are very welcome. These are the types of threads I enjoy most. Also I enjoyed the Smokey 1957 Matadors' tape thread, and the Ruby Yates thread, to both of which I added long, detailed comments, but no one ever came back. It was like I was the "kiss of death" to those threads. I had hoped that wouldn't have happened on this thread. Check out those to threads over on The Soulful Detroit Forum, if you didn't see my latest comments on them.

    Also, you may remember a few years ago, when our buddy, Ron Murphy (may he rest in peace), had planned to work with the current owner of the Hob/Spartan/Soul/Starmaker rights and master tapes, to make a high-quality 3 CD set, with a classy booklet. He had approached me to provide some of the original records whose tapes are missing, for re-mastering for the project, as well as providing scans of the key rarer records, and we also planned that I would write the booklet labels' history and artist blurbs.
    Last edited by robb_k; 04-07-2020 at 05:15 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    HOB Records was a Gospel Music label from Detroit that did not have any affiliation with Motown Records other than the fact that some of the artists & producers (as well as Berry himself) worked with the HOB label. Motown did have the Divinity imprint that released Gospel music from 1959 through 1963. And while a group called The Contours recorded for HOB, this seems to be a different group from the one that recorded from Motown.

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    Motown's Divinity Records started in 1962. Before that, Motown only released Gospel records on their Tamla and Motown labels.

  11. #11
    Thanks guys for all the info. I enjoy learning more about the music and the history and always look forward to your contributions too Robb - you have the insight and tell it like it is (or was as the case may be). The forum is truly the place to come for the real Motown and those that "influenced" Berry Gordy and others. More reading for me here.

  12. #12
    Here's Mrs. Murphy during the late 1950s, looking over her new line of beauty products she'd soon be selling in her beauty salon:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  13. #13
    Here's Mrs. Murphy in her 80s, receiving an award from The City of Detroit for 50 years of boosting the city's commerce, and civic contribution related to her church activities:Name:  CarmenMurphyPost2000.jpg
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  14. #14
    Here is Detroit's WXYZ DJ, and House of Beauty Records first head producer and A&R man, Jack Surrell:
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  15. #15
    Here's HOB's first secular release-notice that prolific Motown arranger, Johnny Allen directed the recording session, and that Mickey Stevenson along with Allen, arranged Surrell's record shown above:
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    Last edited by robb_k; 04-07-2020 at 10:37 PM.

  16. #16
    Here's a Gospel release from 1959, by The Meditations from HOB, that was produced by the great James Cleveland, and the lead singer was Laura Lee (nee Laura Lee Rundless):
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  17. #17
    I have exactly 5 House of Beauty 45s in my collection. They are as follows:

    No Number Pink Believe Me b/w Teen-Age Idol by Peppermints with the House of Beauty Orchestra.

    112 Pink I Need You b/w I'm So Glad I Learned to do the Cha-Cha by Herman Griffin and the Rayber Voices.

    146 Orange I Saw the Light b/w Alone and Motherless by 5 Blind Boys of Alabama

    Soul 837 Yellow w/stripes Dog Eat Dog b/w Money Don't Grow on Trees Barons

    Soul 838 Yellow Who's In the Shack b/w While the Cats Away Barons featuring
    Tyrone Douglas [on Who's] and Roger Craton [on While]

    I have never seen a full discography of the HOB output.

    However, thanks Robb for your wonderful contributions above, especially the picture of Carmen Murphy. This is priceless.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I recall reading that Diana and Mary used to rehearse at the House of Beauty.

    Also, interestingly enough, Scepter Records' gospel subsidiary was named HOB.
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    That's because Carmen Murphy, House of Beauty's owner, sold off her record label's name, and it's Gospel recordings' master tapes and publishing rights to Florence Greenberg's Scepter Records, starting with record number 130.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    I have exactly 5 House of Beauty 45s in my collection. They are as follows:

    No Number Pink Believe Me b/w Teen-Age Idol by Peppermints with the House of Beauty Orchestra.

    112 Pink I Need You b/w I'm So Glad I Learned to do the Cha-Cha by Herman Griffin and the Rayber Voices.

    146 Orange I Saw the Light b/w Alone and Motherless by 5 Blind Boys of Alabama

    Soul 837 Yellow w/stripes Dog Eat Dog b/w Money Don't Grow on Trees Barons

    Soul 838 Yellow Who's In the Shack b/w While the Cats Away Barons featuring
    Tyrone Douglas [on Who's] and Roger Craton [on While]

    I have never seen a full discography of the HOB output.

    However, thanks Robb for your wonderful contributions above, especially the picture of Carmen Murphy. This is priceless.
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    Here's a link to Global Dog's Discography of House of Beauty Records:

    http://www.globaldogproductions.info/

    It has records missing. I've added what I could from my memory. I'm not with my 45s now, and don't have time to do a lot of research.

    No # The Peppermints "Believe In Me"/"Teenage Idol"

    111 The Peppermints "Doing Alright"/"Don't Take, Give"

    111 Roy Corwin "The World is a better Place"/"

    112 Herman Griffin & Rayber Voices "I Need You"/"I'm So Glad I Learned To Do the Cha Cha"

    113 Voices of The Tabernacle "The Love of God"/"Jesus"

    114 Danny Cristdale & The Tornados "Snowflakes"/"Should Have Left"

    115 James Cleveland & The Original Chimes "Good Enough For Me"/"Jesus Will"

    116 Jack Surrell & Contours "I'm So Glad"/"Yours Is My Heart Alone"

    116 James Cleveland & The Original Chimes "Look Up And Live"/"He's Got His Eyes On You"

    117 Leon Peterson & The Mello-Dees "This Creation"/"Blues Got A Hold On Me"

    117 The Meditations "His Eye Is On The Sparrow"/"One More River To Cross"

    118

    119 Voices of The Tabernacle "Thank You Jesus, I'm Satisfied"/"God Can Do Anything But Fail"

    120 James Cleveland & The Original Chimes "One More Time"/"Deep River"

    121

    122 The Meditations "He Has Done Something For Me"/"Jesus Be A Fence Around Me"

    123 The Meditations "It Must Be Jesus"/"I'm Determined"

    124

    125 Voices of The Tabernacle "Jesus"/"The Love of God"

    126 The Lemon Singers "When He Calls Me"/"Jesus Will Bring Us Out Alright"

    127 The Lemon Singers "He's A Mighty God"/

    127 Voices of The Tabernacle "He's A Mighty God"/Yes, God Is Real"

    128 The Original Gospel Chimes "He's Only A Prayer Away"/"Camp Meeting"

    129 Tyler Trio "What Is This"/"Keep On Walking By Faith"

    130 Richard Roquemore "Silver Lining"/"Shine"

    It should be noted that for record numbers 111-119 there were releases in BOTH the secular and Gospel series (thus duplicate numbers).
    Last edited by robb_k; 04-09-2020 at 03:39 AM.

  20. #20
    That Global Dog Productions site is a good find. I did inquire of the HOB. Now we know where the description as a "Gospel Subsidiary of Motown" came from. That was obviously an assumption, however, I fail to comprehend why anyone would assume that. Nothing is further from the truth.

    I did notice that they do not include the Peppermints single. Interesting. Thanks Robb.

    BTW, I purchased my copy of the Peppermints at Mays Record Store, 126 W. Eight Mile Road in Hazel Park many many years ago. This was a truly unique place he must have had several hundreds of thousands of 45s in a run down house and nothing was in any particular order, i. e. by label, artist, etc. As I recall he was ready to close in 2 hours and wouldn't be back for several days and by that time I was scheduled to leave the area. Unfortunately I never got back, I wish I had though. He was a character.
    Last edited by woodward; 04-08-2020 at 12:53 PM.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    That Global Dog Productions site is a good find. I did inquire of the HOB. Now we know where the description as a "Gospel Subsidiary of Motown" came from. That was obviously an assumption, however, I fail to comprehend why anyone would assume that. Nothing is further from the truth.

    I did notice that they do not include the Peppermints single. Interesting. Thanks Robb.

    BTW, I purchased my copy of the Peppermints at Mays Record Store, 126 W. Eight Mile Road in Hazel Park many many years ago. This was a truly unique place he must have had several hundreds of thousands of 45s in a run down house and nothing was in any particular order, i. e. by label, artist, etc. As I recall he was ready to close in 2 hours and wouldn't be back for several days and by that time I was scheduled to leave the area. Unfortunately I never got back, I wish I had though. He was a character.
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    I knew Bob way back in the 1960s. I used to shop there, as well as Cappy's Record mart. ALL the long-time record dealers were characters.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    You are very welcome. These are the types of threads I enjoy most. Also I enjoyed the Smokey 1957 Matadors' tape thread, and the Ruby Yates thread, to both of which I added long, detailed comments, but no one ever came back. It was like I was the "kiss of death" to those threads. I had hoped that wouldn't have happened on this thread. Check out those to threads over on The Soulful Detroit Forum, if you didn't see my latest comments on them.

    Also, you may remember a few years ago, when our buddy, Ron Murphy (may he rest in peace), had planned to work with the current owner of the Hob/Spartan/Soul/Starmaker rights and master tapes, to make a high-quality 3 CD set, with a classy booklet. He had approached me to provide some of the original records whose tapes are missing, for re-mastering for the project, as well as providing scans of the key rarer records, and we also planned that I would write the booklet labels' history and artist blurbs.
    Robb_K - I am always amazed at your wealth and depth of musical knowledge. You contribute greatly to SD and as a Motown enthusiast I always enjoy reading your post. What exactly is or was your background in music and how did you become so knowledgeable about the Detroit music scene and Motown?

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by SatansBlues View Post
    Robb_K - I am always amazed at your wealth and depth of musical knowledge. You contribute greatly to SD and as a Motown enthusiast I always enjoy reading your post. What exactly is or was your background in music and how did you become so knowledgeable about the Detroit music scene and Motown?
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    I didn't have much of a background in making music, other than learning to play tunes on the piano by ear, and trying to master the harmonica, but that didn't go far. I did eventually learn to read music. I started loving music at a young age, about 3. My parents, especially my father, was a big Jazz and Blues fan. and I grew up in the late '40s and '50s playing his 78 RPM records (big city '30s and '40s Jazz, City Blues, and Jazz ballads, Boogie Woogie, and Jump Blues. We used to visit family in Chicago twice a year on long vacations, where I heard the beginnings of R&B and greasy Doo Wop ballads. My Uncle had a grocery store on The South Side, and we used to hang out with him there.

    So, in 1953, I started asking my parents for records for my birthday and Hannukah (Flamingos, Moonglows, Spaniels, Dells, Drifters, Platters, Orioles, Five Echoes, Five Chances, El Dorados, Dominoes, etc.). When I was eight, I started buying my own records(78s), mainly from the 2 for a Dollar, 3 for a Dollar and 20 cent bargain bins in the South side record shops, and what R&B records crossed over into Pop, and would be available at home in the Downtown Winnipeg record shops. I also checked the charity thrift shops after going to one with my parents, and discovering that they had loads of old used records. After 45s were more prevalent I was able to amass tonnes of R&B, Blues, Jazz and Gospel records. We moved to Chicago in 1959, in South Chicago, just near the edge of The South Side; and my father opened a grocery store deep inside that district. I worked there, and went crazy scouring the record shops, thrift shops. junk stores and furniture stores, and record distributors' warehouses. I amassed many thousands of 45s fairly quickly. In addition to loving the 1952-54 greasy R&B ballads best, my other favourite music became the 1959-64 Detroit and Chicago R&B transition to Soul music. I loved early Motown and related Detroit recordings so much, that when I first had access to a car, and then my own car from 1963-1966, I used to drive to Detroit 2 Saturdays a month, to spend all day hitting the good record shops, thrift stores, junk stores and the like for obscure Detroit records and Motown cut-outs that might never get to Chicago. I ended up getting hundreds of rare Detroit and Chicago '60s records, grabbing every one I could get my hands on. I became an expert on Soul record releases from those 2 cities.

    I moved to L.A. in Fall 1965 to attend UCLA. My parents followed, and my father bought a grocery store in The Crenshaw Area of Southwest L.A. (the more affluent portion of L.A.'s Ghetto). I worked in his store on weekends and evenings. After Motown moved to L.A. in 1972, I started meeting people there, and made several friends. I started working with them in 1974, being hired to work on an ambitious project to release previously unreleased recordings on an LP series. For the first several years, it was only loosely planned. We had to look through The Motown Vaults, going through the tapes and records (vinyl demos and acetates), and listening to everything we hadn't heard, and categorize it by style, and grade it for potential release (or not). That went on from 1974-1978. We prepared lists for all 10 of the first group of LPs. The release was ready to start in 1979.

    Unfortunately, Motown put no marketing behind the project, and only started releasing the LPs one at a time, and releasing it on their budget label, Natural Resources. With no marketing, nobody knew about it, so it sat in the bins not selling. Because it didn't sell at all, the higher-ups in the company decided to jettison the "From The Vaults" series project. So, our 6 years of hard work might have come for naught. But, at least, after project producer, Tom DePierro left to start his own Soul record label, Airwave Records, in 1980, and I joined him as a partner, two more Vault-based previously unreleased recordings LPs were released in 1981 and 1982, and then, in 1984, many of the remaining unused cuts we had planned to be in our 10-LP series, were used in Motown's 25th Anniversary LP series. So, our work wasn't in vain.

    I worked with Airwave from 1980-85, marketing in Europe, trying to write songs, learning to use a mixing machine and providing a little input into the premixing on a few recording sessions, but mostly doing administrative work, and in-house accounting.

    For several years, our offices in The Hollywood & Vine Building were between those of Mickey Stevenson (after he had left MGM, shut down Venture and people Records and became an independent producer), and Bunky Sheppard, when he was running his own new labels out of L.A. I learned a lot from both of them. I had also talked to some people while at Motown about the earlier days in Detroit, as well as asking old-time Detroiters who had had connections to that City's music industry during the 1960s when I visited Detroit back in those days.

    Since then, my only contact with the music industry has been acting as an advisor on Oldies CD projects for Ace and Kent Records, especially those related to '60s and '50s Chicago and Detroit labels, providing rare records for re-mastering when master tapes are unavailable, providing record label scans, and editing and providing consulting on CD booklets' articles about the labels and artists.

    I also learned a lot about labels, producers, arrangers, session players, and artists, and companies and their owners from reading a lot of articles about them and talking to people in the business, researching articles in recording industry journals, as well as reading posts here on SDF, back from the start in 2001 until about 2010, when we still had a lot of posters who had been working in the music industry in Detroit during the 1960s. I have a photographic memory, and all that information I've picked up since reading my first record label in 1950 until now is still stored in my brain, even if some of it is more difficult to bring to my attention now, 70 years later!
    Last edited by robb_k; 04-08-2020 at 06:25 PM.

  24. #24
    Here's The Berry Gordy production:
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  25. #25
    Here's The Leon Peterson. He was from St. Louis, but came to Detroit in 1958, to get better exposure. He also recorded at least 3 songs for Joe Hunter and Fred Brown at Brown's Kable Records, 2 of which were released on a 45. Notice the B&H rubber stamped on the label. That stands for "Bob and Higgins", Robert West's distribution company, who also distributed Berry's and Raynoma's RayBer Records:
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    Last edited by robb_k; 04-09-2020 at 02:29 AM.

  26. #26
    Here's James Cleveland's group, and also how the new, all secular, HOB label looked after the "House Of Beauty" label name and Gospel catalogue:
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Last edited by robb_k; 04-09-2020 at 04:07 AM.

  27. #27
    Here's The Lemon Singers:
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    Last edited by robb_k; 04-09-2020 at 05:31 AM.

  28. #28
    Here are The Gospel Chimes:
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    Last edited by robb_k; 04-09-2020 at 03:51 AM.

  29. #29
    Here is the first release of Mrs. Murphy's 2nd label, Spartan, started in early 1961, "Willow Weep For Me", more than 3 years before Chad & Jeremy had a hit with it. Roger Craton (AKA Lee Rogers) sang lead:
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    Last edited by robb_k; 04-09-2020 at 04:16 AM.

  30. #30
    Here's a song by Mrs. Murphy's newest producer, Mike Hanks, backed by The Del-Fi's (the future Vandellas with Gloria Williamson (The Vell's and Del-Fi's lead) removed:
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    Last edited by robb_k; 04-09-2020 at 04:36 AM.

  31. #31
    Here's another Barons' record:
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    Last edited by robb_k; 04-09-2020 at 04:37 AM.

  32. #32
    Here's the first release of her 3rd label, Soul Records:
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    Last edited by robb_k; 04-09-2020 at 05:19 AM.

  33. #33
    Here are The Glows (a rare record with the same number as the next Baron's release:
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    Here's the OTHER Soul 838, by The Barons, which should have been numbered 839:
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    Last edited by robb_k; 04-09-2020 at 10:07 PM.

  34. #34
    Here's Othea George, who was a member of Tony Ewing's Twighlighters, and The Four Tracks:
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  35. #35
    Here's Johnny West (AKA Buddy Lamp):
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  36. #36
    Here's the first issue of Mrs. Murphy's 4th label, Starmaker:
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  37. #37
    Here are The Taylor Tones, with Motown's Sherri Taylor on lead:
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  38. #38
    Here's Beth Bynum:
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  39. #39
    Here is The Deans first record:
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  40. #40
    Here is Northern Soul favourite, Freddy Butler:
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  41. #41
    Here's The Deans' 2nd release:
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  42. #42
    Here are The Commercials (the secular group name for singers from one of HOB's former Gospel groups, singing a popular Gospel song, with new, secular lyrics. Notice that Starmaker had its label changed in both colour and style for EACH new record:
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  43. #43
    Some nice pics up there.

    Great to read about your background Robb and it's good that you're able to recall so much (and pass it on to folks here). You mention that "many of the remaining unused cuts we had planned to be in our 10-LP series, were used in Motown's 25th Anniversary LP series". I know, for example, that I have The Temptations and DRATS 25 Annuversary CD sets, which other albums had the unreleased songs on?

    There was a fair bit of unreleased stuff on Mary Wells "Looking Back" Vandellas "Live Wire" are they part of that?

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    Some nice pics up there.

    Great to read about your background Robb and it's good that you're able to recall so much (and pass it on to folks here). You mention that "many of the remaining unused cuts we had planned to be in our 10-LP series, were used in Motown's 25th Anniversary LP series". I know, for example, that I have The Temptations and DRATS 25 Annuversary CD sets, which other albums had the unreleased songs on?

    There was a fair bit of unreleased stuff on Mary Wells "Looking Back" Vandellas "Live Wire" are they part of that?
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    Probably a few cuts on each. There was never an all-encompassing effort to use the results ALL of our research in any re-release project. And after Tom and I left, other Motown staff worked on looking through The Vault for unreleased material other than what we recommended. But, however it was done, eventually they released ALL we had slated for the 10 LPs. Many of them on those stray LPs in the early 1980s and The 25th Anniversary LP Series, and many of the remaining cuts on CDs, and finally most of the rest on the year, by year digital file releases, except those recordings of Jobete music songs that were demos and proof of song ownership acetates that can't be proven to have been sung by singers who had performer contracts with Motown at the time their recording was made.

    There were Motown 25th Anniversary LPs for many of Motown's individual artists and groups. Virtually all of them had previously unreleased cuts on them as a bonus, in addition to their well-known songs. Some of those were songs we had slated for "From The Vaults", and others were not. But, together, The 25th Anniversary LPs made a decent dent in the remaining cuts we slated that hadn't been released on our one 1979 released LP, and the 1981 and 1982 Vault-related LPs.

    I remember The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Tammie Terrell, The Four Tops, The Supremes, The Spinners, Brenda Holloway, Martha and The Vandellas, Jimmy Ruffin, - really, almost all the major and second-tier artists and groups for whom a 25th Anniversary LP was made, had one or two of our slated songs.

    Some examples of that are:
    "Tear's, Nobody, and a Smile" by The Serenaders (who DID sign a performance contract and had a release, but it can't be proven that that demo was made after the signing);

    "I Misjudged You" by The Parliaments (who were NEVER signed to a performers' contract-as far as anyone knows-despite Raynoma Gordy having been said to have promised them she would facilitate that happening)

    "Baby, Don't Leave" by Edward Earling - (not known to have been signed)
    Last edited by robb_k; 04-09-2020 at 09:09 PM.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    Some nice pics up there.

    Great to read about your background Robb and it's good that you're able to recall so much (and pass it on to folks here). You mention that "many of the remaining unused cuts we had planned to be in our 10-LP series, were used in Motown's 25th Anniversary LP series". I know, for example, that I have The Temptations and DRATS 25 Annuversary CD sets, which other albums had the unreleased songs on?

    There was a fair bit of unreleased stuff on Mary Wells "Looking Back" Vandellas "Live Wire" are they part of that?
    Attachment 17096
    Yes. I was referring to all the LPs released around the time of the official 25th Year Anniversary, not just those that have "Motown's 25th Year Anniversary" written on the jacket front cover. All the anthology-type LPs released around that time were specifically related to the celebration event; and most had at least a few previously unreleased recordings on them. Why else would Berry Gordy allow a Mary Wells LP to come out, if not for that 25 year celebration, looking back on Motown's history, and what got them to that point of Worldwide fame?

  46. #46
    Had to be something different as what came immediately to mind were the 25th LPs/CDs which I thought were nothing remarkable so had to do an immediate re-take. These ones:

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    We've been so fortunate to get all the unreleased material that has come out, the big packages and the tracks that have sneaked on to various CD releases. In fact it's been hard to keep up lol. To have worked on a lot of that stuff must've been a great experience but frustrating as well knowing how good much of it was but not able to immediately get it released.

  47. #47
    Given the number of "out of copyright" releases that came out a couple of years ago, I wonder whether there may have been a HOB set. Will have to have a look.

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    Unfortunately, Motown put no marketing behind the project, and only started releasing the LPs one at a time, and releasing it on their budget label, Natural Resources. With no marketing, nobody knew about it, so it sat in the bins not selling. Because it didn't sell at all, the higher-ups in the company decided to jettison the "From The Vaults" series project. So, our 6 years of hard work might have come for naught.
    I picked up the From The Vaults LP when it was reissued in 1981 so while the album flopped when it first came out in 1979, they thought enough of the album reissue it. I knew someone that had the original album and when I heard it I was amazed that Motown had great songs from the '60s that were not released at the time (and as we know, this was just the Tip Of The Iceberg for the Motown Vaults). So, thank you Robb K. for your hard work & knowledge.

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    Given the number of "out of copyright" releases that came out a couple of years ago, I wonder whether there may have been a HOB set. Will have to have a look.
    Highly doubtful that you will find a HOB set, in fact, you are being presented with more information on the secret label than anyone has ever seen before.
    I have Dave Rimmers Detroit discography book; as well as the Motown Encyclopedia and Carmen or the HOB label is completely absent from it. Thank you Robb for the information that you have given to us.

  50. #50
    Sure is great having Robb's knowledge on the Forum. Amazing stuff.

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