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  1. #1

    New Musical Express (NME) Magazine - 60's Motown Articles

    I picked up a book recently called NME Rock N' Roll Decades - The Sixties. I've singled out the Motown-based articles here. The date of the first one is questionable, but thought they might be of interest.

    Interesting to see that Berry was after Tom Jones at some point, as well as 'The Pretty Things' before getting Kiki Dee. This is a UK-based publication, so it provides an interesting perspective.

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    September 1960 - Motown In UK
    Motivated by the brisk import trade in American soul singles, Oriole Records has acquired the UK release rights to Detroit's Tamla-Motown label, and has celebrated the deal by releasing The Contours' Do You Love Me', Mary Wells' You Beat Me To The Punch' and The Marvelettes "Beechwood 4-5789'.

    February 1961 - Tamla Records has ists first million-selling single with The Miracles' 'Shop Around'.

    August 1961 - Motown A Mystery No More
    In the two years that have elapsed since Berry Gordy secured an $800 loan to launch his Detroit-based Tamla Record label with 'Come To Me' by Mary Johnson and, more recently, his Motown label, his companies have discovered and developed such local black talent as Eddie Holland, The Miracles, The Supremes, Mary Wells, Mabel John, Marvin Gaye, The Contours, Barrett Strong and, most recently, The Marvelettes. Previously called The Marvels, this all-girl vocal group has given the label one of its most successful singles to date, with 'Please Mr. Postman'. Asked about his fabulously successful labels' names, Gordy explains: `Tamla Records was called after the song "Tammy", and Motown is named after Detroit itself the Motor City or Motor Town'. Simple when you know, isn't it?

    November 1961 - Motown Moves On
    Tamla Records' boss, Berry Gordy Jr, recently inaugurated a second label which he has called Motown (an abbreviation of Detroit's popular nickname 'The Motor City') with a single by male vocal harmony foursome The Satintones, called 'My Beloved'. This record was a rush replacement for The Satintones scheduled disc debut 'Tomorrow And Always' an 'answer' record to The Shirelles' Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow'. At the very last minute, 'Tomorrow And Always' was hastily withdrawn from distribution when Gordy was threatened with a hefty lawsuit which claimed copyright infringement of The Shirelles' original international hit. Undaunted however, Gordy didn't allow this minor setback to interfere at all with celebrations surrounding Tamla Records' first national No. 1 single, 'Please Mr. Postman' by a local all-girl group, The Marvelettes. This more than compensated for the minor hit status afforded the debut single of another local girl group, first known as The Primettes when recording for LuPine, but renamed The Supremes for their Tamla release 'I Want A Guy'. With albums from The Miracles ('Hi! We're The Miracles') and Marvin Gaye ('The Soulful Moods Of...') accounting for healthy sales figures, Berry Gordy is optimistic of his two labels success in 1962 and is openly enthusing about a new artist soon to debut Steveland Judkins, the 11-year-old blind son of one of Tamla's regular cleaning ladies. Gordy has renamed the gifted singer and instrumentalist Little Stevie Wonder.

    November 1962 - A new disc has just been released this month by the Miracles - 'You Really Got A Hold On Me'

    December 1962 - The Tamla-Motown Rock & Roll Show has booked into New York's Apollo Theatre for a 10-day Christmas season; artists appearing: The Surpemes, Marvin Gaye, The Miracles, The Contours, Mary Wells.

    July 1963 - 'Mickey's Monkey' is the latest release from The Miracles.

    October 1964 - Mary Wells has been special guest star on The Beatles UK Tour

    November 1964 - The Isley Brothers and Marvin Gaye have appeared on Ready, Steady, Go!.

    December 1964 - The Miracles have made their first visit to Britain to appear on ITV's Ready, Steady, Go!.

    January 1966 - Motown Sells In Millions
    The Detroit-based Motown Record Corporation outpaced all other companies in the US during 1965 in total sales of singles. The label, which describes itself as 'The Sound Of Young America', took the top-selling tag away from Capitol, which led the field in 1964, thanks to its success with The Beatles. Through the year, Motown had million-selling singles by The Four Tops ('I Can't Help Myself'), The Temptations ('My Girl'), Jr Walker & The All-Stars ('Shotgun'), and no less than three by The Supremes ('Stop! In The Name Of Love', 'Back In My Arms Again' and 'I Hear A Symphony'), while Marvin Gaye, The Miracles and Martha & The Vandellas also enjoyed Top 10 hits. Remarkable aspects of this success are that Motown has had no share in the flood of British acts which has found US success in 1965, and that the label is an entirely independently run and distributed black-owned record company, with no ties to any of the corporate major US labels.

    December 1966 - The Supremes have turned down $25,000 and a percentage of the box office of a week at Harlem's Apollo Theatre, because they're too tied up with cabaret dates.

    December 1966 - Tom Jones - Goodbye Decca, Hello Motown
    Tom Jones may leave British Decca to accept an offer from brown chief Berry Gordy Jr. to become his Detroit-based company's first white British artist. Gordy has long cherished an ambition to sign Jones, and the singer in turn is keen to record at the Motown studios in Detroit. A 'substantial offer' has now been Wade, and Jones is presently seeking to establish whether he is contractually tied to Decca. His lawyer has already begun discussions with the company. Jones signed to Decca in July 964, and has subsequently released nine singles and three albums. A spokesman for the label claimed that his contract does not, in fact, expire until 1970. Meanwhile, his current single, 'Green, Green Grass Of Home', is topping the UK chart and has become the biggest-selling British single of 1966. Domestic sales are close to a million, and Jones is expected to become the first British artist in Decca's history to win a gold disc for sales entirely at home. In fact, only three previous singles released by or through Decca have ever topped the million sale in the UK alone, and all were by Americans: Bill Haley ('Rock Around The Clock'), Harry Belafonte ('Mary's Boy Child') and Elvis Presley ('It's Now Or Never').

    August 1967 - The Supremes - Nuns With Tarzan!
    The Supremes have been signed for their first dramatic acting roles not in a feature film, but in a guest appearance on the next season of NBC's Tarzan TV series, starring Ron Ely. The group are cast as three American nuns working in Africa, and will wear the appropriate habit throughout. They will also do some singing of hymns!

    February 1968 - Supremes Record Live In London
    The Supremes' one-hour cabaret act at London's Talk Of The Town nitespot has been recorded for a projected Motown album. It is only the second time the trio have recorded outside Detroit, the earlier occasion being a similar live recording in 1966 at New York's Copacabana. EMI producer Tony Palmer (who has worked with The Yardbirds, Georgie Fame and The Scaffold), supervised tapings of The Supremes' performances over three nights from 1 to 3 February. They were backed by the resident Burt Rhodes Orchestra, augmented to a 28-piece unit for this season. Items likely to be included on the LP which will be edited down from the three shows, are show tunes like 'Mame' and 'Thoroughly Modern Millie', a Sam Cooke tribute selection, and a medley of the group's own big-gest hit singles. Diana Ross commented: 'We want to come back to Britain. The response from everybody has been fantastic, though next time we feel we really must try and get closer to the fans. Concert dates would be the ideal thing next time.'

    March 1969 - Pretties To Motown
    Motown vice-president Barney Ales has visited London in a bid to sign The Pretty Things as the US label's first British act.

    August 1969 - Kiki For Motown
    Kiki Dee has become the first British girl singer to be signed by Motown; her five-year contract calls for her to record in Detroit with producer Frank Wilson.

    October 1969 - Diana To Leave The Supremes
    It has been officially announced that lead singer Diana Ross will leave The Supremes in January 1970. She will spend February rehearsing her new act, and make her solo cabaret debut in Framingham, Massachusetts on March 8. Mary Wilson will take over as The Supremes leader, and Ross will be replaced in the group by Jean Terrell, who is the sister of former heavyweight boxer Ernie Terrell, and former vocalist in his sideline vocal group Ernie & The Heavyweights, which broke up when he retired from the ring. The group are likely to be renamed The New Supremes, and both they and Ross will continue to record separately for Motown.

  2. #2
    Very nice, very interesting. Thank you motown01.

  3. #3
    The group are likely to be renamed The New Supremes, and both they and Ross will continue to record separately for Motown.
    Hmmh.....

  4. #4
    That's very interesting.

    I had no idea of the Tom Jones trivia so thanks!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    That's very interesting.

    I had no idea of the Tom Jones trivia so thanks!
    I don't like how they referred to Berry Gordy as "brown chief" and so what that Tom Jones was a "white British singer", Hell! He was a soul singer as much as he was a Pop singer. I know this was back in the 60s, but come on!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I don't like how they referred to Berry Gordy as "brown chief" and so what that Tom Jones was a "white British singer", Hell! He was a soul singer as much as he was a Pop singer. I know this was back in the 60s, but come on!
    That should be 'Motown' chief - I used an image scan to text converter online - this was on the left side of the page and the binding made it hard to scan.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by motown01 View Post
    That should be 'Motown' chief - I used an image scan to text converter online - this was on the left side of the page and the binding made it hard to scan.
    Hell of an accident, huh?...........

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by splanky View Post
    Hell of an accident, huh?...........
    Come on, say what you mean Splanky, and don't leave the rest of us thinking you're casting aspersions about motown01

  9. #9
    Yeah, this is kind of an odd path that we're going down. I've been working long hours right through this entire pandemic, I took what little free time I had to scan, then convert these articles because I thought it would be of interest to this group - my apologies that there was an error in the optical character recognition process and that I didn't proofread with a fine-tooth comb. I'll think twice next time before sharing.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by motown01 View Post
    Yeah, this is kind of an odd path that we're going down. I've been working long hours right through this entire pandemic, I took what little free time I had to scan, then convert these articles because I thought it would be of interest to this group - my apologies that there was an error in the optical character recognition process and that I didn't proofread with a fine-tooth comb. I'll think twice next time before sharing.
    Thank you...
    With all of the crazy shiznit that's been popping up across up the country, people grocery
    shopping with kkk hoods on, I know you guys have seen the news...We've even had to
    deal with some fooylwang business here on the forums. Proofread is the word I was waiting to hear. Your passing along this information is appreciated, otherwise...

  11. #11
    Well, I'm Canadian - so no need to worry about me.

  12. To return to the topic of Tom Jones...

    Whether or not BG really wanted to sign him, it’s possible (if not extremely likely) that Jones’ manager, Gordon Mills, used Motown’s interest to extract a better deal out of Decca. Which he got.

  13. #13
    I thought Beechwood 45789 was released in 1962, as well as You beat me to the punch and Do you Love Me
    Last edited by luke; 05-25-2020 at 04:49 PM.

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