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  1. #1

    Darn! The Volume ONLY goes up to 100!

    I spend a lot of time listening to the music channels on my Cable TV. You know the TV equivalent to Sirius XM radio. (I am on Lumos Networks by the way, which I have found to be far better than Comcast ever was.)

    Anyway I switch from channel to channel as I am listening but my favorite is the Classic R & B channel and boy, was this ever a great weekend!!! When something comes on that I really enjoy I will crank up the volume and the rest of the household comes running to see what all the excitement is all about. So this weekend I was fortunate enough to hear three favorites in their entirety. (As you all know, nothing is more frustrating than to turn to a radio station or music channel and catch a song just as it is ending.)

    My first volume-cranker was a Motown classic, the original "Heaven Must Have Sent You" by the Elgins. How that was not a top five song I will never know. Definitely one of my top Motown favorites of all time.

    Then later I freaked when they played an obscure Ann Peebles song that to the best of my knowledge was just an album track and never made any noise on its own. It is called "You've Got the Papers (I've Got the Man.)" A classic Willie Mitchell production from her wonderful "Handwriting is on the Wall" album that was my introduction to her courtesy of a K Mart 50 cent bargain bin. Needless to say I grabbed everything else I could by her after that.

    To complete this weekend's trifecta, just a short while ago in fact, they played another under-rated Motown classic that I only discovered within the past few years......Marv Johnson's "I'll Pick a Rose For My Rose." Up until a few years ago, I had only heard bits and pieces of Marv and had assumed that he was too early in the Motown story for me to have any interest in him. But I heard that song one night on Pandora and loved it. I highly recommend his Motown anthology collection for those of you who might not have it.

    So that was my weekend walk down Musical Memory Lane. Three radically different songs you might say, but it is for sure that they don't make them like that anymore!

  2. #2
    Well, all I can say is 2 out of 3 is terrific. I absolutely love anything that the Elgins sing. The Anthology set that Paul Nixon produced is really a great compilation and I listen to it at least twice a month beginning to end. I don't know how many people are aware of this or not, but Heaven Must Have Sent You b/w Stay In My Lonely Arms was one of very few releases that were issued twice with different number. In July of 1966 VIP 25037 was released and later in September of 1971 VIP 25065 same A and B sides [actually a rerelease of the earlier issuance. There aren't a great number of A/B side rereleases like this. That attests to the power of the song.

    The Marv Johnson I'll Pick A Rose for My Rose is fabulous also. The Complete Motown Recordings 1964-1971 is one set that I play at least once a week. Marv is a very unappreciated singer. I remember being at his funeral in Detroit when Esther Gordy Edwards praised him up the wall. His United Artists singles and his three albums are terrific releases. I only wish I could have seen him in person, not at his funeral. I could listen to Marv from here to eternity.

    Unfortunately, I am totally unfamiliar with Ann Peebles. I wouldn't know an AP song if I heard it on the radio. But I will take your word for it.

    Thanks for pointing out these two great songs.
    Last edited by woodward; 07-12-2020 at 07:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Ann is of course mainly known for her two hits I Can't Stand the Rain and I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down. Both of those however were sort of mellow by her standards. Her best material in my opinion were the spicier songs in which she talked about someone stealing her man or her stealing someone else's. As with many Willie Mitchell productions, horns were a major part of her sound, as well as the background vocals of Rhodes/Chalmers/Rhodes. I admit she might be an acquired taste if you are someone who appreciates more sophisticated soul, but when you compare her to other southern soul sisters with a touch of country flavor, such as Denise LaSalle and Millie Jackson, she was in their company.

  4. #4
    These posts brought back some fond memories as the 2 Motown numbers are personal favourites of mine and Ann's 'I'm gonna tear your playhouse down' was my nomination for 'single of the year' when Blues & Soul magazine ran their annual poll in 1973. Both the Elgins & Marv Johnson tracks were Top 10 hits in the UK with the former only hitting the charts on reissue in 1971. I understand it had been a long time favourite on the Northern Soul scene which led to its reissue. It was probably this success that led to Motown re-issuing it in the US but alas it failed to dent the charts, I agree it should have got a lot higher when first issued.


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Ralph Terrana

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