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  1. #1

    «Martha Reeves and The Vandellas Produced by Richard Morris» - A playlist

    Hello, I have created a new playlist for the Vandellas and Richard Morris on YouTube.
    I suppose that Rosalind Ashford and Lois Reeves are not featured in all the songs, I hope they're singing in some of them, but I have added their names, because they were the Vandellas in 1967-69. I hope you enjoy it.

    «Martha Reeves and The Vandellas Produced by Richard Morris»
    1967-69 line-up: Martha Reeves, Rosalind Ashford and Lois Reeves.

    1 Candy Man
    2 Honey Chile
    3 Forget Me Not
    4 It Must Be Him
    5 (We've Got) Honey Love
    6 Sweet Darlin'
    7 I Tried
    8 A Litte Bit of Heaven (On a Little Patch of Earth)
    9 Love Bug, Leave My Heart Alone
    10 I Say a Little Prayer
    11 I'm Glad You Belong to Me
    12 Show Me the Way

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...WsTi7FPu1iFl_Y
    Last edited by Edgar; 08-10-2020 at 12:22 AM.

  2. #2
    That's a very nice list of Martha and the Vandellas in the late 60's Edgar! Honey Chile is such a good song. For me this is the register in which Martha sounds good, especially during the late 60's and early 70's. She starts good with We've got Honey love but when she sings "Gone are the clouds" she sounds shrill to me. Love bug, Leave my heart alone is a little gem and I think the only song with Betty on it. Lois and Rosalind are on Honey Chile according to the never trustworthy Wikipedia. But I do believe they are on it too. They hum along but then when they sing alongside Martha they are are hardly audible.

  3. #3
    At least Roz is on 3 of the tracks, Lois is in 2 and Betty is in one .
    Quote Originally Posted by TYK1986 View Post
    That's a very nice list of Martha and the Vandellas in the late 60's Edgar! Honey Chile is such a good song. For me this is the register in which Martha sounds good, especially during the late 60's and early 70's. She starts good with We've got Honey love but when she sings "Gone are the clouds" she sounds shrill to me. Love bug, Leave my heart alone is a little gem and I think the only song with Betty on it. Lois and Rosalind are on Honey Chile according to the never trustworthy Wikipedia. But I do believe they are on it too. They hum along but then when they sing alongside Martha they are are hardly audible.

  4. #4
    Is it show me the way that Lois and Rosalind sing background? Sounds like them.

  5. #5
    Yep it’s them
    Quote Originally Posted by TYK1986 View Post
    Is it show me the way that Lois and Rosalind sing background? Sounds like them.

  6. #6
    Although not on this list, I asked Lois once after a show if that was her voice doing the "uh uh" on Shoe Leather Expressway, right after Martha sings "Pick 'em up and lay em down now," and she did not even seem to understand the question, much less know the answer. So I assumed that it wasn't, even though when I listen to that song, it appears that it could easily have been her.

  7. #7
    It’s sounds like the Andantes to me
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    Although not on this list, I asked Lois once after a show if that was her voice doing the "uh uh" on Shoe Leather Expressway, right after Martha sings "Pick 'em up and lay em down now," and she did not even seem to understand the question, much less know the answer. So I assumed that it wasn't, even though when I listen to that song, it appears that it could easily have been her.

  8. #8
    Ive always love Marthas version of Say a Little Prayer and the Vandellas are real great on backgrounds.

  9. #9
    Wish the Vandellas were a bit more prominent on the background during the later part of the 60's and early 70's. When listening to Sugar 'n Spice I can hardly hear any Vandella. Which song is an good example where you can clearly hear Lois and Sandra?
    I did recently find a live performance of them from 1968 in Tokyo on Youtube but they sound so soft behind Martha that you can hardly hear them.

    Did anyone ever hear them sing Forget me not live? Hitting number 11 in the UK so wonder if they ever sang it live.

  10. #10
    By the time Sandra joined, her and Lois were really Vandellas on stage only. I think this really started after Betty left. I can think of only a few songs the Martha, Lois, Roz/Sandra lineups sang on in the studio, one of them being "Something" that Sandra sang on.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by TYK1986 View Post
    Wish the Vandellas were a bit more prominent on the background during the later part of the 60's and early 70's. When listening to Sugar 'n Spice I can hardly hear any Vandella. Which song is an good example where you can clearly hear Lois and Sandra?
    I did recently find a live performance of them from 1968 in Tokyo on Youtube but they sound so soft behind Martha that you can hardly hear them.

    Did anyone ever hear them sing Forget me not live? Hitting number 11 in the UK so wonder if they ever sang it live.
    I heard Forget Me Not live. In early 1971 Martha, Lois and Sandy toured the UK opening for Stevie Wonder. That song was in the charts then and certainly featured in their act. They opened with Something. And you could certainly hear Sandy and Lois. I was in the front row, and saw them close up. They were stunningly beautiful, in pure white gowns trimmed with rhinestones. On that tour they also appeared on Top of the Pops lipsynching Forget Me Not. I think this is a still from that show.

  12. #12
    Me too....same tour, in Southampton.

    That was the tour when they also wore the satin tops and pants outfits, as seen on Greatest Hits Vol. 2 album cover?

    Lois and Sandy were loud and clear, no doubt about that.

    On 'My Baby Loves Me' they were incredibly graceful, doing little 'bounce' dips with their knees from behind the mike stands, while making expansively wide and totally synchronised sweeping gestures with their arms - really using the stage to best effect....

  13. #13
    The show I saw as at the (now demolished) Bournemouth Winter Gardens. Most of the Motown tours went there, but in 1970 I saw the Four Tops at the Southampton Gaumont. They were terriffic too, of course. It was almost as easy for me to get to So'ton as Bournemouth, because I lived between Highcliffe and New Milton. There were trains and busses. Come and get these memories....

  14. #14
    Now you mention it, I'm mistaken, it was indeed Bournemouth Winter Gardens in 1971.

    It was 1969 when I saw Stevie Wonder at Southampton Gaumont, and who was supported that time by The Foundations and The Flirtations.

  15. #15
    I was born in the wrong decade and seems the wrong part of the UK lol. Thanks for sharing great memories. Hope they didn't speed up Forget me not like they did with a lot of songs.

  16. #16
    Does either of you remember any other songs or the setlist performed at that show?

  17. #17
    I used to exchange mails with Lois long ago, and once she asked me to send her copies of the CDs I had burnt from my LPs "Ridin' High", "Natural Resources", "Sugar 'N' Spice" and "Black Magic". None of them were available on CD by then. She said she wanted to have copies of the songs in which she had sung. She never mentioned which and I did not dare to ask, but I thought that if she asked for all four, she possibly sang at least in one song, or two or maybe more tracks in each album.

  18. #18
    Who's singing "Baby" at the end of Taking my love (and leaving me). Throughout the song it sounds like the Andantes but during some parts it sounds as if I can hear other girls.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by TYK1986 View Post
    Who's singing "Baby" at the end of Taking my love (and leaving me). Throughout the song it sounds like the Andantes but during some parts it sounds as if I can hear other girls.
    Syreeta !!

  20. #20
    She sounds great! So I can't dance wasn't the only song she sang on. She sounds great on that song too. No disrespect to Martha but Syreeta, to me, sounds better on the chorus especially after having heard the alternate versions on the singles collection.

  21. #21
    But it still begs the question I asked here ages ago, what became of Richard Morris?

  22. #22
    As far as I understood, Sugar and Spice was the only Vandellas album that was just Martha.
    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    I used to exchange mails with Lois long ago, and once she asked me to send her copies of the CDs I had burnt from my LPs "Ridin' High", "Natural Resources", "Sugar 'N' Spice" and "Black Magic". None of them were available on CD by then. She said she wanted to have copies of the songs in which she had sung. She never mentioned which and I did not dare to ask, but I thought that if she asked for all four, she possibly sang at least in one song, or two or maybe more tracks in each album.

  23. #23
    Recently I dug out my Chris Clark 2-CD UK Anthology, which I hadn't played in years. I heard a song, "He's Good For Me', that sounded like a Vandellas-type song.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsDSrgCXHn4

    Sure enough it was scheduled for the Vandellas in 1968. One of the writers, as well as producers, is Richard Morris.

    Interestingly there is a high-pitched background voice that also caught my attention. Could it also be Syreeta, or is it one of the Andantes (Louvain?)?
    Last edited by johnjeb; 08-10-2020 at 10:54 AM.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by MotownFan1 View Post
    Does either of you remember any other songs or the setlist performed at that show?
    Hi MotownFan. I don't remember all the details, but I do recall that they did Heatwave, I'm Ready For Love, Nowhere to Run, Something, My Baby Loves Me, Jimmy Mack, Forget Me Not, and, of course, Dancing in the Street. WestGrandBoulevard may remember more, but I had a feeling that Martha also did Didn't We.

  25. #25
    Hi MotownFan1...

    I now remember that there should be another thread here on SDF (dating from 2016 I think?), where Sharpmoves and myself discussed this very same appearance date.

    I may be wrong (well, 1971 was soooo very l-o-n-g ago..!), but I think we agreed in the earlier thread that we may well have attended different houses on that date in 1971.

    Sharpmoves was sure Martha started her set with 'Something'. And I believe him.

    Except...at the time of the previous thread, I was sure Martha, when I saw her, opened with 'Heat Wave' - but I feel I may, in 2016, then have wavered on that.

    And even right now, I'm not so sure.

    I'd still say it was 'Heat Wave'..because of the difference in pace between those two numbers. And that 'Heat Wave' to me seems a far more natural opener for The Vandellas, than 'Something' - particularly in those days when 'Heat Wave' was not among Martha's UK hits, and was not quite the legendary part of her discography it has now become. So was featured earlier in the set, rather than later, as it generally now is.

    What puzzled me was that the management cued the house lights to be brought down, and for Martha, Lois, Sandy to join the band on stage and begin, despite there were being many people late in entering the theatre auditorium, and had not taken their seats.

    The entire opening song was then disrupted with rows of people standing up to allow other ticket holders to find their allocated seats, and then for everyone in those rows to all sit down.

    Even at the end of that opening number, when the three ladies turned their backs and threw their arms up (in the same pose as on the 'Heat Wave' album) the applause was initially almost non-existent, which led to Martha, while holding one arm in the air, then half turning to the audience with her microphone hand, to enquire hopefully "Folks???"

    So I can only assume that the opening song, and maybe also the running order of the set, varied between the two houses.

    I agree with Sharpmoves on the songs performed, if not recalling the exact order, and would add 'Honey Chile', because I can remember being entranced by the choreography of Lois and Sandy. On that evidence alone, I do believe it's true that, with very few exceptions, Lois and Sandy did not appear on the recordings but, IMO, on stage were visually the most elegant set of Vandellas who ever appeared with Martha.

    And yes, Lois (who never stopped smiling) and the lovely Sandy certainly did leave the stage for Martha to perform 'Didn't We', under the warm glow of a spotlight, gently swaying her body, while inclining her head in that certain way she has. Martha's gaze seemed directed into mid-air, fixed on some distant horizon.

    That smoky, soulful, rather eerie voice cut right through that darkened theatre and, yes, the vibrato was noticeable even then - just as it can (but not on every occasion) be so today, except now generally singing more huskily, and in a lower key.

    That final note of Martha's from 'Didn't We' was sustained for what seemed like forever, the sound of it seeming to gently wing its way upwards, before floating unseen from sight.

    The audience from the packed house was very, very appreciative of Martha, Lois and Sandy... and to be honest, as good as Stevie Wonder's performance was, I felt those ladies stole that show.
    Last edited by westgrandboulevard; 08-10-2020 at 04:10 PM.

  26. #26
    i did a playlist too, although not specifically around Richard as producer. the group seemed to have created a "country soul" sound during this time period. I thought they could have done this as an album after Ridin' High (which would have had to use some other tracks) and before Sugar And Spice. I like the down-home vibe of some of the lyrics and how the producers were also bringing in some more modern sounds, some more electronic touches that nod a bit to the psychedelic soul sounds the Sups did with Reflections

    Honey Chile
    Sweet Darlin'
    I Tried
    We've Got Honey Love
    I'm in love
    Forget me not

    I promise to wait my love
    without you
    I'm glad you belong to me
    love bug leave my heart alone
    A little bit of heaven
    i can't dance to that music

  27. #27
    Sharpmoves and westgrandboulevard- Thanks for the details! I can’t remember nearly as much from concerts I attended that long ago. Sounds like it was a great concert.

  28. #28
    Do you guys remember if Martha rushed through the songs? Not a huge fan of Motown artists rushing through their hits.

    Soulwally I tried to find information about Richard Morris and the only thing I found, I think, was your previous thread about him lol. Very limited information. Seems he worked with Edwin Starr too but I don't know how much.

  29. #29
    No, I personally don't remember Martha ever rushing through her songs.

    I think some of the other Motown artists who used medleys, and/or performed songs at a faster tempo than their recordings, did so because they had a greater number of hits for which they were known. They were expected to perform these in addition to most recent recordings, all of which needed to fit within the constraints of their allotted time on stage.

    If anything, I think Martha now would benefit from a few medleys, to include lesser performed hits/songs from her own repertoire, as the set list in her act does not seem to change very much, only the running order.

    That said, occasionally someone will call out a song title, and Martha will give an impromptu 'a cappella' performance of it - 'One Way Out', for example....or 'Honey Chile' with Lois and Delphine, which is not so often performed with the band now.

    One title which has now become a signature song for Martha on stage in the UK is 'No One There', and which invariably receives a great ovation.

    Also, Martha usually meets and greets her fans and friends after a performance - usually with Lois and Delphine - and takes time with anyone who wishes to say 'Hi'....generally not leaving until she has exchanged greetings, signed memorabilia and had photos taken with everyone who has been patiently waiting, and who has then left the theatre.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by westgrandboulevard View Post
    No, I personally don't remember Martha ever rushing through her songs.

    I think some of the other Motown artists who used medleys, and/or performed songs at a faster tempo than their recordings, did so because they had a greater number of hits for which they were known. They were expected to perform these in addition to most recent recordings, all of which needed to fit within the constraints of their allotted time on stage.

    If anything, I think Martha now would benefit from a few medleys, to include lesser performed hits/songs from her own repertoire, as the set list in her act does not seem to change very much, only the running order.

    That said, occasionally someone will call out a song title, and Martha will give an impromptu 'a cappella' performance of it - 'One Way Out', for example....or 'Honey Chile' with Lois and Delphine, which is not so often performed with the band now.

    One title which has now become a signature song for Martha on stage in the UK is 'No One There', and which invariably receives a great ovation.

    Also, Martha usually meets and greets her fans and friends after a performance - usually with Lois and Delphine - and takes time with anyone who wishes to say 'Hi'....generally not leaving until she has exchanged greetings, signed memorabilia and had photos taken with everyone who has been patiently waiting, and who has then left the theatre.
    I saw Martha and her sisters this past New Year's Eve and was pleasantly surprised to see that there were new or recent (at least for me) additions to her set list.

    I think what Martha performs is often dictated by the bill she is on and the amount of time she is contracted for. In this case, she was the only act for the evening. She actually performed two sets at the first show, with an intermission in-between. In addition to the hits, she did album tracks like I'LL FOLLOW YOU and SOMETHING, as well as the Aretha Franklin medley from the Vandellas' live album. She also did MANY RIVERS TO CROSS as well as other solo material from her most recent cd.

    Because she had two shows this particular evening, she wasn't able to come out and meet the fans after the first because the patrons for the second were already lined up and coming in. But I have met Martha after many shows in the past and as you said, she is always very warm and accommodating to her fans.
    Last edited by reese; 08-11-2020 at 02:07 PM.

  31. #31
    I saw Martha two summers ago on a bill with the Spinners. I did not know this going in, but it turned out that the Spinners were considered the primary act. They probably did about a two hour show, which granted was excellent.

    So that left our beloved Martha, Delphine and Lois as the "warm up act." They only did about six or seven songs, obviously their better known ones, and toward the end Martha commented that they only had "half an hour."

    I was of course quite disappointed since I had expected more of an even division between the two acts or thought that maybe they would do some things together. But as you guys are saying, Martha was very gracious after the show and she was still out in the hallway meeting and greeting for two hours or more after the Spinners were finished, whereas if they ever met anybody, it was not evident. So her friendliness more than made up for the short set.

  32. #32
    Love the fact you all say she meets and greets everyone at the end of a show.

    Westgrandboulevard I've seen her, on youtube lol, singing no one there and she sounds great. Thats the best opening song of any album they released. I think the slower paste of the song suits her. Such a shame it never charted.

  33. #33
    Sup_fan, your list was my inspiration! But I decided to dedicate it to producer Morris... No one mentions his work at Motown often if ever...

    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i did a playlist too, although not specifically around Richard as producer. the group seemed to have created a "country soul" sound during this time period. I thought they could have done this as an album after Ridin' High (which would have had to use some other tracks) and before Sugar And Spice. I like the down-home vibe of some of the lyrics and how the producers were also bringing in some more modern sounds, some more electronic touches that nod a bit to the psychedelic soul sounds the Sups did with Reflections

    Honey Chile
    Sweet Darlin'
    I Tried
    We've Got Honey Love
    I'm in love
    Forget me not

    I promise to wait my love
    without you
    I'm glad you belong to me
    love bug leave my heart alone
    A little bit of heaven
    i can't dance to that music

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