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  1. #1

    Four or More Motown Versions???

    On my TV music channel the other day, I heard that familiar little tinkle telling me that "Put Yourself in My Place" was coming on. While waiting for the vocal to begin, I realized it was not the Supremes' version so I assumed it was going to be the Elgins. Well it turned out to be the Isley Brothers version.

    After that it occurred to me that Chris Clark also covered the song, which leads me to this question.......Are there any other Motown songs that were covered by as many as four of their artists? Any songs that were done five or more times?

  2. #2
    Best to check DFTMC...enter title and the versions are listed for you.

  3. #3
    I Heard It Through the Grapevine
    Gladys Knight & the Pips, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Miracles, Undisputed Truth, Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers

    Most Norman Whitfield songs had at least three covers

    Who's Loving You?
    The Miracles, The Supremes, The Temptations, Brenda Holloway, Jackson 5, etc.(?)

  4. #4
    It's an old chestnut.

    For Once in My Life....

    See this thread
    https://soulfuldetroit.com/showthrea...o-s-Loving-You

  5. #5
    nabob, re.

    I Heard IT Through the Grapevine

    Gladys Knight & the Pips, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Miracles, Undisputed Truth, Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers

    don't forget:

    Rare Earth, on the 1978 Prodigal/Motown album Grand Slam...and
    Martha Reeves, on the 1986 Object Enterprises album The Collection...

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by benross View Post
    nabob, re.

    I Heard IT Through the Grapevine

    Gladys Knight & the Pips, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Miracles, Undisputed Truth, Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers

    don't forget:

    Rare Earth, on the 1978 Prodigal/Motown album Grand Slam...and
    Martha Reeves, on the 1986 Object Enterprises album The Collection...
    Bettye Lavette..on her Tell me a lie LP

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Four different versions is a pretty low bar for Motown...

    One that comes to my mind is Money:

    Barrett Strong
    Richard "Popcorn" Wylie
    The Miracles
    Amos Milburn
    Mary Wells
    Hattie Littles
    Earl van Dyke
    The Supremes
    Jr Walker & The All Stars
    Blinky

    There's also one listed in DFTMC by "The Mob", produced by Jerry Ross in 1971, that I never heard of until now:



    Granted, not all of those were released back in the day, but they were recorded and eventually came out.
    Last edited by calvin; 10-16-2020 at 09:02 AM.

  9. #9
    Here's a Motown Song that had four different versions; "Whisper You Love Me Boy"-
    Recorded by Mary Wells, The Supremes, The Lewis Sisters & Chris Clark.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    Wow! What an extensive website. I will have to investigate it further sometime.

  11. #11
    Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever

    Four Tops
    Marvin Gaye
    Ivy Jo Hunter
    Chuck Jackson
    Martha & The Vandellas

  12. #12
    Nowhere To Run

    Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
    The Isley Brothers
    Dynamic Superior
    Bonnie Pointer

  13. #13
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    I'm sure "My Girl" was sung by a LOT more than 4 different artists/groups. When I was looking in The Vault at tapes of unreleased recordings during most of The 1970s, I saw so many versions of the same songs by different artists that I got the feeling that it was Motown's policy to record EVERY song by EVERY artist. It seemed like at least 4-5 other artists recorded almost every song Jimmy Ruffin sang, and many songs The Velvelettes sang, as well. Several by Bobby Taylor, too.

  14. #14
    Back in the 60s, when the three top female groups were battling it out on the radio and on vinyl, I tried to think if there was any one song that all three had recorded and I could never come up with one. We know of some examples of two (such as the Vandellas and Marvelettes each doing No More Tearstained Make Up and the Supremes and Vandellas each doing Heat Wave) but was there ever that one song that all three recorded?

  15. #15
    At least one song not written for Motown also got the multiple-artist treatment:

    Yesterday:

    The Supremes
    Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
    Gladys Knight & The Pips
    Marvin Gaye
    Chris Clark

    The Temptations also covered it on a live album.
    Last edited by calvin; 10-16-2020 at 09:19 AM.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
    Name:  av-5.jpg
Views: 203
Size:  21.1 KB
    I'm sure "My Girl" was sung by a LOT more than 4 different artists/groups. When I was looking in The Vault at tapes of unreleased recordings during most of The 1970s, I saw so many versions of the same songs by different artists that I got the feeling that it was Motown's policy to record EVERY song by EVERY artist. It seemed like at least 4-5 other artists recorded almost every song Jimmy Ruffin sang, and many songs The Velvelettes sang, as well. Several by Bobby Taylor, too.
    I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. If anything, it certainly gave lots of opportunities to determine the old question, "is it the singer or the song?" In listening to some of the multiple versions of the same song I'm finding the singer really can make the difference between a merely so-so song and one that you want to hear over and over. When The Fantastic Four sing "I Feel Like I'm Falling In Love Again" I hit "repeat". When Jimmy Ruffin sings it, not so much. Yet Jimmy was perfect on a lot of those Dean/Weatherspoon songs in general.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
    Name:  av-5.jpg
Views: 203
Size:  21.1 KB
    I'm sure "My Girl" was sung by a LOT more than 4 different artists/groups. When I was looking in The Vault at tapes of unreleased recordings during most of The 1970s, I saw so many versions of the same songs by different artists that I got the feeling that it was Motown's policy to record EVERY song by EVERY artist. It seemed like at least 4-5 other artists recorded almost every song Jimmy Ruffin sang, and many songs The Velvelettes sang, as well. Several by Bobby Taylor, too.
    According to DFTMC, "My Girl" was recorded by:

    The Temptations
    Earl Van Dyke
    Stevie Wonder
    Marvin Gaye
    San Remo Golden Strings
    Jonah Jones
    The Miracles
    Michael Jackson

    Of course, there may still be other versions in the vaults, who knows.

  18. #18
    "Since I've Lost You" written by Norman Whitfield

    1) Jimmy Ruffin
    2) The Velvelettes
    3) Gladys Knight and the Pips
    4) The Temptations
    5) The Undisputed Truth

  19. #19
    From DFTMC.

    For Once In My Life (Ronald Miller-Orlando Murden) published Stein & Van Stock 15-Jul-65

    Blinky; recorded Hitsville-GW, completed 26-Aug-69 ; produced by Frank Wilson ; [v2]
    unreleased; LP (S): Motown MS712 Sunny And Warm

    Sammy Davis Jr; recorded 22-Oct-69 ; produced by Deke Richards ; [recorded for Reprise]
    May-70; LP (S): Motown MS710 Something For Everyone

    Kiki Dee; recorded Hitsville-GW, completed 15-Dec-69 ; produced by Duke Browner
    Jul-70; LP (S): Tamla TS303 Great Expectations
    May-74; LP (S): MFP 90030 Kiki Dee [UK]
    15-Aug-05; CD (S): Motown 983 1795 Love Makes The World Go Round - The Motown Years [UK]

    The Ding Dongs; recorded Hitsville-GW, completed 21-Jun-70 ; produced by Tom King
    Aug-70; LP (S): Motown MS716 Gimme Dat Ding

    Jean DuShon; recorded Jul-66 ; produced by Esmond Edwards ; arranged by Bert Keyes
    Sep-66; 45: Cadet-5545 B [only Murden credited as writer]

    Billy Eckstine; recorded L.A. / N.Y., completed 28-Jan-66 ; produced by William Stevenson
    30-Dec-16; MP3 (M): UMC Digital Release Motown Unreleased 1966 [2016 mix]
    15-Dec-17; CD (M): Motown B0027684-02 Motown Unreleased 1966 [2016 mix]

    Four Tops; recorded L.A. / Hitsville, completed 07-Jul-66 ; produced by Frank Wilson
    Mar-67; LP (M): Motown M657 Four Tops On Broadway
    Mar-67; LP (S): Motown S657 Four Tops On Broadway
    27-Jun-68; 45 (M): Motown M 1127 B
    Jul-74; LP (S): Motown M9-809R3 Anthology
    27-Jun-00; CD: Spectrum 530 791 2 Reach Out I'll Be There [UK]
    25-Sep-01; CD (M): Motown 314 556 225 2 Fourever
    03-Oct-07; CD (M): Hip-O Select B0009708-02 The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 8 1968
    02-Apr-13; CD (M): Hip-O Select B0017484-02 50th Anniversary: The Singles Collection 1964-1972
    02-Oct-15; MP3 (S): UMC Digital Release Four Tops On Broadway

    Connie Haines; recorded L.A. / Hitsville, completed 23-Jul-65 ; produced by Marc Gordon, Hal Davis, Ronald Miller
    11-Dec-15; MP3 (M): UMC Digital Release Motown Unreleased 1965 - Various Artists

    Joe Harnell; recorded Hitsville-GW, completed 03-Sep-69 ; produced by Wade Marcus
    Dec-69; LP (S): Motown S698 Moving On!!
    2000; CD: JHCD 06 Moving On!!

    Jonah Jones; recorded Hitsville-GW, completed 01-Oct-68 ; produced by Henry Cosby
    Mar-69; LP (S): Motown S683 Along Came Jonah

    Gladys Knight & The Pips; recorded Hitsville-GW / MoWest ; produced by Clay McMurray ; arranged by H.B. Barnum, O. Nelson
    Feb-73; LP (S): Soul S737L Neither One Of Us
    Apr-73; 45: Soul S 35105F B
    16-Jan-74; LP (S): Motown-M-792S2 Anthology
    21-Mar-95; CD: Motown 530 483 2 Anthology / The Best Of Gladys Knight & The Pips
    Jul-00; CD (S): Spectrum 544 313 2 The Motown Years [UK]
    06-Nov-06; CD (S): Motown 984 1940 Neither One of Us / All I Need Is Time [UK]

    Barbara McNair; recorded L.A. / Hitsville, completed 25-Oct-65 ; produced by Hal Davis, Marc Gordon ; [Hitsville vocal odb]
    unreleased; 45 (M): Motown M 1112 B [released on Motown 1123]
    Nov-66; LP (M): Motown M644 Here I Am
    Nov-66; LP (S): Motown S644 Here I Am
    26-Mar-68; 45 (M): Motown M 1123 B [scheduled for Motown 1112]
    26-Jan-04; CD (S): Motown 017 554 2 Barbara McNair - The Ultimate Motown Collection [UK]
    25-May-07; CD (M): Hip-O Select B0008993-02 The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 7 1967

    The Miracles; recorded L.A. / Hitsville-GW, completed 26-Mar-69 ; produced by Smokey Robinson, Wade Marcus ; arranged by Dave Van DePitte
    10-Jul-69; LP (S): Tamla S295 Time Out For Smokey Robinson And the Miracles
    07-May-01; CD (S): Motown 013 186 2 Time Out / Four In Blue [UK]

    Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations; recorded 23-Aug-68 ; produced by Motown Productions Inc ; [tv "TCB (Taking Care Of Business)"]
    02-Dec-68; LP (S): Motown S682 The Original Soundtrack From TCB
    20-Sep-94; CD (S): Motown 530 338 2 Emperors Of Soul
    23-Oct-00; CD (S): Motown 159 618 2 A Bit Of Liverpool / TCB (With The Temptations) [UK]

    Soupy Sales; recorded Hitsville-GW, completed 18-Dec-68 ; produced by Ronald Miller
    Apr-69; LP (S): Motown S686 A Bag Of Soup

    Kay Stevens; recording details unknown ; [tv "The Temptations Show"]
    10-Jul-68; LP (S): Gordy S933 The Temptations Show [rechanneled stereo]
    09-Jun-15; MP3: UMC Digital Release The Temptations Show

    The Temptations; recorded L.A. / Hitsville-GW, completed 18-Oct-67 ; produced by Frank Wilson, Jeffrey Bowen ; [lead Paul Williams]
    27-Nov-67; LP (S): Gordy S924 In A Mellow Mood
    27-Nov-67; LP (M): Gordy G924 In A Mellow Mood
    13-Jul-98; CD (S): Motown 530 933 2 In A Mellow Mood
    23-Oct-00; CD: Motown 159 511 2 Wish It Would Rain / In A Mellow Mood [UK]
    The Temptations; recorded live Copa, N.Y.
    09-Dec-68; LP (S): Gordy S938 Live At The Copa
    09-Dec-68; LP (M): Gordy G938 Live At The Copa [Promo copies only]
    01-Jul-91; CD: Motown MOTD 5306 Live At The Copa
    23-Oct-00; CD: Motown 159 444 2 Live At The Copa / With A Lot O' Soul [UK]

    The Vandellas; recorded live 20 Grand, Detroit, completed 08-Jun-67
    Sep-67; LP (M): Gordy G925 Martha And The Vandellas Live!
    Sep-67; LP (S): Gordy S925 Martha And The Vandellas Live!
    The Vandellas; recorded L.A. / Hitsville-GW, completed 18-Jul-67 ; produced by Harvey Fuqua, Johnny Bristol
    13-Nov-06; CD (S): Hip-O Select B0003616-02 Spellbound: Motown Lost & Found
    The Vandellas; recorded live Copa, N.Y. (1st show), 22-Jun-68
    11-Oct-68 [acetate]; LP: Q HEM-0957/8-FNDD
    The Vandellas; recorded live Copa, N.Y. (2nd show), 22-Jun-68
    31-Jul-68 [acetate]; LP: Q HEM-0505/6-FNLL

    Stevie Wonder; recorded Hitsville-GW, completed 09-Sep-68 ; produced by Henry Cosby ; [v2]
    15-Oct-68; 45 (M): Tamla T 54174 A
    08-Dec-68; LP (M): Tamla T291 For Once In My Life [DJ copies only?]
    08-Dec-68; LP (S): Tamla S291 For Once In My Life
    Mar-71; LP (S): Motown MS730 The Motown Story Volume 4 [with intro by Stevie Wonder]
    May-71; LP (S): Motown MS732 Motown Chartbusters Volume 3
    Nov-71; LP (S): Tamla T313L Greatest Hits Vol. 2
    30-Nov-77; LP (S): Motown M804LP3 Looking Back
    Aug-86; CD (S): Motown MCDO 8025 TD For Once In My Life / Up Tight
    30-Jul-92; CD: Motown 530 047 2 Essential [UK]
    03-Nov-92; CD (M): Motown MOTD 6312 Hitsville USA The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971
    13-Jun-95; CD (S): Motown 530 507 2 Motown Year By Year / The Sound Of Young America 1968
    1997; CD (S): Britannia 530 710 Motown: The History: Changing Times [UK]
    1997; CD (M): DPSM 5240 The Complete Motown Anthology Vol 4
    02-Nov-98; CD (S): Spectrum 554 146 2 Motown Chartbusters Volume 3 [UK]
    23-Sep-03; CD (S): Motown B000101602 The Motown Story Volume 1: The 1960s
    11-May-04; CD (S): Motown 066 365-2 Standing In The Shadows of Motown - De Luxe [band track]
    12-Mar-05; CD (M): Reader's Digest RDCD 4631-3 The Ultimate Motown Collection - Soul Brothers
    04-Oct-05; CD (S): Singing Machine G8864 Motown Classics - I Just Want To Celebrate Vol. 14 [band track]
    12-Oct-05; MP3 (M): UMC Digital Release The Complete Stevie Wonder
    12-Oct-05; MP3 (S): UMC Digital Release The Complete Stevie Wonder
    03-Oct-07; CD (M): Hip-O Select B0009708-02 The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 8 1968
    Stevie Wonder; recorded live Fox Theatre, Detroit, completed 28-Dec-68
    Jul-69; LP (S): Motown S688 Motortown Revue Live
    26-Aug-05; CD (S): Hip-O Select B0003623-02 The Motortown Revue Collection
    04-Oct-05; CD (S): Singing Machine G8864 Motown Classics - I Just Want To Celebrate Vol. 14
    12-Oct-05; MP3: UMC Digital Release The Complete Stevie Wonder
    Stevie Wonder; recorded Hitsville-GW, completed 17-Jan-70 ; produced by non-contract producer ; [Spanish lyrics, text Amart/Duarte, title "Por Primera Vez"]
    1970; 45 (M): Tamla Motown M5078 B [Spain]
    12-Oct-05; MP3 (M): UMC Digital Release The Complete Stevie Wonder
    26-Feb-10; CD (M): Hip-O Select B0013917-02 Motown Around The World - The Classic Singles And More
    Stevie Wonder; recorded live Talk Of The Town, London, Jun-70
    Oct-70; LP: Tamla Motown STML11164 Live at the Talk of the Town [UK]
    12-Oct-05; MP3 (S): UMC Digital Release The Complete Stevie Wonder
    Stevie Wonder & Diana Ross; recorded Hollywood Palace Theater, L.A., 18-Oct-69 ; produced by Deke Richards ; [tv "Hollywood Palace"]
    Mar-70; LP (S): Motown MS703 Motown At The Hollywood Palace
    12-Oct-05; MP3: UMC Digital Release The Complete Stevie Wonder

    Beyond 1972 there is also Diana's solo version from 1977 as yet not released on CD.

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