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  1. #1

    Group that stayed with Motown the longest with NO personnel changes

    I was thinking today about the group that has stayed with Motown the longest with NO personnel changes. I come up with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. I believe Pete Moore was gone for a while due to being drafted [[please correct me if I am wrong). Claudette also left but still did sessions recording with the group for a while [[again, please correct me if I am wrong). Neither was replaced while the group stayed with Motown.

    Am I correct?

  2. #2
    well....that certainly leaves the Supremes and the Temptations out....since Claudette was not a performing member when she continued to record, I disqualify The Miracles too..

    THE FOUR TOPS... hands down...as a performing and recording unit...they were there longer than Gladys and the Pips.

    Honorable mention/ Studio Only???..Andante's

  3. #3
    Claudette only left the stage act of The Miracles [[due to health problems). She remained with the group in the studio until Smokey's departure in 1972.

  4. #4
    It has to be the Four Tops, doesn't it? They never had any personnel changes until perhaps decades later, but even at Motown they remained a group longer than the Miracles, I believe. Wasn't ABC/Dunhill their first stop after Motown? It seems to me that would have been a little later than 1972 when Smokey left the Miracles.

    It's possible though that the Miracles predated the Tops in the beginning of their Motown careers, so perhaps it's a tie.

    Now where's Reese when you need him?

  5. #5
    The Four Tops first Motown single was released in July of 1964. Their last was January of 1972.

  6. #6
    The Miracles first Tamla single was released just prior to September of 1959. Their last was around April of 1972.

  7. #7
    Actually [[It's the Way) Nature Planned It" was released in August 1972 and was was the last Four Top single during their first tenure at Motown
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    The Four Tops first Motown single was released in July of 1964. Their last was January of 1972.

  8. #8
    "I Can't Stand to See You Cry" was the last Miracle single with Smokey and was released after he left on November 1972
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    The Miracles first Tamla single was released just prior to September of 1959. Their last was around April of 1972.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by lockhartgary View Post
    I believe Pete Moore was gone for a while due to being drafted [[please correct me if I am wrong).
    Yes; Pete Moore was drafted and he missed performing on a few of the early Miracles' LPs [[from The Fabulous Miracles through Christmas With The Miracles). According to the interviews for The Miracles' Definitive Performances DVD, Smokey & Co. held Pete's share of the earnings the group made during this time and turned the money over to him when he returned to the group. And I'm with you in feeling that The Miracles were the group with the longest stay at Motown with no personnel changes.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Yes; Pete Moore was drafted and he missed performing on a few of the early Miracles' LPs [[from The Fabulous Miracles through Christmas With The Miracles). According to the interviews for The Miracles' Definitive Performances DVD, Smokey & Co. held Pete's share of the earnings the group made during this time and turned the money over to him when he returned to the group. And I'm with you in feeling that The Miracles were the group with the longest stay at Motown with no personnel changes.
    As I recall, it is on the liner notes for that album “The Fabulous Miracles” aka “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” where they even mentioned that he was in the service at the time and is therefore not pictured on the cover. That was a very unusual and generous gesture for a group at the time I believe. The Miracles were unusual in many many ways.

  11. #11
    The Four Tops performed together from 1953 to 1997 without a change in personnel. They didn't join Motown until 1963 [[their first album remained unreleased for several years) and left for the first time in 1972. So in terms of longevity they win but in terms of Motown residency I think The Miracles win [[mind you they did have a name change).

  12. #12
    I say the miracles also.

  13. #13
    In the booklet that accompanied the Four Tops Ultimate Collection from 1997, the author of the essay that was included in it, Stuart Hackel, has indicated this:

    THEY STAYED UNITED FOR 43 YEARS,
    NO ONE IN MUSIC EVER DID THAT,
    NO ONE.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    As I recall, it is on the liner notes for that album “The Fabulous Miracles” aka “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” where they even mentioned that he was in the service at the time and is therefore not pictured on the cover. That was a very unusual and generous gesture for a group at the time I believe. The Miracles were unusual in many many ways.
    Yep; Pete Moore had his picture [[and the mention of his being in the Military) on the back cover of The Fabulous Miracles. And yes, it was generous of The Miracles [[and Motown) to acknowledge him that way.


  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Yep; Pete Moore had his picture [[and the mention of his being in the Military) on the back cover of The Fabulous Miracles. And yes, it was generous of The Miracles [[and Motown) to acknowledge him that way.

    Thanks for finding that and posting it. I forgot that his photo was included on the back cover. What a nice tribute to him at the time. That group really defined loyalty in so many ways. I love the look of those very early covers. Kind of crude design in terms of artistry, but so innocent in their presentation of the music and liner notes.


    If you think about it a little more, even the song “sweet harmony“ which Smokey recorded when the group disbanded was yet another generous gesture, where he acknowledged his former group members and wished them well via song.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    If you think about it a little more, even the song “sweet harmony“ which Smokey recorded when the group disbanded was yet another generous gesture, where he acknowledged his former group members and wished them well via song.
    Yes Indeed Kenneth; Smokey Robinson's "Sweet Harmony" was a great farewell to The Miracles and an acknowledgment that they will continue on without him [[also, a fine way to kick off Smokey's solo career).


  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I love the look of those very early covers. Kind of crude design in terms of artistry, but so innocent in their presentation of the music and liner notes.
    I know what you mean; I love those early Miracles album covers for the same reason. My favorite LP cover from that era is the one for their debut, Hi! We're The Miracles.



    Last edited by Motown Eddie; 03-11-2021 at 05:48 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    I know what you mean; I love those early Miracles album covers for the same reason. My favorite LP cover from that era is the one for their debut, Hi! We're The Miracles.



    Absolutely love that one especially because the costumes show their heritage as the Matadors! And then they even reused the big letters on the cover of their next album, “Cookin’ With the Miracles!”

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    Last edited by kenneth; 03-11-2021 at 07:50 PM.

  19. #19
    I love that fun cover too. The simpler , innocence it presents, yes.
    [[Hopefully the anti Dr. Suess crowd don't get woke to it .)
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 03-12-2021 at 02:38 PM.

  20. #20
    I would include DeBarge, who had virtually the same lineup until they left Motown. Though they were initially a quartet, with youngest member James joining for the second album.

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