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  1. #1

    "My Sugar Baby" - Who Is Connie Clark?

    "My Sugar Baby", a Frank Wilson composition, was one of four tracks published by Jobete that Motown rejected for release and which subsequently appeared on the Joker label. It was credited to Connie Clark, released in September 1965 as Joker 716, and became popular on the Northern Soul scene.

    A rumour started to grow that Connie Clark was an alias for Chris Clark. However, in an interview with Chris in 2005 for Motown Treasures, she denies it being her and, without naming the artist, describes her as a band singer from the 40s and one of a few unusual people who recorded on Motown.

    That seems to point the finger squarely at Connie Haines. While the comparison of the two is not obvious, there are enough similarities in places between the vocals of Connie Clark and Connie Haines to not reject the idea out of hand.

    What do you think?

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Here's another Jobete song that made it out of Hitsville, this one by Alice Clark.


  4. #4
    SatansBlues

    One day I'll learn how to transfer images from YouTube to here.
    Of course the Frank Wilson [MSB] and the Kim Weston [YHM] versions were eventually released from the vaults.

  5. #5
    The other Jobete songs released on the Joker label were:

    Harlem Center - Ricardo King [Joker 711]
    Won't You Come On Home - Ricardo King [Joker 712]
    Love Is Gonna Do You In - The Autographs [Joker 714]

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    SatansBlues

    One day I'll learn how to transfer images from YouTube to here.
    Of course the Frank Wilson [MSB] and the Kim Weston [YHM] versions were eventually released from the vaults.
    It's REALLY, REALLY east. Directly under the video click the SHARE button with the arrow to the right of it. Click in the box with the link in it. Hit the copy button. This will copy the link for you to use on the SoulfulDetroit site. Once on this site, Hit the button that is the second to the right that looks like a film strip. Paste the Youtube link there. Then simply hit the post button. And you're done! Hope that helps.

  7. #7
    ^Thanks. I'll try that.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    "My Sugar Baby", a Frank Wilson composition, was one of four tracks published by Jobete that Motown rejected for release and which subsequently appeared on the Joker label. It was credited to Connie Clark, released in September 1965 as Joker 716, and became popular on the Northern Soul scene.

    A rumour started to grow that Connie Clark was an alias for Chris Clark. However, in an interview with Chris in 2005 for Motown Treasures, she denies it being her and, without naming the artist, describes her as a band singer from the 40s and one of a few unusual people who recorded on Motown.

    That seems to point the finger squarely at Connie Haines. While the comparison of the two is not obvious, there are enough similarities in places between the vocals of Connie Clark and Connie Haines to not reject the idea out of hand.

    What do you think?
    This is not Connie Haines. Not at all. Not by the L-O-N-G-E-S-T shot. Connie's vocal style was nowhere near this gritty or soulful. According to her book, Connie came to Motown and "learned" a whole new style of singing, Rock 'N' Roll. This is a quantum leap from Connie's jazz-inflected, nuance style. If this was Connie Haines, she would have had to have gotten a transplant of vocal chords.

    This doesn't even sound like Chris Clark in any way.

  9. Who Is Connie Clark?

    According to Kev Roberts' "Top 500 Northern Soul Floor Fillers" book of 2013: "Connie - is not in fact Chris Clark as many have long believed, but actually a long forgotten Opera Singer. The Reverend Wilson recorded his own version which sadly languishes in the Motown vaults. My Sugar Baby is also not dissimliar to "Do I Love You" [[Info: 3345recordsVienna) https://www.discogs.com/artist/386753-Connie-Clark

    Here is another site's comments on Connie Clark: Connie Clark was an obscure British opera singer who recorded one soul song in 1965, "My Sugar Baby," which has become a popular Northern Soul "floor filler." Due to the similarity of voice and name, some have confused her with Chris Clark. Read more on Last.fm. https://www.tablyricfm.com/artist-Co...k-tab-Lyric-fm

    At the most, I think it's a fair bet this isn't Chris Clark [[especially if she came right out and said it) and it certainly isn't Connie Haines. Not much info is out there about Connie Clark but we are two steps walking away from who she is not.

  10. #10
    sounds exactly like Chris Clark to me

  11. #11
    Not to my ears which I do have on the right way.

  12. Quote Originally Posted by Zantellor View Post
    sounds exactly like Chris Clark to me
    It's a bit like someone will swear Chairman Of The Board's General Johnson sounds so much like Levi Stubbs that it MUST be Levi Stubbs moonlighting. Or someone who can't tell The Temptations from the Four Tops. Some ears hear one way, other ears hear another.

    I just don't hear Chris Clark here at all.

  13. #13
    I interviewed Chris Clark at a weekender in the UK back in 2006 & asked her directly if she was in fact Connie Clark who sang My Sugar Baby & she said very firmly that it was not her & did not know why people thought it was her. She only recorded for Motown she said & added she would not do any recordings under a different name!
    Morph

  14. #14
    1. Surname ..Clark....female....Connie/ Chris
    2. Jobete song
    3. Recorded in LA
    I
    It's quite obvious why there is a train of thought that they are one and the same, even if we now know they are not.

  15. #15
    I have never thought it sounded like Chris Clark.

  16. #16
    Connie Haines did say she had to learn how to sing all over again and she does sound at home on the Motown recordings. If she was that adaptable, maybe she would have been able to cope with however her producer wanted her to sound on "My Sugar Baby".

    A UK opera singer sounds very unlikely, but on the other hand Ruth Copeland from County Durham turned up on Invictus with George Clinton where she recorded "One Fine Day" from "Madam Butterfly", so who knows?

  17. #17
    This question has been posted and asked a dozen times - I asked CC personally if it were her when I produced her anthology - she categorically denied it and I have no reason to doubt that...especially as her recall about tracks she DID record is so amazingly accurate. Its only the initials and it being a Jobete song that point to it being Chris. Personally I would lay money on it being a session singer doing a demo for FW who was renowned for shopping Jobete songs around that Motown did not seem that keen on at the time. Personally it doesn't even sound like a good impersonation of Chris.

  18. #18
    ^^^But in the interview with CC that I saw, Chris knew her identity.
    She describes her as "...a band singer from the 40s. I had no idea she was there. There are a few unusual people who recorded on Motown and she was one of them. She was about twice as wide as me and half as tall", so she even knows what she looked like.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    ^^^But in the interview with CC that I saw, Chris knew her identity.
    She describes her as "...a band singer from the 40s. I had no idea she was there. There are a few unusual people who recorded on Motown and she was one of them. She was about twice as wide as me and half as tall", so she even knows what she looked like.
    My Baby Changes Like The Weather

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by paul_nixon View Post
    My Baby Changes Like The Weather
    ???.......

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    ???.......
    Peoples stories and recollections change like the weather

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by paul_nixon View Post
    Personally I would lay money on it being a session singer doing a demo for FW...
    ...did anyone ever have the sense to ask Frank Wilson who actually recorded it...?

    Grape

  23. #23
    ...talking of Frank Wilson ...do the guys at Classic Motown know who he is ...they seem to think he's Jerry Butler...!!!

    https://classic.motown.com/artist/frank-wilson/

    Grape

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by grapevine View Post
    ...talking of Frank Wilson ...do the guys at Classic Motown know who he is ...they seem to think he's Jerry Butler...!!!

    https://classic.motown.com/artist/frank-wilson/

    Grape
    Even Tony Blackburn isn't infallible. He played "Do I Love You..." once and mentioned Frank Wison having a backing group, The Cavaliers. [cf. J. Frank Wilson]

  25. #25
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    Chris Clark sounds nothing like Connie Clark. Connie Clark sounds nothing like Connie Haines. Why would Herman Griffith, and the South L.A. Los Angeles-based owner of Joker Records, who had little contact with Motown's Detroit operation, decide to release a single by Detroiter, Connie Haines? Yes, they knew, fellow L.A. producer, Frank Wilson, who brought Connie Clark into Jobete's L.A. operation, to demo his song. But Why would Wilson approach a former Motown Detroit artist, who always lived in Detroit, to come to L.A. to record a demo for one of his songs?

    We'll probably never know who Connie Clark was. Someone should have asked Frank Wilson when they had the chance.

  26. #26
    Robb
    I think Frank was asked and he said she was a "session singer".....nobody delved any deeper at the time.

  27. Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    Chris Clark sounds nothing like Connie Clark. Connie Clark sounds nothing like Connie Haines.
    I didn't think my ears could be THAT far off the mark. I couldn't hear any kind of similarities between the three. If there IS a similarity to be heard, it's by a mighty wide mile.

  28. #28
    There are two versions of "My Sugar Baby" by Frank Wilson.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    Even Tony Blackburn isn't infallible. He played "Do I Love You..." once and mentioned Frank Wison having a backing group, The Cavaliers. [cf. J. Frank Wilson]
    No offence to Mr Blackburn, but as as much as he loves Motown, I think it's fair to say his knowledge on the subject isn't all that it's cracked up to be!

    Cheers

    Paul

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by bradburger View Post
    No offence to Mr Blackburn, but as as much as he loves Motown, I think it's fair to say his knowledge on the subject isn't all that it's cracked up to be!

    Cheers

    Paul
    I think it's his memory rather than his knowledge which can be at fault. He sometimes gets the first names of producers/ composers wrong on Sounds of the 60s, but I remember as long ago as the late sixties/ early seventies on one occasion he was talking about a famous athlete he'd met the night before and, every time he mentioned her, he called her by an incorrect first name.

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