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  1. #1

    Mable John Tamla 45's

    I am a little puzzled about something. There were a total of four Mable John 45's issued by Tamla.

    Tamla 54031 ---- 54040 ---- 54081
    All of these were shown on the label as MABLE JOHN.

    The unique one is Tamla 54050 - Actions Speak Louder Than Words.
    This is shown on the label as MABEL [not Mable] John.

    I was looking on discogs and there are copies of the first three with some of each for sale; however, on the 54050 there are NONE for sale.

    Could this be because of the misspelling of her first name - doubtful!

    Does anyone have any insight into why none of 54050 are available for people to buy? It is the only one of the three I do not have in my collection.

    Mable is someone who RARELY gets any attention on the Motown Forum.

  2. #2
    "Action Speaks Louder Than Words" is one of my favorite Mable John recordings. It is a rare 45, but I've never read anything suggesting it was withdrawn due to the misspelling of her name. There are copies out there in varying condition, so it probably just didn't sell well.

  3. #3
    I saw Mable John on stage in London in 2009, I think, and she was excellent. She held the audience spellbound.

    Bearing in mind the age and lack of success for the Tamla singles mentioned, I think the amzing thing is that three of the four can still be found available for sale. I would have expected all of them to be difficult.

  4. #4
    I also saw Mable John in London 2009 - she was very good indeed. Can't comment on the 45s but I was pleased when her Motown Anthology CD "My Name Is Mable" came out - and I really love the original version of "Who Wouldn't Love A Man Like That" - love the guitar on there.
    Last edited by mysterysinger; 04-15-2021 at 07:16 PM.

  5. #5
    There were Five issues by Mable John [[not four), four 45's on Tamla and one 45 on Motown, ironically the record Number Motown 54031 same as the Tamla one.
    For the "completists" The Motown issue has both Demo & Stk issues and two takes Take 1 & Take 2, all 4 copies all on the Stripes label.

    "Action Speaks Louder Than Words" along with The Motown issue [[a pressing mistake) are hard to find and very rarely come for sale.

    Never seen the "Action 45" with just Mabel?
    Trust this helps?

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    Last edited by Graham Jarvis; 04-16-2021 at 07:45 AM.

  6. #6
    Graham, thanks for posting this. Another mystery solved. Highly unusual to see the two 54031, one on Tamla and one on Motown.

  7. #7
    @GrahamJarvis,

    What a fun collection and how interesting to read about these different variants. I am surprised to read she was touring a little more than 10 years ago as Iím sure I have read she was a minister. Did her concert consist of secular material such as her Motown catalog? It would be wonderful to be able to hear her live. Of course talent ran in her family. Her brother Little Willie John was a great singer as well.

  8. #8
    I am very surprised to learn about the existence of "Who Wouldn't Love A Man Like That" on Motown 54031.
    As it isn't referenced in The Complete Motown Singles, is it possible that it was made for the Canadian market?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    @GrahamJarvis,

    What a fun collection and how interesting to read about these different variants. I am surprised to read she was touring a little more than 10 years ago as I’m sure I have read she was a minister. Did her concert consist of secular material such as her Motown catalog? It would be wonderful to be able to hear her live. Of course talent ran in her family. Her brother Little Willie John was a great singer as well.
    Mable John appeared in London's Hammersmith Apollo as part of the "Divas of Motown" tour with Chris Clark, Brenda Holloway, Thelma Houston and members of the Supremes.
    When I got home after the show, I turned on my television and learned, to my horror, that Michael Jackson had died.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    I also saw Mable John in London 2009 - she was very good indeed. Can't comment on the 45s but I was pleased when her Motown Anthology CD "My Name Is Mable" came out - and I really love the original version of "Who Wouldn't Love A Man Like That" - love the guitar on there.
    It is unfortunate that the later version of "Who Wouldn't Love A Man Like That" got omitted from the CD after confusion with the tapes. I always preferred the second version, which I had already become familiar with from its inclusion in the Various Artists album "Motown Memories"[TML 11064].

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    I am very surprised to learn about the existence of "Who Wouldn't Love A Man Like That" on Motown 54031.
    As it isn't referenced in The Complete Motown Singles, is it possible that it was made for the Canadian market?
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    I'm sure not. In 1960, in Canada, Motown product was only issued on Canadian non-Motown labels. Canadian Tamla hadn't started yet. And once Motown was issuing their own product on their own label, it was only Canadian Tamla [[NOT Canadian Motown). After Tamla, it was Canadian Tamla-Motown. All issues during the Tamla striped period were issued in Canada on Quality Records' subsidiary, REO Records. So, all the Mable John striped releases would have been issued on REO. But, I don't recall ANY of hers being issued in Canada. Her last US Tamla issue [[2nd version of "Who Wouldn't Love A Man Like That") would have been issued on Canadian Tamla [[but I don't think it was). I don't remember ever seeing a copy, nor do I rember seeing it listed on Canadian Tamla's discography [[issue list).
    Last edited by robb_k; 04-17-2021 at 03:59 PM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    I'm sure not. In 1960, in Canada, Motown product was only issued on Canadian non-Motown labels. Canadian Tamla hadn't started yet. And once Motown was issuing their own product on their own label, it was only Canadian Tamla [[NOT Canadian Motown). After Tamla, it was Canadian Tamla-Motown. All issues during the Tamla striped period were issued in Canada on Quality Records' subsidiary, REO Records. So, all the Mable John striped releases would have been issued on REO. But, I don't recall ANY of hers being issued in Canada. Her last US Tamla issue [[2nd version of "Who Wouldn't Love A Man Like That") would have been issued on Canadian Tamla [[but I don't think it was). I don't remember ever seeing a copy, nor do I rember seeing it listed on Canadian Tamla's discography [[issue list).
    Did you ever see reference to Motown 54031 when you were working for Motown?
    Were you aware of its existence?
    Do you have any theories?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    Did you ever see reference to Motown 54031 when you were working for Motown?
    Were you aware of its existence?
    Do you have any theories?
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    No. Not only have I never seen one, I've never heard of that misprinting mispressing.

  14. #14
    Robb is correct the Motown copy is a US issue, it was a pressing plant error, that is why the Tamla record number is the same as the Motown copy. There are Demo's & Stk copy's of the record on the Motown label [[allegedly & yet to see a Motown Stk copy) These Motown issues are hard to find. The Motown 45 is also from the same pressing plant as the Tamla copy.

    Mr Manship also has the Motown copies detailed in his Guide, anything in JM's guide has passed through his hands at some point over the years. Most Motown collectors in the UK know about the Motown issue, as it is likely that most copies ended up in the UK, I picked up my copy from a UK collector and dealer who had a duplicate of the 45.

    I do find JM's guides invaluable as it details the different takes and version issues of each and every record, as an example take note of the different "Take" versions of Mable's 45's & the guide also details all 8 versions of the "Miracles Shop Around" [[as a further example).

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    Last edited by Graham Jarvis; 04-18-2021 at 04:06 AM.

  15. #15
    I also own the Mable John Motown misprint/mispress 45. My copy has '55526-2' in the runout whereas my promo and stock copies on Tamla have '55526'. I've never seen a stock copy of it on Motown though. Anyway, I was actually unaware of the different versions/takes of "WWLAMLT"... darn these early Tamla multiple takes, reprints, and represses!
    Last edited by nsoule; 04-18-2021 at 09:18 AM.

  16. #16
    The Motown mispressing wasn't mentioned in the first edition of John Manship's "Northern Soul & Motown 45s Price Guide 2001/2". I will have to get the latest edition when we come out of lockdown.

  17. #17
    I Have found the best one to get is the 6th edition it was from 2013, JM continues to update his guides over time.
    You will be suprised as to the different numbers of Alt tracks and changes for example the Supremes "Your Heart belongs To Me" there are "Nine" different Mix's and Matrix numbers! a completists heaven!

  18. #18
    I'd want to hear every one of them and would never be able to hear the differences or identify which version I preferred. Probably one step too far for me...

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    Mable John appeared in London's Hammersmith Apollo as part of the "Divas of Motown" tour with Chris Clark, Brenda Holloway, Thelma Houston and members of the Supremes.
    When I got home after the show, I turned on my television and learned, to my horror, that Michael Jackson had died.
    I'm afraid I misremembered which concert I'd seen the night Michael Jackson died.
    I heard of Michael Jackson's death on the 25 June 2009 after returning home from the "Once In A Lifetime Legends Live Tour" at Wembley starring The Commodores, Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves & Vandellas, The Miracles and Jr Walker's All Stars.

    The "Divas of Motown" show at the Hammersmith Apollo wasn't until Friday 13 November. There wasn't a souvenir programme, but I have found the flyer and the artists on the bill were Mable John, Chris Clark, Thelma Houston, Brenda Holloway and Scherrie Payne & Lynda Laurence. The house band for the evening was The Funk Brothers' Featuring Jack Ashford who also compered the show.

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