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  1. #1
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    Lee Kaye - The Marvelettes

    The back of the "Sophisticated Soul" LP has text written by "Lee Kaye". I give up, who is Lee Kaye?

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    Don't know how he/she? came to be the text writer ? also the same on other Motown albums:

    Edwin Starr "Soul Master"
    San Remo Strings [Ditto] "Strings Swing"
    Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers [Ditto]

    Also came across a none Motown 45 on Aurora by the Patriots "The Captured Fifty" / "The President Jimmy Carter March" Lee Kaye was the producer from 1979.

    However there was a Carol Kaye at Motown, maybe she used "Lee", she was a Motown session bass player & it was the Kaye / Jamerson controversy. She played on hundreds of Motown songs as a bass player from 1964 to 1971.
    There is a fantastic summary to all of this: "The History Of Motown sessions Musicians" Well worth a read. Maybe this may throw some light on it?

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journ...B905769E1E53C3


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    I'm sure there is evidence that some of the 'names' on credits/sleeves were actually "invented" to look authentic.
    Is Lee Kaye one of these?

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    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    I'm sure there is evidence that some of the 'names' on credits/sleeves were actually "invented" to look authentic.
    Is Lee Kaye one of these?
    I was going to say the same. Scott St. James was credited with a lot of liner notes but I think he didn't actually exist.

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    It’s so interesting to think they would make up names for liner notes. I always assumed that these were disc jockeys although usually when disc jockeys wrote liner notes they’re identified by their radio station call letters.

    I googled the name “Scott St. James“ and according to Wikipedia he was actually Motown executive attorney Ralph Seltzer!

    Lee Kaye is listed in Discogs as been credited for writing liner notes for 4 Motown albums, and is also credited as arranger for a song by a non-Motown group called the Patriots with one single.
    Last edited by kenneth; 10-01-2022 at 08:03 AM.

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    I'm going to suggest that it might be Lenny Kaye, a musician and music critic in the 60s. He was a music journalist and a review writer for Jazz & Pop Magazine. He was a member of The Patti Smith Group from 1974 to 1979. She lived in Detroit for a time and her full name was Patricia Lee Smith. Tenuous connections of course but the music journalist career of Lenny Kaye may be the clue. In 1968 he would have been 21.

    https://www.rocksbackpages.com/Libra...autobiography.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    It’s so interesting to think they would make up names for liner notes. I always assumed that these were disc jockeys although usually when disc jockeys wrote liner notes they’re identified by their radio station call letters.

    I googled the name “Scott St. James“ and according to Wikipedia he was actually Motown executive attorney Ralph Seltzer!

    Lee Kaye is listed in Discogs as been credited for writing liner notes for 4 Motown albums, and is also credited as arranger for a song by a non-Motown group called the Patriots with one single.
    Hi Kenneth, what are the 4 albums?

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Hi Kenneth, what are the 4 albums?
    Hmmm...seems like I never find the same thing twice on the Internet. Not finding the Wiki page on St. James right now, but found on Discogs he is credited with numerous albums' liner notes.

    Here are the albums credited to "Scott St. James" but actually written by Ralph Seltzer:

    Stevie at the Beach
    Bit of Liverpool
    Where Did Our Love Go
    Meet the Supremes
    Hits of the Sixties - Choker Campbell
    We Remember Sam Cooke
    Motortown Revue in Paris
    How Sweet it Is to be Loved By You
    4 Tops 2nd Album
    More Hits by the Supremes
    Greatest Hits From the Beginning - Miracles
    Supremes Sing CW&P
    Darling Baby - Elgins
    Take 2 - Gaye and Weston
    Marvelettes Greatest Hits
    Vandellas Greatest Hits
    I Hear a Symphony
    Top 10 - Jimmy Ruffin
    45 Lives - The Cats [[on the Rare Earth label - how'd that get in here???)

    https://www.discogs.com/artist/1741383-Scott-St-James

    Here are the albums with liner notes credited to Lee Kaye:

    Soul Master - Edwin Starr
    Sophisticated Soul - Marvelettes
    San Remo Golden Strings Swing
    Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers [[first album)

    https://www.discogs.com/artist/2637043-Lee-Kaye

    It seems like such an odd practice to "ghost write" liner notes. Who would be moved to purchase an album with notes by an anonymous person they never heard of? It reminds me of a story about legendary Broadway producer David Merrick who produced "Hello Dolly" and many, many other Broadway plays and musicals back in the 50s and 60s. He once had a show, I think it was "Subways are for Sleeping," and since most critics panned it, and in those days the New York critics were especially influential on what became a hit on Broadway, he rounded up about 7 or 8 men with identical names to the well know theatre critics and published ads quoting the "critics" opinions. So instead of Clive Barnes, a famous theatre critic, who perhaps didn't like the show, he published an opinion by another Clive Barnes, who he found somewhere and gave tickets to attend the show, and then published "Clive Barnes" quote that the show was a runaway hit!

    I guess they're both examples of false advertising, though any advantage Motown could gain by publishing a great opinion by a pseudonym which wouldn't mean anything to anyone seems negligible at best.
    Last edited by kenneth; 10-01-2022 at 11:44 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Jarvis View Post
    Don't know how he/she? came to be the text writer ? also the same on other Motown albums:

    Edwin Starr "Soul Master"
    San Remo Strings [Ditto] "Strings Swing"
    Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers [Ditto]

    Also came across a none Motown 45 on Aurora by the Patriots "The Captured Fifty" / "The President Jimmy Carter March" Lee Kaye was the producer from 1979.

    However there was a Carol Kaye at Motown, maybe she used "Lee", she was a Motown session bass player & it was the Kaye / Jamerson controversy. She played on hundreds of Motown songs as a bass player from 1964 to 1971.
    There is a fantastic summary to all of this: "The History Of Motown sessions Musicians" Well worth a read. Maybe this may throw some light on it?

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journ...B905769E1E53C3

    I would highly doubt that it would be Carol Kaye. She was mostly known for being one of the members of The Wrecking Crew, a group similar to the Funk Brothers, who played on hundreds of records, usually on the West Coast. I believe it was members of The Wrecking Crew who played on half of the "A Go Go" album. I also believe Glen Campbell was one of the group, prior to him eventually achieving such great success on his own.

    But I suppose it's possible! And if it's true, this is the kind of decision I always wonder how it ever got made, and why or why not wouldn't they use someone better known to the record buying public? Maybe they didn't send out advance copies and solicit liner notes from well known sources, such as they must have later, for example with the "Touch" album's liner notes by Elton John. During Motown's glory years of the mid to late 60s, I imagine everything was transpiring at lightning speed and they probably didn't have time to plan that far ahead...but of course I am just speculating.
    Last edited by kenneth; 10-01-2022 at 11:59 AM.

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    I might forget the Lee Kaye & check this out: Carol Kaye Absolutely stunning!!!!!

    There is a fantastic summary to all of this: "The History Of Motown sessions Musicians" Well worth a read. Maybe this may throw some light on it?

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journ...B905769E1E53C3

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    Here are the albums credited to "Scott St. James" but actually written by Ralph Seltzer.

    I suppose a name like St. James sounds a little more "sophisticated" than Seltzer, but I imagine the general buying public wouldn't recognize either name. With as much "pull" as Gordy seemingly had in the entertainment industry, you'd think he might have pulled out some big guns.

    Wasn't there a story that someone [[Carol Channing?) wrote a liner note for a Supremes album, but it didn't make it on the intended album, so it was used for a different one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Wasn't there a story that someone [[Carol Channing?) wrote a liner note for a Supremes album, but it didn't make it on the intended album, so it was used for a different one?
    The Carol Channing liner notes used in "DRATS Greatest Hits" was originally intended for their canceled album, "The Supremes From Broadway To Hollywood." I think it was impressive to get Carol Channing to write [LOL] liner notes for any Supremes album, so I can understand why they didn't just toss them away when the planned [and logical--a Broadway-themed album being feted by one of the 1960s Queens of BROADWAY] album was scrapped... but they would've made a helluva lot more sense being used on FBTH than with DRATS GH.

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    Oh--and I have no facts [when has that ever stopped some posters here? LOL], but I would have to bet the farm that "Lee Kaye" was not really bassist Carol Kaye. It may have been a real-but-obscure person, it may have simply been a pseudonym for someone in the Motown offices, but it was no-way, no-how Carol Kaye. LOLOLOLOLOL Nope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Here are the albums credited to "Scott St. James" but actually written by Ralph Seltzer.

    I suppose a name like St. James sounds a little more "sophisticated" than Seltzer, but I imagine the general buying public wouldn't recognize either name. With as much "pull" as Gordy seemingly had in the entertainment industry, you'd think he might have pulled out some big guns.
    Yeah, like "Stein & Van Stock" music publishing, which was created to give "For Once in My Life" the imprimatur [[don't think I ever used that word in a sentence before) of an old, established, moneyed company to help sell the song as an instant standard. I guess in that case it worked!

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    William "Mickey" Stevenson used the alias Avery Vandenburg to write "standards"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Polhill View Post
    William "Mickey" Stevenson used the alias Avery Vandenburg to write "standards"
    Avery Vandenburg? How veddy veddy sophisticated!

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    Good one Kenneth, hope you are well.

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    I agree with Danman.
    "Lee Kaye" was probably invented by the promotion team at Motown and no such person exists

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Here are the albums credited to "Scott St. James" but actually written by Ralph Seltzer.

    I suppose a name like St. James sounds a little more "sophisticated" than Seltzer, but I imagine the general buying public wouldn't recognize either name. With as much "pull" as Gordy seemingly had in the entertainment industry, you'd think he might have pulled out some big guns.

    Wasn't there a story that someone [[Carol Channing?) wrote a liner note for a Supremes album, but it didn't make it on the intended album, so it was used for a different one?
    Berry was probably just doing what some other record companies did. And he did pull out some big guns on some Supremes albums: Sammy Davis, Gene Kelly, Ed Sullivan, Carol Channing, Jule Styne, Dinah Shore, and Elton John. Not too bad.

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