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  1. #1
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    Mickey McCullers Who Is He?

    Mickey McCullers was from Detroit [as far as I know] and he was a good friend of Smokey Robinson & his wife Claudette. Mickey was also well known as a singer across the Detroit clubs and Smokey issued a good story piece on him. Motown Junkies then remixed and summarised Smokeys story and published it. Well worth a read with the primary view as to each of the songs and Mickey's singing ability

    Mickey McCullers had two 45's issued by Motown one on "Tamla" in 1962 and the second on "VIP" in 1964, Smokey wrote both songs on each of the two 45's, and this would have given Mickey a second chance. Sadly both 45's didn't sell, and that was the end of Mickey's Motown contract.

    Having read "Mickey McCullers" Smokey's summary, it focuses on the two records as to how Mickey did in recording his first record in 1962, followed by his second chance in the studio which came later in 1964. Mickey did well in the clubs as a singer, however he struggled in the Motown recording studios on both of the two 45's.

    Other than the above and the Motown Junkie's piece we know nothing about him, I have scoured around for any photographs, more details as to whom he was, did he have a family, where was he from, lived and/or anything else about him. I have quite a number of Motown Books including Adam Whites "Motown" monster, but not a mention, same goes for many others.

    He had two great records [with the Andantes] albeit hard to find, I cherish them both, but what about him? do we have anything else?

    I Have attached below the two 45's.



    Last edited by Graham Jarvis; 01-23-2023 at 11:32 AM.

  2. #2
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    "Who You Gonna Run To" is by far a better song & record then the first one.I can't imagine POP or Soul Radio playing "Same Old Story" in 1962, which was a GREAT year for POP & Soul music.Maybe Mickey McCullers was trying to sing too much like Smokey.

  3. #3
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    What happened to the third response which mentioned Claudette & Smokey's assesssment of Mickey's stage voice vs. studio struggle? It was here earlier but has now disappeared.

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    I can't tell you a thing about Mickey McCullers, Graham, but the instrumentation on "Same Old Story' is very reminiscent of The Supremes' "Your Heart Belongs To Me" -- especially with the echoed percussion instrument. Possibly Timbales?
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 01-25-2023 at 01:04 AM.

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    I had always heard that Mickey McCullers was a friend of Smokey's, and Smokey brought him into Motown to record him. I never saw anything in print about him. Never saw a Motown bio, in-house, or any bio on him in print, or on The Internet. I did see a photo of him somewhere inside Motown. I never heard of him having appeared as a singer at any venue in Detroit, nor seen a venue poster of him. During the early '60s, sometimes several Motown artists appeared locally at the same venue. A few times, an obscure Motown artist appeared with them, who was not enough of a name to travel with The Motown Revue on tour. But, I can't remember Mickey appearing with other Motown artists in such a situation [[where Tommy Good, La Brenda Ben. Hattie Littles, and even Johnny Powers did).
    Last edited by robb_k; 01-25-2023 at 06:34 PM.

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    Robb Thank you. Both the TCMS Vol 2 1962 & TCMS Vol 4 1964 mention Mickey McCullers and the two 45's. Our good friend Keith Hughes was responsible for the whole set, and nearly always has a summary for each of the artist[s] and the songs. Same goes for Mickey McCullers, the summary I have put together is mostly from Keith and the Motown Junkies summaries, as there is nothing else to go with?. If someone has a photo now that would be something, or anything else as I'm sure many others would be grateful.

    Paul Nixon on Motownjunkies did a superb piece on each of four McCullers songs, that was primarily about the records and the songs. There is a few pieces about him, but nothing really to go on concerning him as a known singer & artist.
    Last edited by Graham Jarvis; 01-26-2023 at 07:26 AM.

  7. #7
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    I have nothing to offer at the moment, just a very long shot at a Facebook profile of a Michael McCullers who was from Detroit but later lived in Los Angeles. There's been no post since 2019 though. This is the link for what it's worth.
    https://www.facebook.com/michael.mccullers.77

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    Wow, thanks "luckyluckyme" for this link on facebook. Mickey now lives in Los Angeles and there is a couple of more recent photographs of him. Brilliant, as not many others have ever seen a photograph of him or know where he now resides.

    Last edited by Graham Jarvis; 01-27-2023 at 05:08 AM.

  10. #10
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    Is it confirmed as the same person i.e. Mickey McCullers? Not a bad spot if so.

  11. #11
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    That would be pretty cool! I think his Motown sides are pretty good as well.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Jarvis View Post
    Robb Thank you. Both the TCMS Vol 2 1962 & TCMS Vol 4 1964 mention Mickey McCullers and the two 45's. Our good friend Keith Hughes was responsible for the whole set, and nearly always has a summary for each of the artist[s] and the songs. Same goes for Mickey McCullers, the summary I have put together is mostly from Keith and the Motown Junkies summaries, as there is nothing else to go with?. If someone has a photo now that would be something, or anything else as I'm sure many others would be grateful.

    Paul Nixon on Motownjunkies did a superb piece on each of four McCullers songs, that was primarily about the records and the songs. There is a few pieces about him, but nothing really to go on concerning him as a known singer & artist.
    Also, I remember reading that the writer of Motown Junkies [The Nixon Administrationí] is actually NOT Paul Nixon [confusingly!].

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    Also, I remember reading that the writer of Motown Junkies [The Nixon Administrationí] is actually NOT Paul Nixon [confusingly!].
    Spot on - not me

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    Is it confirmed as the same person i.e. Mickey McCullers? Not a bad spot if so.
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    He's roughly the right age to have been a teenager of 17 in 1963, when he first recorded. And M"Mickey" is often a nickname for Michael. And he looks like he could be the same man as the young man I saw in Motown Mickey's photo from the early-mid '60s. If I played Russian Roulette with answering the question, I'd guess that he IS Motown's "Mickey".

  15. #15
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    More than likely it is Motown's "Mickey" he also mentions he is from Detroit Michigan, I have also sent to him the photos of his two 45's, just waiting on that.
    The 'B' side to "Same Old Story" below "I'll Cry A Million Tears" I really like the record with backing from the Andantes. However other than a crazy off beat drumming with a drumstick hitting the topside of a drum completely out of tune ruins the song and makes you wonder why? & who would be responsible to allow that to be issued as is. Maybe it's likely that this one just slipped through without sign off?

    Last edited by Graham Jarvis; 01-29-2023 at 06:38 AM.

  16. #16
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    Would be great if we could get Mickey McCullers on the Forum. But whoever my Facebook person is, he looks a real character.

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    I have added his other B side.

  18. #18
    I have this acetate. Although date stamped 1965 the recording dates to 1961 as listed by Keith Hughes in DFTMC. His name is spelt incorrectly too!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoo-be-doo View Post
    I have this acetate. Although date stamped 1965 the recording dates to 1961 as listed by Keith Hughes in DFTMC. His name is spelt incorrectly too!
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    Maybe this was a new acetate made in 1965, of the 1961 recording, for Smokey or George Fowler to use as an example of McCullers' Gospel singing; as it was Smokey's desperate aim to have his friend, Mickey, finally get some record sales success, in any way possible, before Mickey's recording artist contract would run out, so that Berry would decide to renew his contract?

    Can you post a sound file of it, so we can hear it?

    I assume this song is the same "I Am Bound" that The Golden Harmoneers recorded, and had released in 1961.

  20. #20
    No Rob this is a different song altogether, written by Smokey, and a 'pop' record rather than gospel. The acetate is in very rough condition and can't be played without skipping every few seconds. A collector friend did manage to salvage snippets of it though and transferred it to tape for me many years ago. If I can find it I'll let you now, it's quite a good song!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoo-be-doo View Post
    No Rob this is a different song altogether, written by Smokey, and a 'pop' record rather than gospel. The acetate is in very rough condition and can't be played without skipping every few seconds. A collector friend did manage to salvage snippets of it though and transferred it to tape for me many years ago. If I can find it I'll let you now, it's quite a good song!
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    I'll be happy just to hear the snippets. So, we have yet another instance of two unrelated, completely different Motown, Jobete Music songs using the same title.

  22. #22
    There is a subtle difference though: 'I Am Bound' and 'I'm Bound' and this is the way they are sung. Will try and find that tape and hopefully post it.

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    Yes Please! don't mind if its a bit rough.

  24. #24
    Quite forgot that there is a flipside to this acetate! It's a Berry Gordy song 'When your Lover Comes Back' which was also recorded by Mary Wells but not released at the time. Have located the tape now so will see what I can do about a sound file, but I'm not tech savvy, Cassette tapes were the latest thing when these were done. The label for 'I am Bound' has Demo on it but there is no label on the flip, I'm wondering is this was an intended release on 45? On the other hand I see Keith Hughes credited this side to Gino Parks in DFTMC so maybe not.
    Last edited by shoo-be-doo; 01-30-2023 at 05:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Jarvis View Post
    Wow, thanks "luckyluckyme" for this link on facebook. Mickey now lives in Los Angeles and there is a couple of more recent photographs of him. Brilliant, as not many others have ever seen a photograph of him or know where he now resides.
    Graham, were you able to officially verify this IS in fact Motown artist Mickey McCullers? The thread went silent......
    Darin

  26. #26
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    No such luck so far, I've tried & tried and no response, he is the right age, he is from Detroit but so many others from Detroit moved to California. Maybe we may never know.

    Forgot to upload the Golden Harmoneers as we don't yet have the other for Robb.K
    Maybe this was a new acetate made in 1965, of the 1961 recording, for Smokey or George Fowler to use as an example of McCullers' Gospel singing; as it was Smokey's desperate aim to have his friend, Mickey, finally get some record sales success, in any way possible, before Mickey's recording artist contract would run out, so that Berry would decide to renew his contract?

    Can you post a sound file of it, so we can hear it?

    I assume this song is the same "I Am Bound" that The Golden Harmoneers recorded, and had released in 1961.


    Last edited by Graham Jarvis; 03-05-2023 at 04:10 AM.

  27. #27
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    I love threads like this. So interesting to explore together a less than well known singer or song. Great to hear all those with actual experience at Motown provide their thoughts. Of course, now I am curious to as to how this mystery ends.

  28. #28
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    The Mickey McCullers that we recently thought might be our "Mickey" has recently updated his facebook profile. I have asked him again, including one of his daughters. There are other Mickey McCullers but they seem to be a lot younger. Hopefully something may come of it one way or the other.

    https://www.facebook.com/michael.mccullers.3

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    I'll be happy just to hear the snippets. So, we have yet another instance of two unrelated, completely different Motown, Jobete Music songs using the same title.
    It would appear by paperwork that those 5 tracks are all that were ever recorded by MM

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