[REMOVE ADS]




Results 1 to 28 of 28
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4,052
    Rep Power
    228

    Those Amazing MOTOWN Tell-All Books From The 1980s!

    It's no secret that during the mid-to-late 1980"s and 1990's, several books about Motown Record Corporation were being released, one after another. Some dealt with the behind-the-scenes goings-on at the record company itself; some dealt with the Motown recording artists; and, at least two were reference books devoted to the physical records themselves -- a Motown singles and albums discography, as well as a book devoted to Motown masters and how to tell which pressing a Motown single is from.

    Looking back, were there any newly-discovered, behind-the-scenes Motown tidbits which particularly inspired you? In other words, it could be an event that happened or a discovery that made you feel good and gave your heart the Motown fuzzies! Or it could be something you found to be especially surprising or even concerning. To keep it fun, however, let's concentrate on the positive and not the negative.

    [NOTE: To avoid any trouble, I'm only asking for the positive occurrences at Motown -- nothing negative regarding Diana or Mary. Kindly save those remarks for the DRATS thread.]

    Put on your thinking caps. Those books were fun and informative as well as sometimes shocking. Once you started reading, they were hard to put down.
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 12-06-2023 at 11:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4,052
    Rep Power
    228
    To get the ball rolling, one event that gave me the Motown fuzzies occurred at one of Motown's weekly Quality Control meetings in Summer 1968. Consider the fact that this was where Motown's songwriters and producers submitted their latest productions on respective Motown artists for the week, whereby each new recording was played and voted on as to whether or not it was worthy of release. Competition was fierce and tensions ran high! There were times when even Motown's top-of-the-line producers left the meetings flustered and pissed-off that their latest production didn't make the grade! Berry knew that the Quality Control meetings were the best way to inspire competition among his best writers and producers. He proved it the day when Ashford & Simpson submitted Marvin & Tammi's "You're All I Need To.Get By". Following the playback, before anyone could vote their opinion, Berry simply ordered, "Ship it!" Apparently a first-ever at those Motown meetings, that record was so good it didn't require a vote. Being in my personal Top 5 of favorite Motown masterpieces, that story has always given me goosebumps. In fact, I'm reminded of it every time I hear it.

    Next? Can you relate a neat behind-the-scenes Motown occurrence that you learned about from those books? Surely you remember at least one story that inspired you.
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 12-07-2023 at 12:20 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    436
    Rep Power
    70
    Really interested in any of the Motown books, presume these two are what you are after?
    One is 1988 [Sharon Davis] and Mr Bartlette the other. I have others that I need to dig out. Most of the others are the Motown artists bio's, if you wish I can send you a couple of photos of the books?

    The Bartlette book is the most amazing, especially if you collect Motown records or want to search any tracks.

    Attachment 21157

    Attachment 21158
    Last edited by Graham Jarvis; 12-07-2023 at 05:50 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4,052
    Rep Power
    228
    Hi Graham! Yes, Reg Bartlette's "Off The Record" book is one of the two reference books I was referring to. The other -- my favorite -- is "Heat Wave -- The Motown Fact Book [[A Complete Discography of Motown 45's & LP Releases". [[The first half of the book is devoted to Motown Artists and complete U.S. releases; the second half of the book is devoted to Motown's complete U.K. releases. This book is my Motown Bible!

    I'm about to provide you with an alphabetical list of the Motown books in my collection. Bear with me, as there are 5 pages' worth! I'll try to get it done for you tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    436
    Rep Power
    70
    You Have my email you could send it me save the Thread if you wish?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,863
    Rep Power
    217
    Here's a couple more books that I have [[now packed away, unfortunately). I can't remember where all my knowledge [[i.e., stories) regarding Motown come from. I've been involved with Motown for so long and picked up trivia from all over the place! Oh, and I include the cover of the infamous roman a clef about Motown & Marvin Gaye. Did anyone here read that? I own a copy but it was so poorly written I could never get through it. Name:  motown2.jpg
Views: 352
Size:  58.8 KB Name:  Motown1.jpg
Views: 359
Size:  95.0 KB Name:  motown3.jpg
Views: 353
Size:  29.7 KB

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    436
    Rep Power
    70
    I have the one Benjaminson book, here's a couple of Motown photo's I have lots of other Motown artists & other 6'ts Artists . Sorry not that clear the photos as I forgot my reading glasses.

    Attachment 21162

    Attachment 21163
    Last edited by Graham Jarvis; 12-07-2023 at 12:51 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,170
    Rep Power
    246
    Adam White has done an excellent compilation of all the books that have been written about Motown. Apparently Graham is unaware of these listings. Here is how to access and see what he has compiled. This is part of his weekly West Grand Blog.


    Access: adampwhite.com/westgrandblog

    You will then see to the right: Home/ x / x /West Grand Blog
    Click on West Grand Blog

    Start scrolling down to the titles - they are in release order newest to oldest.

    There are two detailed listings:

    A Curios Reader dated 9/16/2022
    and
    The Curios Reader Part 2 dated 9/23/22.

    You will find a listing between the two blogs roughly 100 books that have been published.

    In the event you are not familiar with his excellent West Grand Blog, sign up and you will get one nearly every week. He strives to get one out weekly.

    This is an excellent source of valuable information on everything Motown.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    3,882
    Rep Power
    414
    Here's one I remember; Don Waller's The Motown Story from 1985. While this book didn't really have any juicy tidbits about Motown, it did feature a full discography on all the singles & LPs the company issued on all it's various labels [at least through 1984]. Before books like Reginald J. Bartlett's Off The Record, this was my first glimpse at the Motown Discography.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3,950
    Rep Power
    342
    Much later than the 80s obviously but my bible is Graham Betts Motown Encyclopedia. Like most people on this forum I have a whole host of books on Motown going back many years and some of which I've only read for the first time quite recently [[The Hollands, Lamont Dozier etc). Don't forget too the "fanzines" - Motown Ad Astra and Motown Chatbusters for example. Here's some of my books if anyone cares to look.. https://www.flickr.com/photos/cookep...7632905504014/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,170
    Rep Power
    246
    One of the great books is Berry, Me, and Motown by Raynoma his ex-wife. She reveals a little known story in her book about an incident involving the legendary James Brown and how he tried to get signed to Motown. It is worth reading for this article. She has a lot of the history of the early days as she was there in the beginning.

    An additional comment. If you have interest in unusual, rarely seen photos of the various stars, be sure to obtain Motown the History by Sharon Davis. She has compiled a lot of pictures of little known Motown artists. From a picture standpoint this is tops.
    Last edited by woodward; 12-07-2023 at 03:32 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4,052
    Rep Power
    228
    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Jarvis View Post
    You Have my email you could send it me save the Thread if you wish?
    Graham, I think you've misunderstood me. Any of the books I've referred to are books which I already have in my collection. But thanks for your offer!

    As far as listing my Motown books, I'll do that under a separate thread. It'll give others a chance to see what's available out there if they're willing to hunt for it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    436
    Rep Power
    70
    Looking forward to the lists, I've got quite a few but you can't beat a good book. My favourite book of all time is Raynoma and her first copy, the 2nd copy is nowhere near as it was changed.

    I have well over 100 books, I have all of the artists bio's. However you have some really good books that i don't have: The Motown Fact book, Motown Hot wax, Inside Story & Off The Record etc !
    Last edited by Graham Jarvis; 12-08-2023 at 06:12 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    436
    Rep Power
    70
    Mr Woodward.
    So pleased that you like the Raynoma book, the 1st copy is incredible , the 2nd version not so good.
    If you haven't already I did a whole piece for "Miss Motown" check this out.

    https://www.soul-source.co.uk/articl...-gibson-r4736/
    Last edited by Graham Jarvis; 12-08-2023 at 06:13 AM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,170
    Rep Power
    246
    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Jarvis View Post
    Mr Woodward.
    So pleased that you like the Raynoma book, the 1st copy is incredible , the 2nd version not so good.
    If you haven't already I did a whole piece for "Miss Motown" check this out.

    https://www.soul-source.co.uk/articl...-gibson-r4736/
    Graham: I have the first edition. I was unaware of a second edition, but more than likely and is customary the second was probably a paperback which I avoid if at all possible. I have seen but have never been able to obtain that there is an audio book of Raynoma's book similar to Berry's To Be Loved; but the press run must have been extremely limited. Does anyone have an audio book of this?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,170
    Rep Power
    246
    One additional comment. In the very first initial posting of this thread, here is what was asked for relative to a response.

    Looking back, were there any newly-discovered, behind-the-scenes Motown tidbits which particularly inspired you? In other words, it could be an event that happened or a discovery that made you feel good and gave your heart the Motown fuzzies! Or it could be something you found to be especially surprising or even concerning. To keep it fun, however, let's concentrate on the positive and not the negative.

    I might be off base, but this thread has not answered the initial question as I just copied and pasted above. Am I wrong?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    436
    Rep Power
    70
    I don't remember all of the 2nd edition book, I did however have a copy but since then i have sold it, it was also hardback from memory? however it differs a lot. Berry's book came out not long after Ray's 2nd book.

    Leaving aside the book[s] If you get the chance click on the link for Ray "Miss Motown"

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,266
    Rep Power
    254
    Ok, I going outside the box with the suggested 80s-90s Motown book titles with this one I ordered, and eventually donated to GoodWill in 2004. Harold Keith Taylor was a sound engineer at Motown and had this book published which was geared more to the business side of Motown.
    Although some may have found the book useful, for someone who was looking at some of the actual inside workings in the studio, I only found interesting his anecdote about how Berry Gordy told him he did a good job in the engineering of Jr. Walker & the All Stars' "RoadRunner." "The Motown Music Machine"Name:  Screenshot 2023-12-08 at 9.19.07 AM.jpg
Views: 258
Size:  5.4 KB

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    Adam White has done an excellent compilation of all the books that have been written about Motown. Apparently Graham is unaware of these listings. Here is how to access and see what he has compiled. This is part of his weekly West Grand Blog.


    Access: adampwhite.com/westgrandblog

    You will then see to the right: Home/ x / x /West Grand Blog
    Click on West Grand Blog

    Start scrolling down to the titles - they are in release order newest to oldest.

    There are two detailed listings:

    A Curios Reader dated 9/16/2022
    and
    The Curios Reader Part 2 dated 9/23/22.

    You will find a listing between the two blogs roughly 100 books that have been published.

    In the event you are not familiar with his excellent West Grand Blog, sign up and you will get one nearly every week. He strives to get one out weekly.

    This is an excellent source of valuable information on everything Motown.

    Thanks much for the recommendation, Bill. And here are direct links to the two articles you mention about Motown books:

    https://www.adampwhite.com/westgrandblog/history-books

    https://www.adampwhite.com/westgrandblog/more-books

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    436
    Rep Power
    70
    Wow that's something, engineering, never come across this before!
    Most of the books are beyond the end of the 90T's so anything beyond I would argue it's similar, for example our Gladys Horton the lead Marvelettes sadly passed away 2011, incredibly her memoir and her biography didn't come out until 2022.

    Her bio is one of the best I have ever come across, nothing wrong if any of the books are after the 90T's.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    8,158
    Rep Power
    281
    Anyone here got this AUDIO BOOK ... if so, I'd really like to know what he says about his Motown years ... it seems he first worked with Stevie Wonder in 1963 [[or at least, when Stevie was 13 years old).
    SOME CONTENT ....
    Chapters 6-7 Beginning Of Music Days, Elementary And High School
    Chapters 7-9 College Days, Playing At The Royal Peacock, School Teacher, Meeting And Touring With Stevie Wonder & Jackie Wilson
    Chapters 10-11 Discovering And Developing Outstanding Musicians
    Chapter 11 Playing With Jimi Hendrix
    Chapters 12-16 Motown Days
    . . . . Part 2 - 16 Chapters
    Chapter 1 Motown Moves To California
    Name:  BohannonBookAudio.jpg
Views: 247
Size:  59.2 KB
    Last edited by jsmith; 12-08-2023 at 02:14 PM.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4,052
    Rep Power
    228
    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    One additional comment. In the very first initial posting of this thread, here is what was asked for relative to a response.

    Looking back, were there any newly-discovered, behind-the-scenes Motown tidbits which particularly inspired you? In other words, it could be an event that happened or a discovery that made you feel good and gave your heart the Motown fuzzies! Or it could be something you found to be especially surprising or even concerning. To keep it fun, however, let's concentrate on the positive and not the negative.

    I might be off base, but this thread has not answered the initial question as I just copied and pasted above. Am I wrong?
    No, you're right, Woodward. The only example given regarding memorable things learned from behind-the-scenes Motown was my example of Marvin & Tammi's "You're All I Need To Get By" and how Berry skipped the usual voting process, and, instead, ordered "Ship It!" Somehow, the topic got turned around to sharing the Motown books in everyone's collection.

    How about you, Woodward? Can you reveal an interesting behind-the-scenes tidbit that you especially enjoyed learning about Motown?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,170
    Rep Power
    246
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    No, you're right, Woodward. The only example given regarding memorable things learned from behind-the-scenes Motown was my example of Marvin & Tammi's "You're All I Need To Get By" and how Berry skipped the usual voting process, and, instead, ordered "Ship It!" Somehow, the topic got turned around to sharing the Motown books in everyone's collection.

    How about you, Woodward? Can you reveal an interesting behind-the-scenes tidbit that you especially enjoyed learning about Motown?
    Look at my reply above #11 regarding James Brown?

    Another example is the Abdullah incident at 2648. This was also revealed in Raynoma's book. He was going to burn the place down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    436
    Rep Power
    70
    That has made me smile, I had forgotten all about Abdullah! It's an incredible book.
    Thank you for that.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    3,882
    Rep Power
    414
    I Love Ben Edmonds What's Going On?-Marvin Gaye and The Last Days of The Motown Sound from 2001. And my favorite story from this book is how the single "What's Going On" was released without permission while Berry Gordy was doing business on the West Coast. According to the book, when he found out Gordy was upset until he received 200,000 orders for the song. After that, Berry gave Marvin the permission to do his classic protest LP.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4,052
    Rep Power
    228
    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    Look at my reply above #11 regarding James Brown?

    Another example is the Abdullah incident at 2648. This was also revealed in Raynoma's book. He was going to burn the place down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Woodward, I've been here on the Motown Forum since 2014, yet I never realized until now that each post is numbered over to the right! Thanks for pointing that out!

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,170
    Rep Power
    246
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Woodward, I've been here on the Motown Forum since 2014, yet I never realized until now that each post is numbered over to the right! Thanks for pointing that out!
    Glad I was able to help out. It's an easy way to reference a prior post vs. trying to reiterate what was said previously.

    I am sure that there are other things about the Motown Forum that you probably are unaware. It is very involved and not user friendly.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4,052
    Rep Power
    228
    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    Glad I was able to help out. It's an easy way to reference a prior post vs. trying to reiterate what was said previously.

    I am sure that there are other things about the Motown Forum that you probably are unaware. It is very involved and not user friendly.
    You're probably right, Woodward. I'm not all that computer-savvy to start with.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

[REMOVE ADS]

Ralph Terrana
MODERATOR

Welcome to Soulful Detroit! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
Soulful Detroit is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to Soulful Detroit. [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.