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  1. #1

    Thumbs up Valerie on the Tammi vocals question----At last!!!!!!!

    http://soulfuldetroit.com/showthread...pson-Interview

    Q. There are some Motown people who contend that near the end of Tammi Terrell's life (she died in 1970 at age 24 of cancer), you had to step in and do some of her vocal parts on the albums with Marvin Gaye because she was too ill to perform. Is that true?

    A. Tammi was very ill. We would have everything ready, the track and Marvin's vocal, and then I'd get her alone in the studio and we'd go line by line. There were a couple things that were tweaked, but not a lot. I couldn't just sing like Tammi. People give me the credit of thinking I could be Tammi Terrell, but it's just not true. We did some production edits to fix things, but that's about it.

    "There were a couple things that were tweaked, but not a lot. We did some production edits to fix things, but that's about it."
    " I'd get her alone in the studio and we'd go line by line."

    I take that as she is saying in fact it was both of them. At some points Val was "punched in" , she may have emulated Tammis diction as close as possible and then they may have EQ' d and proccessed for tone.

    "I couldn't just sing like Tammi. People give me the credit of thinking I could be Tammi Terrell, but it's just not true."

    Words of admiration from one artist regarding anothers gift. Delivered with class and grace.
    If the truth is the light ,as the saying goes, then Ms Valerie has indeed just flicked the light switch on.

  2. #2
    I read this the other evening. I think it will be hard for some fans to accept this but the best evidence is from Valerie and this is what she says and I think we must accept it.

  3. #3
    Yeh Val knows her onions (or her Onion Songs) eh?

  4. #4
    RossHolloway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    I read this the other evening. I think it will be hard for some fans to accept this but the best evidence is from Valerie and this is what she says and I think we must accept it.
    I think Valerie has incentives ($) to not say that its her on those songs. Listen to the album in question and songs and questions and they are not the same singers. Marvin Gaye, before he died, stated that it was Valerie Simpson on those songs. What motive would Marvin Gaye have for making that statement? If Motown could replace Mary and Florence on recordings for years and have no one the wiser, then why wouldn't they replace an ailing Tammi Terrell?
    Last edited by RossHolloway; 11-23-2011 at 03:27 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    I read this the other evening. I think it will be hard for some fans to accept this but the best evidence is from Valerie and this is what she says and I think we must accept it.
    I agree with RossHolloway. Why would Marvin Gaye make up some complete lie? Out of everyone at Motown, he loved and cared for Tammi the most. Do you think he would just make up some story? I have strong feeling that Marvin wouldn't lie about these recordings. Just because Valerie says it's not her doesn't mean it's completely true and that we should accept it. Plus, take a look at the Complete Motown Singles and the recording information regarding the singles from the "Easy" album. If you notice, it tells you when Marvin recorded his leads, but nowhere does it mention Tammi's name. It just states "Vocals." Now, if you go back to the actual Marvin and Tammi singles from 1967 and 1968, you'll notice that the recording information lists when Tammi recorded her vocals. The evidence is right there.

    I've come to realize that the songs people question who are on the recordings are the songs people don't want to know the complete truth. If everyone is questioning if Tammi is on the "Easy" album and that all indications point to Valerie Simpson, why should accept Valerie's defense that she isn't? The same applies to several Supremes recordings where people question whether Florence is on the songs or not. If you're questioning it, then that's saying a lot right there. Evidence is right there on the tapes.

  6. #6
    I knew lots of people, committed fans, would never buy what Valerie said.

    If this were a Court and Valerie actually testified this way, I'm pretty sure it would be accpeted; and most of the others who could comment are no longer alive. And any hearsay would be excluded.

    But whether it is completely true or not is another matter; I actually fall in the same camp as Brad and Ross. Perhaps Valerie's memory isn't perfect anymore. It is also possible she feels some emotional commitment to preserving what her, Nick, Marvin and Tammi did. And I suppose it is also possible that she might have contracted to remain silent; I doubt it, but it's possible. (If it were all done today, she would almost certainly have signed a contract agreeing to remain silent).

    Quite clearly, her words won't end the debate.

  7. #7
    Actually, I read over Marvin's revelation, and his statements appeared to be more flawed than Val's! He stated that it "might" be Tammi on "I Can't Believe You Love Me", a track recorded well before the Idea of Marvin and Tammi came to be. Plus, Marvin wasn't quite mentally stable by '83, after years of drugs use. I also read that he would smoke weed in the studio during sessions, leading me to believe he may have been high during the sessions he did with Valerie standing in (as was the case with the later Diana Ross duets)

    While we're on the subject of recording info, 8 of the 10 disputed tracks were recorded in March of 1969, with all of the female vocals done the same day1 Plus, Dark side if the world, was recorded around the same time and intended for Marvin Tammi, but only Marvin's vocals were recorded! That said, if Valerie was really singing all of Tammi's parts, Why didn't she do te same for "Dark Side of the world"

    Frankly, I believe that if Tammi was really too ill to record anything, the "Easy" album would of never happened! Otherwise I think we'd of lost Tammi a lot sooner!

  8. #8
    RossHolloway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by jboy88 View Post
    Actually, I read over Marvin's revelation, and his statements appeared to be more flawed than Val's! He stated that it "might" be Tammi on "I Can't Believe You Love Me", a track recorded well before the Idea of Marvin and Tammi came to be. Plus, Marvin wasn't quite mentally stable by '83, after years of drugs use. I also read that he would smoke weed in the studio during sessions, leading me to believe he may have been high during the sessions he did with Valerie standing in (as was the case with the later Diana Ross duets)

    While we're on the subject of recording info, 8 of the 10 disputed tracks were recorded in March of 1969, with all of the female vocals done the same day1 Plus, Dark side if the world, was recorded around the same time and intended for Marvin Tammi, but only Marvin's vocals were recorded! That said, if Valerie was really singing all of Tammi's parts, Why didn't she do te same for "Dark Side of the world"

    Frankly, I believe that if Tammi was really too ill to record anything, the "Easy" album would of never happened! Otherwise I think we'd of lost Tammi a lot sooner!

    Well look at the number of tracks that we now know are Tammi solo songs that Marvin later sung to on the Easy lp. Or what about the track We'll Be Satisfied on their anthology. That song wasn't released until well after the fact, was it just forgotten about during that time frame or was it left in the can for another reason? A couple other facts to point out: in an interview in either Ebony or Jet magazine Tammi herself stated that she hadn't recorded in about a year and a half, and yet we know that songs were being recorded and released as Marvin and Tammi songs. Also on Tammi's own anthology collection the last solo side that she recorded was in November 1967 about a month after she collapsed while performing live with MG. Why were there no other solo recordings? Tammi also had either 8 or 9 brain surgeries between late '67 and 1970. When would she have had time to recover from BRAIN SURGERY and travel to Detroit to record? Can anyone explain that to me?

  9. #9
    RossHolloway Guest
    One more point: has anyone ever uploaded the Marvin and Tammi complete collection into iTunes? Did it not give anyone pause for questions when a number of songs when loaded up are credited to Marvin Gaye and VALERIE SIMPSON? The artist information would have been done by a Universal Motown producer and NOT iTunes. If Motown could substitute Mary and Florence, they why wouldn't they substitute Tammi Terrell?

  10. #10
    I produced that set and I have no idea why the digital artist credits read that way. No one purposely inputted the information with Valere's name. I'll certainly check it out after the break.

  11. #11
    I've tried to avoid this rather macabre business over the years. Really nothing has changed here from the way it was told in Ludie's book. Tammi was in a bad way and couldn't perform as she had before the illness. Instead of standing up and shouting, Tammi had to record the way Dusty did in Memphis - a phrase at a time. Val took extra studio time to do this when everything else was down, sometimes having to edit together the bits that worked, and chop out the bits that didn't. She expressly says that people somehow think she could sing like Tammi, and she couldn't. She worked with Tammi as long as it took, without the pressure of musicians and other parties present. The result was never going to be Tammi at her vital, unique best, but it was what she could achieve. Maybe Val 'punched in' some phrases that just could not be got, but my experience from back then is that that was by no means as easy as the phrase suggests. You had some geniuses, but editing then was a physical process and, nine times out of ten, that kind of thng stood out like a sore thumb. The analogy about using backing singers such as the Andantes, to make hit records work doesn't fit into an album - any album - but one that is based on the intimate exchanges between Marvin and Tammi just doesn't add up. It didn't have the urgency of hit single material; it didn't have any need to use tracks other than those that Tammi had already recorded (on which Marvin could be dubbed). In short, there is no logic behind the idea of Valerie singing on the final versions - and she doesn't claim she did, even in this last interview.

    If Tammi sounded a bit flat (not musically, but performance wise), who can be surprised? If she sounds more like Val - no surprises there, either - Val is a lady who knew what she wanted, as she made very clear to Jamerson, and she also was able to play like Earl Van Dyke on piano - she alone, despite some tryers.

    Tammi was not written off when thiis album was made. Berry was paying all her medical bills, and clearly conceived she would get back to what she was doing. Val is a great singer, just as she is a great composer, piano player, arranger and what all else. She was an employee of Motown at this time and Tammi's mentor and friend.

    Give Tammi back her legacy and last moments on the mike.
    Last edited by bankhousedave; 11-23-2011 at 05:01 PM.

  12. #12
    RossHolloway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by hwume View Post
    I produced that set and I have no idea why the digital artist credits read that way. No one purposely inputted the information with Valere's name. I'll certainly check it out after the break.
    HW you don't find it "strange" that songs credited to VS would appear in iTunes that way?

  13. #13
    So nice to see someone say nice things about Berry; he gets about one nice comment on SD for every 10 comments about ripping off his artists. Thanks for the nice comment Dave ~ regarding the payment of Tammi's medical costs.

    Harry gets a break??? In my world, bosses don't get breaks; they might try and take a few though and when they do, they slip into SD.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by RossHolloway View Post
    HW you don't find it "strange" that songs credited to VS would appear in iTunes that way?
    Of course I do, hence my post. I'll see how, why & what when I get back. And now I am REALLY taking a break.
    Last edited by hwume; 11-24-2011 at 12:05 AM.

  15. #15
    smark21 Guest
    It's rather amusing that fans who were not there are accusing Valerie Simpson of being a liar when it comes to her answer on the question of whether Tammi sang on those last Marvin/Tammi recordings.

  16. #16
    Amen bankhouse Dave!! Why would Valerie not admit it if it were true? Bankhouse-why did Dusty do a phrase at a time?

  17. #17
    According to Jerry Wexler, it was partly in the interests of perfection, luke, but also because she was out of her comfort zone and somewhat overawed by the fact of working with people she had always held in such esteem.

  18. #18
    It's not at all surprising to me that Valerie, and Nick, as well as others involved in those Marvin/Valerie tracks, would be bound by Berry Gordy, by contract or otherwise, to NOT talk about Val singing on those tracks. Berry was always one to want to maintain a certain image of Motown, and he may have also been concerned about how that knowledge would affect sales, since the Marvin/Tammi brand was so successful. It doesn't have anything to do with lying...just business and image. If people remember, Tammi's first hit, with Marvin, was engineered with Marvin's vocal being added to Tammi's solo...and it was a well-kept secret for decades...and I, and I'm sure others, believed, and WANTED to believe that they recorded it together.
    I think that anyone who is interested in the truth about it can put together all the more factual information, the timeline of the recordings (some significant information revealed in the newest Tammi Solo Collection), and also compare the various vocals. And this new information about how the Marvin/ Valerie tracks were loaded to and identified on ITunes only serves to validate those of us that believe that Valerie sang on most of the tracks on "Easy" as Tammi. And I think that some folks may not want to know the truth...that it's very important for them to maintain a very sweet and romantic idea of what happened. But, for me, what happened to Tammi, was not only sweet and romantic, but very tragic and sad...and I think that it complicated Motown's plans for Tammi and Marvin. I don't think there are any liars or evil in any of this. I just think that people did what they felt they needed to...for Tammi, and for whatever other reasons they had.
    ...a peaceful Thanksgiving to you all...

  19. #19
    Did it not give anyone pause for questions when a number of songs when loaded up are credited to Marvin Gaye and VALERIE SIMPSON? The artist information would have been done by a Universal Motown producer and NOT iTunes. If Motown could substitute Mary and Florence, they why wouldn't they substitute Tammi Terrell?
    Not always true about a UM Producer doing that. iTunes uses a database from a company called GRACENOTE for that information:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gracenote
    Gracenote’s database was originally created from and continues to receive voluntary contributions from users.
    This explains why often times the information from iTunes is wrong and not 100% reliable (it's happened quite a few times to me on various releases). I'm not saying Valerie didn't sing on these songs, I'm just saying that the fact that the downloaded information via iTunes/Gracenote said she did doesn't mean anything other than someone submitted that information. And that someone could be anyone with an internet connection and not someone in a position to speak with authority on the matter.

  20. #20
    I respect Valerie Simpson. She's a huge talent, a great lady and has a vast amount of integrity. I think she is saying what she is saying, not because of past contractual obligations (which I'm sure were in place), but to protect Tammi's legacy. At the time, I don't think any such scandal had ever been revealed, and it certainly could have damaged Motown's reputation, caused people to accuse them of "cashing in" on Tammi's death. At the very least it would have been false advertising.

    Still, even when I was a teenager and heard the "Easy" album, I wondered why Tammi sounded so different. Her lightness was gone. I don't attribute it to her illness; if anything her voice was stronger. But it was forced-sounding, exaggerated. It was an impersonation. I also knew, even then, that "I Can't Believe You Love Me" was an overdubbed Tammi solo recording, and it comes out now, years later, that so was "More, More, More."

    Still, even more evidence exists which convinces me it was not Tammi on the "Easy" album. She'd been ill for some time by then, and even most of the "You're All I Need" album was previously canned Tammi Solo recordings overdubbed by Marvin to turn them into duets. Not the case with "Easy." Ten out of 12 "original" tracks which she newly recorded 6 to 8 months before her untimely death is just impossible to believe. In addition, the annotations in the Complete Motown Singles box has some clues such as the credits for "The Onion Song" which show "Marvin Gaye Vocal" but instead of Tammi, just shows "Female Vocal" and "Additional Vocal" as I recall, though I'm not looking at it at the moment.

    I believe Marvin had no reason to claim it was Valerie when he told this to his biographer. The fact that Simpson's words will not ever convince me that it was Tammi on the "Easy" album does nothing to dispel my belief that Simpson is a great lady who even today refuses to claim the credit which she so easily could do, after all these years. If anything, I think even more highly of her for this than I did before.

  21. #21
    Bankhouse hit it dead on,but that doesn't settle the arguement! It seems a lot of people just don't want to entertain the thought of an ailing Tammi singing even one line on the album! Because every time this thread comes up, everyone swears that it's all Val and no Tammi. But to me it goes beyond just listening to the music! You have to consider the type of person Tammi was and how determined she was to sing! And given all i've read and heard about her, I think if she didn't sing on "Good Lovin' Ain't Easy", There would of been no "Easy" album!

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I respect Valerie Simpson. She's a huge talent, a great lady and has a vast amount of integrity. I think she is saying what she is saying, not because of past contractual obligations (which I'm sure were in place), but to protect Tammi's legacy. At the time, I don't think any such scandal had ever been revealed, and it certainly could have damaged Motown's reputation, caused people to accuse them of "cashing in" on Tammi's death. At the very least it would have been false advertising.

    Still, even when I was a teenager and heard the "Easy" album, I wondered why Tammi sounded so different. Her lightness was gone. I don't attribute it to her illness; if anything her voice was stronger. But it was forced-sounding, exaggerated. It was an impersonation. I also knew, even then, that "I Can't Believe You Love Me" was an overdubbed Tammi solo recording, and it comes out now, years later, that so was "More, More, More."

    Still, even more evidence exists which convinces me it was not Tammi on the "Easy" album. She'd been ill for some time by then, and even most of the "You're All I Need" album was previously canned Tammi Solo recordings overdubbed by Marvin to turn them into duets. Not the case with "Easy." Ten out of 12 "original" tracks which she newly recorded 6 to 8 months before her untimely death is just impossible to believe. In addition, the annotations in the Complete Motown Singles box has some clues such as the credits for "The Onion Song" which show "Marvin Gaye Vocal" but instead of Tammi, just shows "Female Vocal" and "Additional Vocal" as I recall, though I'm not looking at it at the moment.

    I believe Marvin had no reason to claim it was Valerie when he told this to his biographer. The fact that Simpson's words will not ever convince me that it was Tammi on the "Easy" album does nothing to dispel my belief that Simpson is a great lady who even today refuses to claim the credit which she so easily could do, after all these years. If anything, I think even more highly of her for this than I did before.
    Kenneth...I totally agree with you. I would only add that, to me, it was the numerous surgeries that probably impaired Tammi to the point of being unable to record. In those days, neurosurgery was much less delicate than now, and often caused serious functional impairment. Note that Tammi recorded "It's Been a Long Time Happenin'" after her "event" while on stage with Marvin, and her vocal showed absolutely no impairment. But the tracks that are thought to be done by Marvin and Valerie were done after the surgeries had started, not to mention all the "engineered" tracks that were on the "You're All I Need" and "Easy" albums.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by ejluther View Post
    Not always true about a UM Producer doing that. iTunes uses a database from a company called GRACENOTE for that information:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gracenote

    This explains why often times the information from iTunes is wrong and not 100% reliable (it's happened quite a few times to me on various releases). I'm not saying Valerie didn't sing on these songs, I'm just saying that the fact that the downloaded information via iTunes/Gracenote said she did doesn't mean anything other than someone submitted that information. And that someone could be anyone with an internet connection and not someone in a position to speak with authority on the matter.
    I dug down into this and that's exactly what happened. A listener uploaded their own information to the Gracenote service and that data was accepted. This will change back to the correct artist info shortly.

  24. #24
    I'm stating the obvious here but in the booklet to The Complete Duets, Brian Chin states that by the time Easy was in production, Tammi was no longer strong enough to sing at all and Valerie Simpson would stand in, uncredited, for most of the LP. Marvin told Ritz that it felt strange singing to Valerie - he felt guilty.

    In TCMS Val said she would stand in initially but once Marvin had his vocals down, they would bring Tammi in and record her in a different way as she wasn't well. Of course, it's possible that this inital standing in is what Marvin was referring to when he said he was singing to Val.

    Surely the tapes in the vault hold the answer? You know, maybe both sets of vocals from Valerie and Tammi, if indeed that is what happened?

  25. #25
    all you have to do is listen to marvin & tammi's (val) "easy", listen marvin & tammi's previous albums, and valerie simpson's "exposed". on "easy" valerie sings all tracks (except for the two tammi overdubbed tracks). valerie usually sings less, under marvin, or mixed lower than on the previous albums. val's voice is shriller, even in her lower register. listen to the one track where valerie really does a fair amount of singing "baby i need your loving" to get the sense of her impersonation of tammi. tammi is only shrill in her highest register. val has a more earnest, gospel twang. tammi is lazier, more fun. valerie sounds much better on her solo album where she quits constraining herself for her tammi impersonation and can be her gutsy gospel self. tammi is pure fun girl pop (just watch her tease marvin on their few tv appearances. tammi is a fantastic easy going and joyous singer. valerie is a musician and very concerned with control and her craft.

    i have to say i felt betrayed by motown, especially for the release of "good lovin' ain't easy". motown fooled me on this on and i felt it was a damn fine single. that makes me realize why people here don't want to give up certain marvin and tammi tracks that are sung by val. now that i know the truth the "easy" album has grown on me as a fine marvin and valerie album. motown can call the album whatever it wants, but it will still be a great album. marvin, val, nick, and of course the money man mr. gordy were all in on this deception. i would expect marvin to be the only upfront one in the bunch. val's last statement about punching in a few lines is the closest she has come to admiting the truth. i do think that as the writer and producer she feels compelled to keep up the deception because marvin and tammi were her ticket to fame.

  26. #26
    "Good Lovin' Ain't Easy To Come By" was always my jam! When I first heard it wasn't Tammi, it was like finding out Santa Didn't exist! But I still enjoyed the song and the album! But one day Tammi's version of "This Old Heart of Mine" came up on my Itunes (A song I hadn't heard in a while at that time) and actually thought it was Valerie, because the vocals were near perfect to that of "Good Lovin"!

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by midnight johnny View Post
    Kenneth...I totally agree with you. I would only add that, to me, it was the numerous surgeries that probably impaired Tammi to the point of being unable to record. In those days, neurosurgery was much less delicate than now, and often caused serious functional impairment. Note that Tammi recorded "It's Been a Long Time Happenin'" after her "event" while on stage with Marvin, and her vocal showed absolutely no impairment. But the tracks that are thought to be done by Marvin and Valerie were done after the surgeries had started, not to mention all the "engineered" tracks that were on the "You're All I Need" and "Easy" albums.
    Your'e a nurse, you should know better than this. Impairment would completely depend upon what part of the brain was affected by her tumor and subsequent surgeries. She was still able to speak to people during the whole ordeal, so the problem was obviously not the speech center of her brain. what was this I read about her being in the audience at the Apollo in the fall of 69, and singing a bit with Marvin when he came off stage and gave her a microphone?
    Last edited by jillfoster; 12-08-2011 at 02:37 AM.

  28. #28
    That was recalled on Tammi's "Unsung" last year! More evidences to why I don't believe Tammi was completely absent from "Easy"! Marvin was performing their duets with Carla Thomas! Tammi kept it together until they began "Your All I Need", when Tammi got up and started singing! Marvin saw Tammi and left Carla on the stage and did the song with Tammi instead, to a standing ovation!

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by jillfoster View Post
    Your'e a nurse, you should know better than this. Impairment would completely depend upon what part of the brain was affected by her tumor and subsequent surgeries. She was still able to speak to people during the whole ordeal, so the problem was obviously not the speech center of her brain. what was this I read about her being in the audience at the Apollo in the fall of 69, and singing a bit with Marvin when he came off stage and gave her a microphone?
    You'll have to come up with more than some unsubstantiated points spouted in an obnoxious way to disprove the facts.

  30. #30
    Just listened again to some of those suspect tracks and to be honest...I'm really no wiser, and either way, they really are great!

    For a moment though I thought maybe Marvin had a stand in too -JJ.Barnes. He certainly could have done it he sounds enough like Marvin on some of his material.

    Just my taste, of course, but the Diana and Marvin stuff is weaker, in every respect, to what went before.

  31. #31
    RossHolloway Guest
    Mysterysinger have you listen to the Tammi Terrell Anthology? Listen to that set and then listen to the tracks in question. If you can't hear the difference then you may want to look into getting a hearing aid my friend. Saying you can't tell the difference is like saying you can't tell the difference between a song sung by the Supremes and a song sung by the Marvelettes. It's like night and day.

  32. #32
    exactly, RossHolloway!

  33. #33
    Ah now a hearing aid - actually I have to wear two (no joke) but I won't hold it against you. But then I didn't say I couldn't hear differences, just that I'm no wiser as to whether Tammi is also in there or not as seems to be the claim at the top of the thread. I do subscribe to the view that its Val. Now as for The Marvelettes, I can't tell them from The Darnells (well except on Come On Home). I certainly can tell the difference between Diana Ross and Brenda Holloway - one is gorgeous, sexy and talented, and the other is a former Supreme. Love em both though.

  34. #34
    RossHolloway Guest
    Does anyone know where Tammi Terrell's vocals were supposedly recorded for the Easy album? The reason why I ask this question is because knowing what we know about Motown and that they recorded songs not just in Detroit but also Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, then why would Ashford & Simpson bring a frail and ailing Tammi Terrell all the way back to Detroit to record? Why wouldn't they have recorded in NYC or heck even Philadelphia where Tammi was living and recovering from her surgeries?

  35. #35
    If you notice the 45's beginning with "Good Lovin....:were not promoted...why?

  36. #36
    According to the TCMS 69 notes, Marvin's vocals for "Good Lovin" were done in New York so I guess Tammi's were done there as well! The rest were done at either Hitsville or Golden World! Tammi was enroute to the "Easy" sessions in Detroit, when she encountered two fans who thought she had died, So she was at least in the room when the songs were recorded!
    Last edited by jboy88; 12-10-2011 at 10:18 PM.

  37. #37
    The evidence is coming together here, Jobete. As our legal eagle, I suggest that you declare the medical evidence inadmissable. I won't tread on your honour's toes when it comes to hearsay, but it is our submission that the vocals were recorded by the butler's wife in the library with an eight-track.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by RossHolloway View Post
    Does anyone know where Tammi Terrell's vocals were supposedly recorded for the Easy album? The reason why I ask this question is because knowing what we know about Motown and that they recorded songs not just in Detroit but also Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, then why would Ashford & Simpson bring a frail and ailing Tammi Terrell all the way back to Detroit to record? Why wouldn't they have recorded in NYC or heck even Philadelphia where Tammi was living and recovering from her surgeries?
    RossHolloway...another excellent point!

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by bankhousedave View Post
    I've tried to avoid this rather macabre business over the years. Really nothing has changed here from the way it was told in Ludie's book. Tammi was in a bad way and couldn't perform as she had before the illness. Instead of standing up and shouting, Tammi had to record the way Dusty did in Memphis - a phrase at a time. Val took extra studio time to do this when everything else was down, sometimes having to edit together the bits that worked, and chop out the bits that didn't. She expressly says that people somehow think she could sing like Tammi, and she couldn't. She worked with Tammi as long as it took, without the pressure of musicians and other parties present. The result was never going to be Tammi at her vital, unique best, but it was what she could achieve. Maybe Val 'punched in' some phrases that just could not be got, but my experience from back then is that that was by no means as easy as the phrase suggests. You had some geniuses, but editing then was a physical process and, nine times out of ten, that kind of thng stood out like a sore thumb. The analogy about using backing singers such as the Andantes, to make hit records work doesn't fit into an album - any album - but one that is based on the intimate exchanges between Marvin and Tammi just doesn't add up. It didn't have the urgency of hit single material; it didn't have any need to use tracks other than those that Tammi had already recorded (on which Marvin could be dubbed). In short, there is no logic behind the idea of Valerie singing on the final versions - and she doesn't claim she did, even in this last interview.

    If Tammi sounded a bit flat (not musically, but performance wise), who can be surprised? If she sounds more like Val - no surprises there, either - Val is a lady who knew what she wanted, as she made very clear to Jamerson, and she also was able to play like Earl Van Dyke on piano - she alone, despite some tryers.

    Tammi was not written off when thiis album was made. Berry was paying all her medical bills, and clearly conceived she would get back to what she was doing. Val is a great singer, just as she is a great composer, piano player, arranger and what all else. She was an employee of Motown at this time and Tammi's mentor and friend.

    Give Tammi back her legacy and last moments on the mike.
    Dave...no offense. But what you've posted here...it is more expanded and specific than anything we have ever heard, even from Valerie, and you make it sound as though it is fact. Can you say where you got this information.

    And I really don't think that it mars Tammi's legacy...not to me anyway... to point out so many cracks in a very implausible story, made up to present Tammi...and Marvin in a very particular way. I'll point out yet again how Tammi's career with Marvin began with an untruth...that Tammi and Marvin recorded "ANMHE" together...instead of the fact that Marvin was engineered onto Tammi's solo track. To me, it finished the way it started...so it's not all that surprising...but very ironic. Tammi's legacy for me is in every track on which she actually sang.

  40. #40
    Tammi Terrell was a phoenomenal vocalist!She was before she signed to Motown.As big as Marvin & Tammi were as a duo, I find it quite starnge that the cover of "Easy" was a drawing & the LP and all 45's from it were not really promoted...because she was terminally ill. The LP & 45's were for her benefit, to help the tremendous financial burden.I sure don't think any less of anyone involved.Motown was a business but they showed they could have heart.

  41. #41
    Nicely said motony. Why cant we just accept what valerie says is beyond me. To honor her truth and Tammi's legacy. Such acrimony! Valerie is ok not taking credit and Tammi is dead!

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by motony View Post
    Tammi Terrell was a phenomenal vocalist!She was before she signed to Motown.As big as Marvin & Tammi were as a duo, I find it quite starnge that the cover of "Easy" was a drawing & the LP and all 45's from it were not really promoted...because she was terminally ill. The LP & 45's were for her benefit, to help the tremendous financial burden.I sure don't think any less of anyone involved.Motown was a business but they showed they could have heart.
    Actually, I'd never thought about the album cover before, but you bring up something interesting. It's almost certain Motown had no recent studio photographs of Tammi, and we've seen how drastically her illness affected her looks, if you see those heartbreaking photos from the Ebony (or was it Jet?) magazine someone posted a while back. She was of course still attractive but bone thin, obviously ill. Supposedly, this was from the time frame before she would have recorded "Easy." And Motown almost certainly had no recent photos of Marvin and Tammi together at the time. So the drawing, although I think it really comes off well, likely was a practical solution other than recycling an older photograph.

    Likely for the same reasons, the following "Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's Greatest Hits" album sported two separate photos of the singers as I recall (I think Tammi's was a live shot) and "Marvin Gaye and His Girls" recycled a photograph, which I think was from the "United" cover. I don't believe the "Complete Duets" CD has any photos new to us, either, except maybe slightly different poses from the same sessions.

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by midnight johnny View Post
    Dave...no offense. But what you've posted here...it is more expanded and specific than anything we have ever heard, even from Valerie, and you make it sound as though it is fact. Can you say where you got this information.

    And I really don't think that it mars Tammi's legacy...not to me anyway... to point out so many cracks in a very implausible story, made up to present Tammi...and Marvin in a very particular way. I'll point out yet again how Tammi's career with Marvin began with an untruth...that Tammi and Marvin recorded "ANMHE" together...instead of the fact that Marvin was engineered onto Tammi's solo track. To me, it finished the way it started...so it's not all that surprising...but very ironic. Tammi's legacy for me is in every track on which she actually sang.
    Dave's only repeating the same points that's been brought up in the past by individuals who were close to Tammi! I'm under the impression that fans are more comfortable with it being Valerie Simpson on the album and not Tammi! And I hear all these reasons why Val's not telling the truth; contracts, money etc. What makes what Dave said anymore far-fetched?

    I Knew when I signed up, that this would be discussed at least once a year! I've read all the ones in the past with basically the same thing! I can't tell everyone what to think, but I can give some ideas to think about. I love Tammi Terrell, her music gets heavy rotation on my Itunes and Val's "Exposed" is very underrated! But I really don't think Val had the capability to mimic Tammi's vocals for a whole album and I hear several parts on "Easy" that Tammi's sound on her solo work, Especially the aforementioned "This Old Heart of Mine" and "Your Precious Love" ( the latter being my Favorite Tammi vocal with or without Marvin)!

    That, and the legit facts i've read, is enough to prove my take. I've listened to the music over and over, and analyzed it from all ends! And that's what I came up with.
    Last edited by jboy88; 12-11-2011 at 12:43 PM.

  44. #44
    RossHolloway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    Nicely said motony. Why cant we just accept what valerie says is beyond me. To honor her truth and Tammi's legacy. Such acrimony! Valerie is ok not taking credit and Tammi is dead!
    For me the reason why I don't just take Valerie for her word is because I don't think she's telling the entire truth about the situation. We're all entitled to our own opinions, but we're not entitled to our own facts. I find it interesting that those people who have no doubts what so ever about Valerie's statement, willl blindly ignore all the other facts and pieces of evidence that support the opposite position. The bottom line is this: I know what Tammi Terrell's voice sounds like and I know what Valerie Simpson's voice sounds like. And that's Valerie's voice all over the Easy album. Do I think that it degrades Tammi's legacy? No, not really. Do I think that Motown was above doing something of this nature? Now knowing what we know about the background vocals of recordings done by the Supreme's, The Vandella's, The Marvelettes and the use of the The Andantes, I believe that Motown was totally capable of substituting Valerie for Tammi. 1967 showed that no one singer is bigger than their group or the company. Motown was in the business of making money and music, and in that order. I also believe that Valerie also does the vocals on a couple of tracks off the You're All I Need To Get By album.

    I use to have my doubts about if it were Valerie or not, until I watched the Unsung program on Tammi Terrell. The clinching fact was the number of brain surgeries Tammi had between late 1967 and her death in early 1970. If I'm not mistaken, the program stated that she underwent 7 or 9 different brain surgeries. Are we really to believe that between operations Tammi was well enough to make repeated trips back to Detroit to record love songs? I'm not a rocket scientist, but I'm not the village igit either. That same Ebony article also quotes Tammi as saying that she had not recorded in a year in a half at the time of the article!! I would love to witness Valerie's explanation of that as well as Marvin's statements about the album. There's just too much evidence out there that says that it's not Tammi singing on those tracks, but instead it's Valerie Simpson. I think if anyone who knows the difference between Tammi and Valerie's voice and listen to those tracks with their ears and not their heart will know the truth as well.

  45. #45
    You are right RossHolloway. All of knew something sounded different when the Marvelettes sange When Your Young - all of the sudden, you hear beautiful background vocals that could not have been Kat and Gladys. So we just thought that the group sounded better.

    Same with the Supremes on Love Child and Someday - all of the sudden, there is a sound unlike any harmony that Mary or Cindy or Flo did . We knew something was different. it took all of the later years to find out that other than the lead singers in the girl groups, anybody could be on background on any day.

    The music was great - we loved it then - we still love it - but we all know the truth now.

  46. #46
    I've read the books and listened to the records and the debate over the years........and while I know that if this were a Court hearing, if Valerie Simpson "swore" that her evidence was true, it would probably be the evidence that is accepted............ given that, when all is said is done, I believe the truth is what has been written here by RossHolloway, RBTemptsFan and Midnite Johnny.

    I think Valerie is relaying the story to the best of her ability, after a long time; but we've heard screwed up versions of history from every Motown artist a dozen times; and history has a way of becoming what we want to believe.

  47. #47
    RossHolloway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    I've read the books and listened to the records and the debate over the years........and while I know that if this were a Court hearing, if Valerie Simpson "swore" that her evidence was true, it would probably be the evidence that is accepted............ given that, when all is said is done, I believe the truth is what has been written here by RossHolloway, RBTemptsFan and Midnite Johnny.

    I think Valerie is relaying the story to the best of her ability, after a long time; but we've heard screwed up versions of history from every Motown artist a dozen times; and history has a way of becoming what we want to believe.
    Well I think that Valerie's sworn testimony would be admissible into court evidence, as would all the other surrounding pieces of evidence that have been mentioned in this thread, and proper weight would be given to her statement and all the rest. But when you take all the "evidence" into consideration there can only be one true judgment: It's Valerie vocals on those tracks.

  48. #48
    Here's what Johnny Bristol and Louvain Demps had to say to Tammi's sister Ludie and Vickie Wright in the preparation of My Sister Tommie:

    Tommie would be working with Johnny Bristol again, and Ashford and Simpson as well. My mother and I know how important it was for Tommie to complete her work. She was weak but she put her heart and soul into her work. Johnny remembers, “I worked with her when she was sick, and never once did she complain ever; never did she say she was tired or anything. She would just do it and try. She gave it her all when she was sick like she didn’t have a problem. A lot of people thought she was going to get better. She was up and in good moods while she was ill.”
    Louvain Demps was in the studio during these sessions: “She was working so closely with Valerie. She gave her all and she showed up and tried. Her spirit came through. She was weak and a little different from the Tammi I knew, she was more quiet. She was not in a wheelchair or on crutches. Valerie has great insight, and greatness and spirit. They were together on it. Tammi is singing and Valerie helped her to make this happen. That was the greatest gift that Valerie could give to Tammi, because she knew—we all knew—how important it was for Tammi to finish the work. This was a woven masterpiece, and it was woven with a golden, loving and kind thread; it was woven with respect. The love of God is between the lines.”
    Johnny Bristol shares his insight: “As far as the over-dubbing goes. It was blown out of proportion over the years. Val helped her vocally to get through those sessions. There was nothing to it and everyone agreed that Tammi would complete them one day. It was not a big deal at the time. I know where Tammi is singing and it’s all ok, under the circumstance it was the best thing to do for Tammi. The work was done with Tammi there. She was part of the process. It was important for Valerie to do this for Tammi. You can hear them both and it’s what needed to be done. The songs are important to her legacy and were great songs written for her and Marvin, it was a great representation of Tammi. It should be presented now in a loving light with no negatives.”

  49. #49
    Thinking about this, Louvain could still give evidence and because she was there, it would be accepted. Johnny's portion from this book might be accepted for limited purposes; but it wouldn't be accepted totally because he isn't here for cross examination.

    But I think they, especially Johnny, are saying what RossHolloway said. Louvain and Johnny are doing so with the utmost respect because they knew Tammi and know these people.

    But it is wrong to think that fans who love this music and know it better than the artists at times, are being disrespectful ~ far from it ~ they love the music so much that they dissect it and the artists, with much love.

  50. #50
    Everyone who was there says the same thing. A number of those who were not say otherwise. I move that there's no case to answer, your worship.

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