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Thread: The Andantes

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    The Andantes

    Ok I have been thinking about this wonderful group of ladies a lot lately and I cant help but wonder what really happened? All of the other great session singers like the Blossoms and The Sweets and The Blackberries etc.etc, etc were able to step forward and record songs under their own name and even perform [[especially the Blossoms) The one song released as the Andantes featured a non Andante -Ann Bogan. I cannot believe Motown or Berry would have prevented them from moving forward especially since there was money to be made by all. Besides the guy session singers [[the Originals and the Spinners) moved on and were succesful in their own right. Where the ladies just not ambitious or were they just okay with staying in the Background? I know no one here can truly answer this , perhaps Louvaine would care to elaborate.The talent that these ladies possessed needed to be brought forward. This thread is not meant to start a cyber riot but something just doesn't seem right. Louvaine is still very emotional after all of these years. I think she might have wanted to step out more than the other two, who at this point seems to have distanced themselves from the experience maybe because it hurts to much. But what hurts? Is it because they were not given label credit or television performances or was it because they wanted to release songs with their own voices under their name with one of them doing the lead instead of an outsider. Other than the background none of us even knows what they really sound like with the exception of Louvaine's Ian Levine's sessions. And one or two lead lines here and there. I just watched Carolyn Willis of the Honey Cone performing with Seals and Croft and she was fantastic on "Closer To You",and it just makes me wonder. I mention Carolyn because she and the Honey Cone also did session singing and a live performance with Cass Elliott on her tv show.
    Last edited by soulballad; 07-24-2013 at 03:14 PM.

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    If you haven't seen it, go see 20 ft. from Stardom, the Andantes are not in it, but the documentary is about session or background singers and it might answer some of your questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by soulballad View Post
    Ok I have been thinking about this wonderful group of ladies a lot lately and I cant help but wonder what really happened? All of the other great session singers like the Blossoms and The Sweets and The Blackberries etc.etc, etc were able to step forward and record songs under their own name and even perform [[especially the Blossoms) The one song released as the Andantes featured a non Andante -Ann Bogan. I cannot believe Motown or Berry would have prevented them from moving forward especially since there was money to be made by all. Besides the guy session singers [[the Originals and the Spinners) moved on and were succesful in their own right. Where the ladies just not ambitious or were they just okay with staying in the Background? I know no one here can truly answer this , perhaps Louvaine would care to elaborate.The talent that these ladies possessed needed to be brought forward. This thread is not meant to start a cyber riot but something just doesn't seem right. Louvaine is still very emotional after all of these years. I think she might have wanted to step out more than the other two, who at this point seems to have distanced themselves from the experience maybe because it hurts to much. But what hurts? Is it because they were not given label credit or television performances or was it because they wanted to release songs with their own voices under their name with one of them doing the lead instead of an outsider. Other than the background none of us even knows what they really sound like with the exception of Louvaine's Ian Levine's sessions. And one or two lead lines here and there. I just watched Carolyn Willis of the Honey Cone performing with Seals and Croft and she was fantastic on "Closer To You",and it just makes me wonder. I mention Carolyn because she and the Honey Cone also did session singing and a live performance with Cass Elliott on her tv show.
    I had heard a reason a long time ago from someone that was at Motown and the answer was not pretty. I don't really want to say what it was here, out loud to avoid an avalanche of off track comments. They did their jobs brilliantly and were paid and went home. End of?

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    Quote Originally Posted by soulballad View Post
    Ok I have been thinking about this wonderful group of ladies a lot lately and I cant help but wonder what really happened? All of the other great session singers like the Blossoms and The Sweets and The Blackberries etc.etc, etc were able to step forward and record songs under their own name and even perform [[especially the Blossoms) The one song released as the Andantes featured a non Andante -Ann Bogan. I cannot believe Motown or Berry would have prevented them from moving forward especially since there was money to be made by all. Besides the guy session singers [[the Originals and the Spinners) moved on and were succesful in their own right. Where the ladies just not ambitious or were they just okay with staying in the Background? I know no one here can truly answer this , perhaps Louvaine would care to elaborate.The talent that these ladies possessed needed to be brought forward. This thread is not meant to start a cyber riot but something just doesn't seem right. Louvaine is still very emotional after all of these years. I think she might have wanted to step out more than the other two, who at this point seems to have distanced themselves from the experience maybe because it hurts to much. But what hurts? Is it because they were not given label credit or television performances or was it because they wanted to release songs with their own voices under their name with one of them doing the lead instead of an outsider. Other than the background none of us even knows what they really sound like with the exception of Louvaine's Ian Levine's sessions. And one or two lead lines here and there. I just watched Carolyn Willis of the Honey Cone performing with Seals and Croft and she was fantastic on "Closer To You",and it just makes me wonder. I mention Carolyn because she and the Honey Cone also did session singing and a live performance with Cass Elliott on her tv show.
    Can any of the ladies sing lead? I know singer that are great background singer but can't carry a lead to a song. I know the Ann Bogan did a lead with the group, but are there any other songs where that feature Lovain, Marlene and the other lady on full lead vocals?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rod_rick View Post
    Can any of the ladies sing lead? I know singer that are great background singer but can't carry a lead to a song. I know the Ann Bogan did a lead with the group, but are there any other songs where that feature Lovain, Marlene and the other lady on full lead vocals?
    I'm sure one of them could have sung lead. I've never heard of anything by the Andantes other than Like A Nightmare and those recordings they did for Ian Levine. Marv, WE all know one of them was heavy back in the day, SO!

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    Not everyone aspires to be a "star". Some are content singing and earning a living doing it. There is nothing wrong with being a session or background singer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skooldem1 View Post
    Not everyone aspires to be a "star". Some are content singing and earning a living doing it. There is nothing wrong with being a session or background singer.
    Skooldem1
    You make a very good point in your post and I agree ther is nothing wrong with being a seeion singer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skooldem1 View Post
    Not everyone aspires to be a "star". Some are content singing and earning a living doing it. There is nothing wrong with being a session or background singer.

    I agree. That's why I suggested seeing 20 Ft. From Stardom. A subject in the film says exactly that. And the film also explains other things that keep session singers out of the spotlight.

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    I've only seen the promos from 20Ft, and would like to see the entire film, I have seen several interviews with Merry Clayton and although she was happy at singing background she did state that she wanted to be out there for herself and not singing behind somebody and she was not alone . IMO it's totally cool to want to be a bg singer in fact it takes more effort to blend effectively and harmonize than it does to sing lead. But as I suggested in my first post maybe they [[the Andantes) were content on doing their thing, getting paid and going home. Though from the book and the recent interviews it seemed at some point they wanted more. It had been hinted on the net that their age was a factor [[I think they were up there with the Four Tops) It seemed to be okay for men to be a little older but it's more difficult for women, Especially at Motown where the appeal was to young Amerca i.e teenagers. I have also heard other rumors as well but I dont care to share them here because many people read this board and I'm not in the business of hurting people's feelings. And because they are rumors I woudn't share them anyway. I would like to hear the ladies version of what happened. None of the books of interviews touched on it. it seems all people were interested in was who sang on what and even some of those recollections are suspect at this point. All we can do i speculate and question the what if's etc. It still a cool topic though. Kim Westin was a big supporter of the group and she even gave them props backing her on the Motortown Review volume 2. But again no picture to be found. It just seemed a little odd.
    Last edited by soulballad; 07-24-2013 at 07:33 PM.

  10. #10
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    To get a chance to make it in a popular music field, you have to have potential star quality. Star quality is an intangible and not dependent on talent or skill. The Andantes had skill, but perhaps Berry Gordy just didn’t see any potential in putting them out there as a commercial recording and touring act that would make money for the company?

  11. #11
    Hi All . I have been doing some googling in youtube and have found some interesting tracks that are giving me a way better appreciation of The Funk Bros and The Andantes . They are the tracks with the vocals stripped away and / or the Andantes and The Funk Bros. For example Marvin's version of " I Heard It Through The Grapevine " or
    "Ask The Lonely " - my favourite of what I have come across so far.

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    Of the many many songs where the Andantes Supported the Tops "Ask The Lonely" is the best imo! It's sad that the poster of this video choose photos of Darlene Love and the Blossoms. At least a few pics of the real core Andantes then and now was thrown in.
    Last edited by soulballad; 07-25-2013 at 01:04 AM.

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    You need to read the book "Motown From the Backgound" written by The Andantes, they explain a lot in there, but Louvaine told me that there are things she did not put in the book as she did not want to upset anyone! After reading the book I would have said go ahead & print!

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    For some reason I thought Pat Lewis took the lead on the Ian Levine Andantes' tracks. Am I wrong?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    For some reason I thought Pat Lewis took the lead on the Ian Levine Andantes' tracks. Am I wrong?
    She might have done the lead on some. I've heard a couple, and there was a different lead on each. I think LIGHTNING NEVER STRIKES TWICE is Louvain, but I'm not sure. There's a different lead voice on TWO SIDES TO LOVE, but I have no idea who it is.

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    I have the book and was totally disappointed. It was a quick read but no real details. I'm not one for gossip but since it's their story I thought we would get more from their point of view. Imo it was mostly fluff! In fact I think as of late more has been written about them than they actually contributed in the book, mostly from eager fans. I will close with this - If they choose not to give up any more details like recording session info and how things were for them etc then we have to be okay with it. They have to know that they have a lot of fans who care, but I guess somethings are best left unknown. I used to see the Marvelettes being referred to as the Mysterious Marvelettes when in fact to me it's the Andantes

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    The Andantes "Step Into My Shoes" and there's Earl Van Dyke too...


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    And their backing on "Heaven Must Have Sent You" - no Elgins.


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    We all know they were one of the best background groups ever, but how does that translate to a lead singer? Was there anyone that had spectacular enough chops?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    The Andantes "Step Into My Shoes" and there's Earl Van Dyke too...

    I wondered why this song sounded familiar...! Back in the '90s, I remember having cassette copies of many of the Ian Levine productions of the classic Motown artists and this song was included as recorded by Martha Reeves and The Vandellas. Although, I'm wondering whether it was really Martha Reeves and...The Andantes? Anyway, I thought I'd share this one, too. I think Pat Lewis singing lead with The Andantes on backgrounds sounds better. Martha's voice doesn't sound good on this track to me.


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    Quote Originally Posted by danman869 View Post
    I wondered why this song sounded familiar...! Back in the '90s, I remember having cassette copies of many of the Ian Levine productions of the classic Motown artists and this song was included as recorded by Martha Reeves and The Vandellas. Although, I'm wondering whether it was really Martha Reeves and...The Andantes? Anyway, I thought I'd share this one, too. I think Pat Lewis singing lead with The Andantes on backgrounds sounds better. Martha's voice doesn't sound good on this track to me.
    I really liked both releases of new material by Martha and the Vandellas on Motorcity: STEP INTO MY SHOES and ANGEL IN DISGUISE. But the backup vocals didn't sound like Annette and Rosalind to me, even though they are pictured on the 12-inch versions.

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    I've had Martha's version of "Step Into My Shoes" on CD for years, along with my countless other Ian Levine CD productions. Somehow, The Andantes' version managed to pass me by. But, now that I've heard their version, The Andanes' version is my favorite! Was their version available on an Andantes' CD of their own, or was it on a Various Artists CD with other Ian Levine product9ns?

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    I've had Martha's version of "Step Into My Shoes" on CD for years, along with countless other Ian Levine CD productions. Somehow, The Andantes' version managed to pass me by. But, now that I've heard their version, The Andantes' version is my favorite! Was their version available on an Andantes' CD of their own, or was it on a Various Artists CD compilation with other Ian Levine productions?
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 01-25-2023 at 05:54 AM.

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    I believe it was scheduled for Volume 13 of 'The Best Of Motorcity' series, from Hot Productions....but those released volumes ceased at Volume 12, and so The Andantes' version was not released on CD at that time.

    I've looked through my own collection, but can't see it. It could possibly have been released on a CD collection in recent years. You could try asking member Soren1974, who may be able to add something?

    However, if you are into downloads [I'm not......yet] you will find it in the collection 'If You Really Love Me - The Best Of The Andantes'.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by westgrandboulevard View Post
    I believe it was scheduled for Volume 13 of 'The Best Of Motorcity' series, from Hot Productions....but those released volumes ceased at Volume 12, and so The Andantes' version was not released on CD at that time.

    I've looked through my own collection, but can't see it. It could possibly have been released on a CD collection in recent years. You could try asking member Soren1974, who may be able to add something?

    However, if you are into downloads [I'm not......yet] you will find it in the collection 'If You Really Love Me - The Best Of The Andantes'.....
    wgb,
    Are you sure the release of the "Best of Motorcity, Volume 13 was canceled? I have volumes 13 to 20.

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    Now, that's very interesting, 144Man...

    I had always assumed the Hot Productions series had stopped at Vol 20, even though there were indeed further volumes listed in the notes with some of the releases.

    My reason for thinking that is because a download giving details of the Motorcity Project which I was given does state that 'Step Into My Shoes' by The Andantes was never released.

    After reading your post, I have checked and it does look like those numbered volumes were indeed released, and have also been subsequently released by Essential Media...and this is good news to me.

    So Philles/Motown Gary should be looking for Vol. 13....

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    Quote Originally Posted by westgrandboulevard View Post
    Now, that's very interesting, 144Man...

    I had always assumed the Hot Productions series had stopped at Vol 20, even though there were indeed further volumes listed in the notes with some of the releases.

    My reason for thinking that is because a download giving details of the Motorcity Project which I was given does state that 'Step Into My Shoes' by The Andantes was never released.

    After reading your post, I have checked and it does look like those numbered volumes were indeed released, and have also been subsequently released by Essential Media...and this is good news to me.

    So Philles/Motown Gary should be looking for Vol. 13....
    Hey, westgrand -- I just checked. Now that I have my new desktop PC, my access to my word processing documents has been restored including all of my CD titles and individual songs in my CD collection. As it turns out, I do indeed have the Best Of Motorcity - Vol. 13" which contains THE ANDANTES - "Step Into My Shoes" on Track 8. Loving The Andantes as I do, I have no idea how I could have forgotten that. I've always loved Martha's version of "Step Into My Shoes", and now that I discovered The Andantes' version [[above), I love it even more. To discover that I've had it all along is just plain weird! If you don't mind, we'll call it a senior moment and be done with it! Ha!
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; Today at 01:19 AM.

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    Westgrand, I have the "Best Of Motorcity" CD series Vol. 1-20 [[which, I think, is the entire series). If you, or anyone else here, needs track info. on any of the above volumes, just holler and I'll do what I can to provide track lists for you.
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; Today at 06:49 AM.

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