Harry Balk had been famous
in Detroit for being the manager of Del Shannon and Little Willie
John (Mable John's brother).
Later, his record companies
were responsible for some of the most lauded Northern Soul
sides of all time, including Jock Mitchell's 'Not a chance
in a million' on Impact1023 and Dena Barnes 'If you ever
walk out of my life' on Inferno2002.
Harry also worked extensively
with Barney 'Duke' Browner who produced many legendary recordings.
Interestingly, Duke's own classic 'Crying over you', on
Impact1008, was credited as a Harry Balk production.
Again, Berry Gordy, bought
the rights of these two fabulous labels and it was probably
the highly successful 'Oh how happy' by the Shades of Blue'
which got him thinking.
While in Detroit, I gave
Harry a quick phone call, and told him that his recordings
were still revered on the Northern Soul scene. I asked him
if he was still in touch with Duke Browner, but he said he
hadn't seen him for years. It had also been a long time
since he had been down on Third, so he was unable to confirm
that the building was now a gas station!
Notes thanks to