Tamla Records

1719 Gladstone [Stood on vacant lot]

Feeling confident, after the minor successes of Rayber, Berry and Ray decided to reduce their set-up costs by renting a bigger property just around the corner from Blaine.

They rented the bottom part of the two storey building and turned the back bedroom into a small demo studio. They used a closet as a sound booth and the toilet as an echo chamber.

To launch their first release however, they would need $800 to pay for studio time, musicians, distribution etc. 

After being rejected by the Bank of Detroit, Berry decided to approach his own family. Ber-Berry was a fund set up to help anyone within the family who may require a loan from time to time. The family could already see that Berry was showing potential and as a result the loan was provided without resistance.

It was January 1959, and the  Tamla label was about to be  launched. It's first release, Marv Johnson's 'Come to me', was recorded at the famous United Sound Studios on Second. The record was soon picked up by United Artists, and Berry and Ray knew that their moment was fast approaching. 

The Jobete Music Publishing Company was also launched that same year.

Notes thanks to David Meikle



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