The Tera Shirma Story
Pioneer Recording Company
Alan Sussman
(picture courtesy Ralph Terrana)

One day he just showed up at Tera Shirma. Alan Sussman. He came in to introduce himself to me. I'm sure everyone has had the experience of an immediate friendship with someone they first meet. It was like that with Alan and me.

Alan co-owned Pioneer with two other guys. One was an engineer and one was crazy. I was at Pioneer one night when Alan took me to the crazy one's office. We went in and he told me to look at the door frame. Bullet holes. A customer had told Crazy ( I promised Alan I wouldn't use his name ) that he couldn't pay his studio bill. Crazy reached into his desk, pulled out a gun and emptied a few rounds into the door frame where the guy was standing. Alan told me the studio tab got paid.

And many years later Alan would tell me why he came into the studio that day to meet me Crazy had contracted an arsonist to burn Tera Shirma down. This was Crazy's way of dealing with the competition. Alan told me that the
police had nabbed the guy behind Tera Shirma the night before with all the flammable material he would need to do the job.

It was at this time that Alan informed Crazy that he was going to go to Tera Shirma to meet me and to back off doing anything stupid for the moment. So he came over and we  became friends ad TS was spared the

So today we laugh about it. Alan said part of the problem was that people would go into Pioneer and spend a few bucks to do demos and then go to Tera Shira and spend thousands on their project. So this made Crazy....well...crazy.

Today Alan owns an extremely successful advertising agency. I haven't a clue about Crazy though.

Notes thanks to Ralph Terrana



This website is dedicated to Detroit, Soul Music, 45 RPM, Northern Soul and the great Motown era of Detroit Musics. It covers Golden World, Tamla, Wheelsville, Robert West, Darrell Banks, Johnnie Mae Matthews, Rose Battiste, Tera Shirma, Fred Bridges, Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Edwin Starr, Funk Brothers, Dennis Coffey, Bob Babbitt, James Jamerson, Twisted Wheel, Wiggan Casino and many more Detroit Souls topics.