The Tera Shirma Story
The Music Industry Heads West
Ralph and Russ, Los Angeles 1973
(picture courtesy Ralph Terrana)

I have reached a point in the Tera Shirma story where things will become a little uncertain. 

After Studio B opened it was business as usual for a year or so and we were constantly planning to upgrade the studios in various ways. We had plans on adding a disc lathe room. We wanted to add the equipment needed to go after the advertising business. I even had an offer from someone to branch out into the moving picture business.

However, I had my finger on the pulse of the Detroit music scene and I didn't like what I was feeling. Harry was in trouble and it looked like Impact was going to fold. Ollie was cold. 

In fact, many of the once hot producers were not getting the hits they once were. I remember telling Neica Lee one day that if things didn't begin to turn around, we could
be in trouble.

Then more bad news. Word got out that RCA and Columbia were closing their Chicago and New York operations and re-locating to Hollywood.

I got a phone call one day from either Clive Davis, who was running Columbia at the time, or Jack Holtzman from Elektra, I don't quite remember which one it was. It was suggested to me that I consider moving Tera Shirma to Hollywood. I was told that the major part of the record
industry was going to be situated in Hollywood. Up to that time there was a variety of locations...Detroit, New York Chicago, Nashville, and Philly.

The thought of re-locating had no appeal to me what so ever. Studio B was just beginning to roll and I was carrying a lot of heavy debt. Now I'm being told that I should up-root everything and start over in California.

I figured I had an ace in the hole. As long as Motown was in
Detroit, then Detroit would still be an important music city.

And still the pulse kept getting weaker. I didn't know it yet, but the health of the once thriving Detroit music scene was in decline.

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.