The Tera Shirma Story

A company called Gold Soul Records would eventually negotiate  for and buy Tera Shirma.

Gold Soul was a customer. At the time their principal act was George Lemons, the son of Mrs. Lemons, the company's owner.

George was basically a nothing singer who thought he might be the next David Ruffin, or someone of that stature but he was a little off the mark.

When the sale went down I remember Ira Jaffe, my attorney telling me he didn't think they could handle the debt they just incurred. He would prove to be right. Gold Soul early on began defaulting in payments and when the time drew near that they were facing foreclosure, they stole everything from the studio they could carry.

They didn't take the board and that would eventually be sold to Danny Dallas at Sound Patterns DXM.

It was during the time of the Gold Soul hassles that I needed to get a job and soon. From what I remember I had a couple of offers, but I don't think I was interested.

I do seem to remember Marvin Gaye wanting me to do
something with him. Road manager or whatever. I'm not sure I can remember. Marvin and I were not exactly drinking buddies, but he seemed drawn to me to do certain things for him, which I was glad to do. We
would call one another periodically and at times he would ask me to stop over the house to hang with him a while. It was a quiet kind of friendship. I don't remember why this particular job didn't happen. I suppose I just didn't feel like road managing.

Then one day Harry Balk called me. He was offering me a job to run Motown's studios and do some producing. Good old Harry. He was always saving my ass. If he wasn't reaching into his pocket to give me money for
tape, he was offering me a job.

Barely a day goes by that I don't think about Tera Shirma. Could I have done anything to save it? Fred Saxon would get on me about moving more into the record business end of it. I knew he may be right but I couldn't separate myself from the studio's problems to concentrate on that. 

I even wonder at times if it was worth it to build Studio B. The original plan was to completely re-do Studio A. If that would have happened the expenses would certainly have been lower. Studio A didn't get much activity anyway after B opened. 

What else? Who knows? Maybe it just wasn't meant to be saved. It did it's thing and zap!!

I dream about the place from time to time. In some of the dreams, the studio looks completely different and in some the vision is amazingly accurate. In the dream I am always very excited about re-opening Tera Shirma. And no matter what dream I'm dreaming, out of the haze somewhere
I always realize I'm dreaming and I'm disappointed.

I would like to thank David and Lowell for the opportunity to tell the Tera Shirma story. It has been a pleasure working with both of them and I appreciated the support they gave me as I went through the story. I'm sure David and I have e-mailed one another a million times over the course of this.

Quite frankly, early on I was rather dismayed with the interest I saw in Tera Shirma.   And then I got to know you guys and would quickly become impressed with the depth of your knowledge regarding Detroit Soul.

You are an amazing group of people which I am extremely proud to have gotten acquainted with and I consider you my new found friends.

This is an amazing place and I'm not going anywhere. I'll be hanging around contributing what I can. Besides I can't live anymore without the forum. 

And who is John Lester going to take shots at. I'm his best target.

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.