The Golden World Story
Edwin Starr

photograph courtesy Graham Finch

June through October '65, proved to be the most productive period to date for Golden World with an average of four releases per month.

The Golden World label, an in particular the Reflections, had funded much of this progress but that would soon change with the arrival of a little known artist by the name of Edwin Starr who would gain his first release as a Ric-Tic artist in July 1965.

Rick Pack of Toronto interviewed Edwin in 1981 and uncovered the circumstances behind his arrival at Golden World.

"Born Charles Hatcher in Nashville and brought up in Cleveland, Edwin's career began in the late fifties with a group known as the Futuretones.

After a brief period in the army, he would get his first real break by joining up with the Bill Doggett Band who regularly toured Detroit.

A chance meeting with Lebaron Taylor gave Edwin the chance to show off some material he had written which was based on the James Bond books and movies which were taking the world by storm.

Lebaron introduced Edwin to Ed Wingate who liked the material and arranged a session with an evening schedule. The final product "Agent O-O Soul" became a smash reaching Pop #21 and R&B #8 within a couple of weeks."

Behind the song were some superb arrangements by Sonny Sanders, with production by Hitbound (Lebaron Taylor). The credits on the song however were split with a Bill Sharply which was an alias of Lebaron's. Edwin told Rick however that he was philosophical about this as it was the opportunity he needed to get on the ladder to success. This practice was not uncommon.

The same thing happened on the follow-up in October. "Back Street" fared reasonably well by reaching Pop #95 and R&B #33. Arranged again by Sonny Sanders it was produced by Richard Parker, "Back Street" is a great song which tells of Edwin's experiences on the streets of Cleveland.

Two classic 45's followed in "Stop her on sight (SOS)" (Pop #48, #9 R&B), and "Headline News" (Pop #84). The former would even be re-cut as "Scott's on Swingers" for local Dee-Jay Scott Regan.

The flip sides of these discs were also powerful songs. "I have faith in you" and "Harlem" also carried the production credits of Hitbound/Solid Hitbound.

Having provided vocals for a Don Davis song "I'll love you forever", Edwin was surprised to hear his voice on a Holidays record of the same name. Golden World36 reached #63 Pop and #7 R&B.

In late '66, while touring England, Edwin would discover that his contract had been sold to Motown.

Some nice recordings would be made there too, and the peak for me would be the release of two excellent albums in "Soul Master" and "Twenty five miles."

However, his greatest chart success would come in November 1970 with "War" which went to #1 Pop.

Edwin eventually moved to England where he has made a good living on the Northern Soul Scene from his legacy at Golden World. 

Edwin is the hero of SoulfulDetroit.



Notes by David Meikle

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.