The Robert West Story
Marv Johnson

Marv was only 19 years of age when he got his chance with Robert West.

The resultant "My baby-o"/"Once upon a time " was released on Kudo663, with the topside being a remake of a Fortune song by the Five Dollars.

Marv's Kudo sides were recorded at Special Recordings on Duffield, with Berry Gordy apparently in attendance.

According to Berry's ex-wife  Raynoma, she and Berry would meet up again with Marv a few weeks later, in Prince Adams Records, on 12th Street.

His light-tenor vocal had hooked them, as did his prowess as a songwriter. They took one of his songs, "Come to me," and issued it on Tamla101 the first release on the Motown group of labels.

United Artists took an interest in the song and gave it national distribution on their own label. It achieved Pop #30 and R&B #6.

The success led to UA taking over Marv's contract, a move which provided him with a further 6 Top 100 Pop songs.

NB. Special had an excellent reputation and was used extensively by Harry Balk and others and was based only half a mile from the United Artist building. It was also responsible for the recording of the highly successful Lone Ranger programs for radio. 

Notes thanks to David Meikle



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