house purchase fell through and again Cody Black told me how
things unfolded. "Mike tried to buy a building next door
to Motown. Him and Berry didn't get along at all, 'cause
Mike always said, 'I
was driving a Cadillac when he was riding a bike.' He
shouldn't have been messing with Berry. He bought the
building and somehow Berry pre-dated the contract that he
had on the building - and they snatched the building off of
Mike. Because it was too close to Motown! You know what he
(Mike) did - he put some dog-doo on the board and he
walked around out in front of Motown with a sign saying, 'What
you see on this board is what's in this building'.
That was it for us. Believe it or not that was it for us!
That was the end of that road. Then they (radio stations)
started not playing our product. Somebody had told them not
play our stuff, or paid them not to play it. Mike sincerely
believed he was being stepped on."
Mike was undeterred and bought a place a little further
along, at 3040 East Grand Boulevard, at the corner of John
R. The roomy, detached house became D-Town's main office
and was used for general admin and rehearsals, while most of
the recording sessions still took place at the Pig Pen.
move gave everyone at D-Town a boost and 1965 saw some of
the company's best recordings released. Sadly, none of
them sold as well as they merited. Lee Rogers had distinctly
less success with his follow up disc, "You're the Cream
of The Crop," released around February, and Silky
Hargreaves's catchy debut, "Hurt By Love," was one of
a several that should also have made the national charts.
you can see from the advert above, D-Town's second review
at Mr. Kelly's featured Silky and various other artists
plugging their current releases. Ronnie Love's "Detroit,
Michigan" was later covered by The Peps, and is found on
the flip of their "You Never Had It So Good." The song
is a celebration of everything Detroit: "Talking about a
soulful groove - we got it." Even Hitsville, Mary Wells
and The Supremes get a mention. Ronnie's real name is
Ronald Dunbar and although this disc sank without trace he
had success with Holland, Dozier and Holland at their
Invictus label in the 70s.
great sides released in '65 include "Hide And Seek" by
Lillian Dupree. She'd split from Jackie and The Tonnetts
after the group had seen their sublime "Steady Boy"
bomb, and this and
several other D-Town 45s are now valuable collector's
of them is Cody Black's tremendous "Mr.
Blue." Sam (the engineer) kicks it off by walloping the drums
to give it one of those killer-Detroit intros, while
Lillian, Silky and Tom Storm of the Peps add delicious
backing vocals to a typically superb performance by Cody.
The Precisions' wonderful "You're
a 45 that somehow also managed not to climb the charts.
It's hardly surprising Mike felt he was being stepped on.
Notes thanks to Graham
image must not be
reproduced, used or copied photograph
credits at end of webisode