Ed Wolfrum and Fred Bridges at United Sound Studios working on "Candy"

Ben Knight was to take lead on the final two 45's that Ric released on Brothers Of Soul. They were 'Candy' on Shock1313 and 'Try it baby' on Shock1314. 

Fred remembers things being bleak in Detroit at this time. 

"Things were beginning to slow down. says Fred "The riots hurt us in '67. Then a year later King was killed and we had more riots. During that time we couldn't leave the city for fear for our families. 

Club work was drying up and Ric stopped spending money, leaving me with no alternative but to find another way of making a living.

Somebody suggested that I drive a bus, so I did. I like driving.

They based me at Gilbert Terminal which covered Woodward, Fenkell, John R and the like. I used to drive down John R and toot the horn at my kids who'd be playing outside my house. I used to get a kick out of that.

But I never stopped my music, it just took second place behind my main breadwinner."

Music doesn't die easy in Detroit and another new player soon appeared on Grand River Avenue called Holland/Dozier/Holland Productions.

The gifted Motown songwriters had left Gordy under  a huge cloud and decided to buy into an old theater which they converted into a studio.

H/D/H's early recordings were done at Tera Shirma Studio B however and The Brothers of Soul found themselves providing backing on some classic songs, especially 'Band of Gold' by Freda Payne and 'Give me just a little more time' by Chairmen of the Board. The Chairmen were led by General Johnson whom Fred recalls as being "a skinny dude, reminiscent of David Ruffin. Happy go lucky and blessed with such a powerful and unique voice."

Chairmen Of The Board

Fred also recalls working on songs like 'Crumbs off the table', Patches', 'Bring the boys home', all of which were recorded at Tower.

"With H/D/H, the groups would be on the road most of the time" says Fred " so that's when we'd fit in the backgrounds. The format for backgrounds was always three guys and three girls, the girls being The Debonaires or The Adorables. So, using the  Chairmen as an example, Johnson would be on lead and we'd provide the rest."

In 1970 Fred got married for a second time, to Claudine. Later, they reared a son and two daughters, Delano, Tammy and Kim.


Notes thanks to David Meikle.

United Sound photograph courtesy of Ed Wolfrum

Chairmen Of The Board courtesy of Blues and Soul Magazine

Label scan courtesy MotorCityMusic


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