Correc-Tone Story
Thanks to
Graham Finch
Artwork and Website Design
Thanks to
Lowell Boileau

This advert for the Parizian Bar featuring Wilson Pickett and Marva Josie appeared in The Michigan Chronicle in January 1962. Marva’s Time label 45 is a Correc-tone recording from 1963.

Marva Josie – Later For You Baby
Wilson Pickett – Let Me Be Your Boy

 From big bands and bee-bop to Billie Holliday. Venues like the Flame Show Bar, The Graystone Ballroom, The Bluebird and The Frolic hosted the top names in show business throughout the 40s and 50s. But after the post-war era, Detroit’s blues and jazz venues started to dwindle in popularity and an article published a September 1959 issue of Detroit’s Michigan Chronicle spelt out that Paradise Valley, the city’s ‘black and tan’ entertainment district, was fast disappearing. The Fla me hung on until 1963, but a lot of other once-famous clubs had already felt the destructive force of a wrecking ball, often in the dubious aim of urban renewal.

 The city’s evening entertainment options simply reflected the growing popularity of R’n’B. Inevitably, new clubs opened up and The 20 Grand on 14th became ‘Detroit’s finest’ after being rebuilt in 1959. Another prominent Soul spot was Phelp’s Lounge on Oakland Avenue, which had been a vibrant jazz club called The Bizerte since 1946. Eddie Phelps bought it in 1960 and turned it into a showcase for Soul acts; that same year The Hobby Bar and the Parizian started up on the west side of Detroit. Also in 1960, one of city’s most regaled nightspots, the Chit Chat, opened on 12th Street. The tide had certainly turned.

 The Parizian was one of Detroit’s more salubrious clubs. Located on the corner of Linwood and Davison, on Detroit’s west side, it was converted from a bank. The club’s Jewish owner, Albert Shaban, hired savvy Cornelius Watt to run it. The bank’s vault became a stage while the basement and first floor catered to diners, which meant it could legally stay open till 6am - although drinks were only served up to four o’clock.

 Mr. Watt had worked at the famed Garfield Lounge in Paradise Valley throughout the 50s and had a deft finger on the city’s musical pulse. By the time the Parizian opened he was managing a place called The Delmonica for his brother-in-law, but soon got customers flocking to his suave new establishment.

Although The Arabians recorded for Correc-tone around 1962, their cuts stayed in the can and are now lost. In late 1963, the group recorded the wonderful “I Love You So” for the Carrie/Lanrod label. This advert is from February 1964.

 The Parizian wasn’t a massive place and didn’t showcase chart-topping stars, but it was usually packed and gave artists - particularly local ones - a place to perform in front of an appreciative audience.

 It became so popular that there would often be a lineup on Linwood. Then in November 1961 Mr. Watt had the then novel idea of installing CCTV so crowds on the first floor and in the basement could watch shows live.

 It was around this time that Wilbert Golden approached Mr. Watt about giving a young singer named Wilson Pickett a break: “Wilburt asked me to listen to a tape and said, ‘Watts, he needs to make some money: Why don’t you hire him?’”

 As you can see from the advert at the top of this page, Mr. Watt agreed and Pickett and Marva Josie appeared at the Parizian in January 1962, headlining there for two weeks. It was Correc-tone’s first step in the music business.

 Tony Clark appeared in May 62, plugging his then new disc “Love Must Be Taboo”. And in October The Temptations switched from Phelp’s Lounge to the Parizian, with the Royal Jokers going in the opposite direction. Mr. Watt:

 “The Temptations had been at Phelps for three months and I was going to have them for three months. But as soon as I had them for one or two weeks, somebody from Berry Gordy’s office called me and said, ‘Watt, we would like you to do us a favor. Would you let The Temptations out of their contract to go overseas on a big show with Mary Wells and Little Stevie Wonder?’”

It wasn’t an easy decision. The Temptations had become a popular attraction.

“I thought about it and said, ‘I hate to let these guys go’. They were good - I believed they were going to draw more than The Royal Jokers… the Royal Jokers packed the house every night; I used to have lines outside. They was a good entertainment group, they did so much on stage. Not only singing - they put a bit of drama in the performance; they would put on little skits and the crowd would be falling out their seats.”

The Temptations appeared with Nettie Glenn in October 1962.

 Mr. Watt’s instinct was right and The Temptations’ rise to stardom was on a sharp trajectory. He didn’t get to see Motown’s hottest property again: “I never did get The Temptations back, because when they came back into town about three months later, I called for them and their manager said, ‘Watts, your room is too small for them.’ They got big that quick!”

 Which is true - that December The Temps headlined at the 20 Grand, probably singing their 1962 Gordy releases, “Paradise” and “Dream Come True”.

 But it was all part of the business and Mr. Watt was more concerned about the financial aspects of running of the Parizian, as he explained: “I bought Al Shaban out. He was killing the club. He was an habitual gambler – he took all the money to the racetrack everyday.”

 By the mid-60s, Mr. Watt had developed the Parizian as much as he could and so switched his focus to the running the Hobby Bar.


Correc-Tone Story
Thanks to
Graham Finch
Lowell Boileau