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

Ed Wingate, the owner of Golden World records, funded Theresa’s first Correc-tone recording, “Gotta Find a Way”. The disc sold well and was subsequently distributed by Atlantic Records. The flip is “Wonderful One” and songwriter Nikki Todd is actually Janie Bradford, who was then ensconced at Motown.

Theresa Lindsey – Gotta Find A Way
Theresa Lindsey – It’s Love

 As a teenager, Theresa Lindsey’s ambition was simple: “All I wanted to do was have fun.”

 Born in Romulus in 1944, she grew up in the Detroit satellite town and had a strict religious upbringing. “I sang in church. In my home, we couldn’t listen to records - only to gospel.”

 Harboring a desire to sing R’n’B, she ventured into Detroit and auditioned at Motown: “I decided I wanted to be a singer when Mary Wells brought out her first song, ‘Bye, Bye Baby’. Then I went to Motown - I was accepted the same day. After I was accepted my mom said – ‘No, forget it’. I was still in school and my mother wasn’t having any of that.”

 But as soon as Theresa graduated in ‘63, she was back in Detroit – this time going to audition at Correc-tone. “I decided that show business was what I wanted, and I didn’t care what no one said – particularly my family. And I decided I was going to Detroit and I was going pursue it, and that’s exactly what I did. I started off singing lead for a guy group… I don’t remember their names.”

 This unknown group never got around to recording: “They wanted to record and they set up the audition with Correc-tone. Mr. Golden, Mr. Wingate and Joanne Bratton were there – they accepted me, but not them.”

 That was the end of the unknown group. And as Theresa was still too young to sign with Mr. Golden’s company, she had to come up with a crafty plan: “The guy that I was going with at that time, his mother signed my contract. And we found a guy - walking down the street - who turned out to be the perfect candidate for my ‘father’. We just stopped him and said, ‘Will you do us a favor?’ It was comical.”

 Theresa chose Correc-tone because – like many local singers - she couldn’t see herself happy at Berry Gordy’s company, explaining: “I decided not to go with Motown. I had been there - not as an artist, but I was there - and I just decided uh-uh. The artists would go on the road and they would have no place to stay. Not only did they have no place to stay, but the company would get paid before them. They were scratching to survive and I couldn’t go through that.”

 Her debut - “Gotta Find a Way” - was a regional hit, with Theresa’s admiration for Mary Wells coming through, particularly on the flip – “Wonderful One”. The two sides were penned by Popcorn Wylie and Janie Bradford, who being a Motown staffer, used the pseudonym Nikki Todd. “Janie was my writing partner. We did a lot of things under cover,” Popcorn told me.

 The sessions were funded by Mr. Wingate and again, many of Detroit’s best musicians played on them, including drummer Benny Benjamin, who Theresa remembers with great affection: ”Benny always wanted me to sing Latin music. He was just a crazy guy; he was a character. I remember one time on Woodward, Benny and Marvin Gaye were sitting in a car outside the Fox Theater, smoking marijuana. A cop came over, so Benny took the marijuana and ate it – right in front of the cop.”

“Mr. Golden loved Sugar Mountain, I hated that song.”
Theresa Lindsey, singer

 About a year later – at the end of 1965 - Theresa had her second Correc-tone 45 - “Sugar Mountain” - which had been earmarked for Yvonne Vernee. However, it was handed to Theresa, who was less than enthused: “Mr. Golden loved ‘Sugar Mountain’ - I hated that song.”

 It didn’t sell well, despite being picked up by Atlantic, who had also distributed her “Gotta Find a Way”. Nevertheless, it’s simple rhythm and brassy track make it a catchy number.

 Theresa continued gigging in Detroit, as well as going on the road. She also sang background on sessions – something she’d done from day one, featuring with Yvonne Vernee on Wilson Pickett’s ”If You Need Me”.

Theresa’s “Sugar Mountain” was another 45 distributed by Atlantic. You can see she had a hand in writing “I’ll Bet You”, which was later covered by Funkadelic and Michael Jackson. Her last recording was done in New York and only released in Europe.

 During ’65, Ed Wingate sent for Van McCoy and the New Yorker penned Theresa’s next release, the melodic “It’s Love” which was backed with the more up-tempo “Good Idea”. The record came out in July that year.

 “DJs were playing both sides. I was always doing sock hops; I was doing the 20 Grand,” recalled Theresa.

 But for some unfathomable reason, it didn’t sell and is now another collector’s record. It was to be the last release on Mr. Golden’s label.

 Unable to keep his company afloat, Mr. Golden closed the doors for good, reflecting: “I trusted too many people - I went in with $80,000.” He had got nothing to show for it.

 Mr. Golden’s last involvement in the recording business was to drive Theresa up to Mr. Wingate’s Golden World studio, which by then had become Motown’s biggest local rival. The label boasted some of the city’s best talent and after signing a recording contract, Theresa soon hooked up with George Clinton to pen “I’ll Bet You” – a song she remembers well:

 “Mr. Wingate came to us one afternoon and said he wanted a nice hook. DJ Martha Jean used that phrase on the radio and he said that was a nice hook. So, I said, ‘ice cubes on a red-hot stove will melt; I bet you.’ And that’s how it got started; ‘A carpenter can’t be a house with out tools; I bet you.’ That was my stepfather - he was a carpenter.”

 With Mike Terry’s great arrangement and Dennis Coffey’s sublime guitar licks, the record is a classic 60’s Detroit recording. The flip – “Daddy-O” - is also a wonderful piece of music and also features Detroit’s top session players.

 George Clinton later did a cover of “I’ll Bet You” once he had joined Westbound Records, and Michael Jackson covered it one of his Motown albums. A more obscure but very in-demand Northern Soul version is Jean Carter’s, which was released on the Detroit label, Sunflower.

 Theresa’s 1966 Golden World 45 was her last Detroit recording, as Mr. Wingate opted to sell his company to Berry Gordy in September that year. Theresa was offered a contract at Motown, but declined:

 “I didn’t want to go with Motown, as all the female acts they had, the only one they were running with was Diana. I didn’t want that, just to be on the self, sitting there. And I wanted to study show tunes and Broadway tunes. So I went to New York. I studied stage presentation, television, how to breathe again, phrasing, everything.”

 It was while in New York that Ed Lubunski approached Theresa to go back in the studio. “The producer came to me with ‘It’s Over’. He felt I could do something with it.”

 And she did – using the name Terry Lindsey. However, the recording was never issued in the States – only in Europe. Through the 1970s Theresa was touring with Broadway shows and eventually returned to Michigan, where she still lives.

 After Wilbert Golden got Theresa a contract with Golden World in 1965, he sold his Grand River studio to Ernest and Barbara Burt, who renamed it Magic City and started releasing 45s on their own label.

 Around May 1967, a singer named Thelma Lindsey cut a couple of great sides on Magic City and many collectors have – understandably – assumed that this is actually Theresa. But the fact is they are not even related.


Correc-Tone Story
Thanks to
Graham Finch
Lowell Boileau