Motown January 6

I started the Coach4aday blog in 2014 and have done daily posts on one topic for each year. In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and in 2017 it was “Colleges and Universities”.

The one consistent piece of feedback I have received with this blog is the 2015 series on “A Friend of a Friend”. Readers and blog followers said please bring it back. The stats also back that up with the number of views each of those posts received.

So in 2018 two things will happen with the Coach4aday blog; One I plan to collaborate with a friend named John Rancke and revisit some of those 2015 “A Friend of a Friend” posts and do some new ones with a slightly different twist.

John Rancke

In addition John and I will write about things we both are interested which will include basketball, food, people, music, our granddaughters, and great stories.

If you want to follow the blog via email go to the bottom right of the post and click the follow button.

My twitter handle is @coach4aday2 if you want to follow the blog that way.

John’s twitter handle is @JohnRancke if you want to reach out to him.

January 6, 2018 Motor City All Stars I Can’t Help Myself

 It’s National Cuddle Up Day but today it’s going to be a little look back at The Motor City and some of its roots through a collaborative music video of a gathering of Motown Legends, many you probably never heard of. It came about because of an English record produces by the name of Ian Levine.

I first heard of Ian Levine while searching for some obscure Supremes songs that were recorded after Diana Ross left the group and the group went to England. There they were put together by Ian Levine with another Motown group known as The Originals and they continued to make music.

 But in March 1989 Mr Levine went to Detroit and gathered approximately 20 present and former Motown artists and had a big time around the piano. It was such a hit, they went back to the studio a week later and gathered as many voices and live musicians as they could and recorded “Heatwave”, “ The Way You Do the Things You Do”, and “I Can’t Help Myself”.

The most well known artist on the recording is the late Levi Stubbs, long time member of the Four Tops. His brother Joe Stubbs is the gentleman in the red shirt. Joe was s member of The Falcons, The Contours, The Originals, and 100 Proof Ages of Soul. The artist in the blue sweater is Marv Johnson, the voice behind “You’re So Fine” and the 1st artist of Berry Gordy’s initial recording company Tamla Records. One of Motown’s 1st Blues artists is in the green shirt. Went by the name of Sammy Ward and he recorded “Who’s the Fool”

 Also appearing in the video are Martha Reeves, The Marvelettes, Bobby Rogers, and Clay Murray. The artist in the black shirt is C. P. Spencer, the Lead singer for the Originals and also a member of The Spinners. The female group known as the Velvelettes is represented by Carolyn (Cal) Gill, their lead singer. She also did a duet with Marvin Gaye called “It Takes 2”. The Velvelettes also recorded “Needle in a Haystack” and 1 of the other Velvelettes were also in the studio, Norma Barbee.

Also present were Ms. Maxine Powell. She wrote the Jackie Wilson hit “Lonely Teardrops”. Ms. Powell was also the Director of Motown’s in house finishing school that all the artists had to go through before going on tour.

Ms Kim Weston also was present. She released the original version of “ Take me in Your Arms and Rock Me a Little While”. It was later recorded by several artists.

Ronnie McNair, the former music director of the 4 Tops and the replacement for Levi Stubbs in 1999 when Levi had to retire is also present. Hattie Little, the artist behind “Back in My Arms” and another of Motown’s blues singers is in the background in a black dress.

The 2 ladies singing at the end of the song are Carolyn Crawford, another Motown voice that was hidden for years. But she did record a great version of “Since I lost My Baby”. That I have had on my computer since the old days of Napster.

One of my favorites.

The other female voice at the end is Pat Lewis. She sang with Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Isaac Hayes. She is still singing and will be in Raleigh NC on February 24 at The Ritz.

Motown was so much more than Berry Gordy. He was the Flash and the Cash. But the Soul of Motown is those obscure artists that sang for years without any public recognition.

Leave us a comment on who you have discovered behind the Motown curtain!


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