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  1. #51
    There is a good story about Dennis on YT. I think he brought the wa-wa pedal to Motown.

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  3. #52
    1976 when the Billboard top 100 at number 20 displayed a little known group called LTD. Their lead singer was Jeffrey Osborne who’d later go on to a solo career. This was their first hit from an album of notable mention.


  4. #53
    It was odd this next group never had more than 4 hits. They’d been together since middle school. They had about the best harmony in the industry. But nonetheless their talent was immense and their lead singer possessed a very sultry voice. The instrumentation truly suits the song and is spot on. It’s the kind of ballad that really stays with you. Here’s the Dell’s with 1971’s the love we had stays on my mind.


  5. #54
    In 1971 The Dramatics, a soul group out of Detroit, released an album not by Motown but with a little known label called Volt, a Stax subsidiary. The album was so good it shot up the charts. The entire album was filled with hits. This was Memphis soul at its best. And the only thing better out of Memphis would be one Issac Hayes. Here’s Thank you for your love.


  6. #55
    I got to record with Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns once and felt somewhat fortunate since he was on a lot of great R and B on Stax and Volt. They were popular and worked with The Doobie Brothers, Jimmy Buffet, and Phil Collins. Im glad they got the credit they deserved from an industry that often overlooks the sidemens additions. Of course The Blues Brothers used Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn. What was so great about Croppers work was that his parts were perfect for the songs and did not try to stick out and overplay.I still play a solo version of Green Onions one of the first Hammond organ hits. I got to see the Stax Volt revue as a teenager and loved it! Otis Redding,Sam and Dave,The Barkays, of course Issac Hayes called The Black Moses by some. My favorite song by Issac is Dont let Go.Bobby Womack,Frankie Beverly, and E,W,F sure put out some wonderful music.

  7. #56
    One of my all time favorites who I still play repeatedly to this day is The Spinners. They were a group that had been passed around at Motown. Seemed that nobody wanted to work with them. They were eventually assigned as road managers, chaperones, and chauffeurs. In 1970 Stevie Wonder wrote a tune for them called It’s a shame. It was a very solid tune. But it wasn’t enough to feature all their attributes. They too had been together since middle school. It was Aretha Franklin that suggested the group to finish their Motown contract and then sign with Atlantic records. Despite being together ten years they were considered a commercially unremarkable group. In 1972 the producer Thom Bell of Philadelphia International Records took note of them. And under his writing The Spinners became a household word. They achieved success with 4 straight albums with 5 top 100 singles and two top 10 hits. Here’s Could It be I’m falling in love from 1973.


  8. #57
    And who could resist that fabulous Spinners song Mighty Love


  9. #58

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  10. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by steve burchfield
    I got to record with Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns once and felt somewhat fortunate since he was on a lot of great R and B on Stax and Volt. They were popular and worked with The Doobie Brothers, Jimmy Buffet, and Phil Collins. Im glad they got the credit they deserved from an industry that often overlooks the sidemens additions. Of course The Blues Brothers used Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn. What was so great about Croppers work was that his parts were perfect for the songs and did not try to stick out and overplay.I still play a solo version of Green Onions one of the first Hammond organ hits. I got to see the Stax Volt revue as a teenager and loved it! Otis Redding,Sam and Dave,The Barkays, of course Issac Hayes called The Black Moses by some. My favorite song by Issac is Dont let Go.Bobby Womack,Frankie Beverly, and E,W,F sure put out some wonderful music.
    Steve, you have far more interesting stories than I. Recording at Stax?! Bring it!

  11. #60

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    Following this motown thread, i don't really understand what made you 'go off' in the Beatles thread. Most songs that pass by over here aren't that good. Not to say bad.
    When i think of Motown, i think of Early Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye with or without a lady-singer, Supremes, and didn't the Jacksons start over there?

    Those MacFaden and Spinners? They do nog get me out of my chair.

  12. #61
    Bloodstone. The name of a jewel. Okay, I can work with that. The remarkable thing about Bloodstone aside from their lead singers high falsetto is they were a group out of the Kansas City, MO area. They didn’t play instruments. When did that stop anyone? But they were serious about getting better, so they all buckled down. They moved to Los Angeles, and met their managers. Later the group moved to London, England and signed a record contract with Decca records. Who does that? Bloodstone did. They wrote two albums. One had a hit that reached the top 10 of the US pop list. It was called Natural High. It was a good tune. So good in fact that odds are if you turned on the radio in 1973 odds are you heard it. And then you heard it again, and then again. But this isn’t it, because NH was a slow ballad and I’m through with ballads for the moment. Here is Bloodstone’s second tune to top the charts. It’s a tune with a real nice groove. A groove that made you tap your feet along with the music. It wove in and out until it reached a peak. And when that peak hit you felt it. This was my personal favorite for years after Bloodstone was gone. And I still occasionally listen to it today because it’s a feel good tune. Here’s, Never let me go.


  13. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel_A
    Following this motown thread, i don't really understand what made you 'go off' in the Beatles thread. Most songs that pass by over here aren't that good. Not to say bad.
    When i think of Motown, i think of Early Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye with or without a lady-singer, Supremes, and didn't the Jacksons start over there?

    Those MacFaden and Spinners? They do nog get me out of my chair.
    You don’t like the Spinners, okay that’s fair. But most of America did, so much in fact that they owned the charts for a 4 year stretch. So we can live with that.

  14. #63

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    The in house bands of these labels relied heavily on rhythm sections whose contributions were usually not credited in album covers but consistently helped to produce hits: Keith Benson (drums) Jimmy Williams (bass) (The Philadelphia International); James Jamerson (and later also Bob Babbitt) (bass) Benny Benjamin (drums), Joe Messina, Robert White and Eddie Willis (guitar) (Motown); "Duck" Dunn for Stax and so many other great musicians from which there still is a lot to learn.


  15. #64

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    Interesting timing.
    As I'm reading this thread I'm thinking of a major figure in the Philly Sound. That would be saxophonist Sam Reed. Sam was Teddy Pendergrass musical director and previously the bandleader at the Uptown theater all through the 60s. The Uptown was Philly's version of the Apollo in NY. Every major Motown, Stax act you can name played the Uptown in the day and Sam's house band backed them.
    He also became the contractor for Gamble and Huff and hired most of the musicians you hear on all the Philly Sound records. He introduced legendary songwriter Linda Creed to Thom Bell. If you don't know who she was, read her wiki page, she wrote a ton of hit tunes back then before dying young.
    Sam will turn 84 in a couple weeks and is still out here playing his ass off. I've been in his band the last 20 yrs, great tenor player, great guy and wouldn't you know he called as I'm typing this!

  16. #65

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  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    To this day I miss the hoagies and cheese steaks. I was stationed in Philly between ‘’75-77.
    My family is from Philly (My great Grandparents migrated there at the beginning of the 20th Century) and I was born there and lived there till I was 10 years old.

    To this day, I miss not only the hoagies and cheesesteaks, but also the Tastykakes, soft pretzels and water ices.

    That said, my idea of great Philly music is Jimmy Smith, Don Patterson, Pat Martino, Jimmy Bruno and of course, the Heath Brothers!

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    You don’t like the Spinners, okay that’s fair. But most of America did, so much in fact that they owned the charts for a 4 year stretch. So we can live with that.
    if the charts are leading, the Beatles are better and jazz is not even worth mentioning.

  19. #68
    What can be said about Donny Hathaway? He was a supremely gifted artist who conducted an orchestra to perform a solo album featuring songs that he himself has written. Who does that? Although his last album was released in 1975 Donny Hathaway still has a cult like following today. He’s on everyone’s top 5 list of all time best. He’s at the top of mine. Born in Chicago Donny grew up singing in the church. He was supremely talented with a gifted voice. He studied music in college. Afterward he became a songwriter, session musician, and producer for Curtis Mayfield. While taking part in sessions by Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Jerry Butler, and The Impressions Donny became house producer. He began recording on his own, all of which was original material. He then signed his first recording contract a year later. He was 29 years old. But one thing was certain. Donny had the music in him. His 3rd album was met with commercial success. The song Where is the love was number 5 on the top 100 pop charts. In 1972 he composed and conducted a soundtrack for the movie Comeback Charleston Blue. His final studio album was in 1973. It imo was his finest effort. In it was a symphonic styled instrumental piece called I love the lord, he heard my cry. It was a truly special piece, and another personal favorite. But Donny suffered from severe depression during a time when it was vastly misunderstood. He suffered from schizophrenia too. He’d often go off his medication. And when he did he truly suffered. Eventually one night he jumped from a NY hotel rooftop that ended his demons. An immense talent, dead at 34. From that final studio album of his here’s what’s come to be known as “a classic ballad.” Someday We’ll All Be Free.

    We miss you Donny.

    Last edited by 2bornot2bop; 10-04-2020 at 03:23 PM.

  20. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Interesting timing.
    As I'm reading this thread I'm thinking of a major figure in the Philly Sound. That would be saxophonist Sam Reed. Sam was Teddy Pendergrass musical director and previously the bandleader at the Uptown theater all through the 60s. The Uptown was Philly's version of the Apollo in NY. Every major Motown, Stax act you can name played the Uptown in the day and Sam's house band backed them.
    He also became the contractor for Gamble and Huff and hired most of the musicians you hear on all the Philly Sound records. He introduced legendary songwriter Linda Creed to Thom Bell. If you don't know who she was, read her wiki page, she wrote a ton of hit tunes back then before dying young.
    Sam will turn 84 in a couple weeks and is still out here playing his ass off. I've been in his band the last 20 yrs, great tenor player, great guy and wouldn't you know he called as I'm typing this!
    Just WOW! That’s the reason I began this thread, for stories like that too! I never knew anything about Sam or his legendary status in Philadelphia music! So let me get this straight. It’s Sam who was contracted to assemble that great Philly Sound, and introduced the extraordinarily talented Linda Creed to Thom Bell responsible for so many hits! I had no idea. But I always wondered how okay you’re Gamble and Huff and you want to start a recording studio but how do you assemble all the talent required by so many people in the background? And of course, Sam calls!!!! And you’re in Sam’s band for 20 years! Big bow down. And I’ve heard of modesty WM, but you’ve never told this story before. I didn’t know we were in the presence of greatness. Man you’re simply too modest for your own good! Tell us more about your time in Philly!

  21. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel_A
    if the charts are leading, the Beatles are better and jazz is not even worth mentioning.
    You’re absolutely correct. Nobody can touch the Beatles. But the Beatles surely liked Motown, as much as they liked Chuck Berry and Elvis. And they each began from modest beginnings. Some even more modest perhaps. But no one’s keeping score for a hit is a hit no matter the source of it. I grew up on Chicago, and The Beach Boys, The Doors, The Animals, Sly, The Mama’s and The Papa’s, The Monkees, Simon and Garfunkel, The Rascals, Crosby Stills and Nash, man I had it good. I was a California kid and the world was my oyster, because I lived when there was such a hugely diversely talented amount of music created from all around the planet. All I had to do was turn on any radio station to hear songs like Joy To The World, and you know what? It was truly joyful.

  22. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by gcb
    Mr Jamerson is in the house! Was that in Britain? Beautiful stuff!

  23. #72
    What tune encourages the entire world to get on board and ride the love train? An O’jays tune. It’s a feel good positive vibe about people loving one another. That’s as descriptive of a way to say, “C’mon world, we can do this. It’s an ode to convey a positive and loving message much like Creedance’s Joy To The World. And the world needed it. Philadelphia International Records was all about spreading messages of positivity to people who needed it. Love, peace, and joy was there message. Hats off to Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, legends in there time really, who brought joy to the world during a time of despair for so many. In the words of the great Stevie Wonder, “Loves in need of love today.” Here’s Love Train, a mega hit re-enacted in a later time of today.


  24. #73

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    "And I’ve heard of modesty WM, but you’ve never told this story before. I didn’t know we were in the presence of greatness"

    Thanks for that Greg, but you got it twisted. You guys aren't in the presence of greatness, but every time I share the bandstand w Sam I am

  25. #74
    Speaking of Stevie. He’s an artist, who in the fullest meaning of the word, has only received every recognition one can think of. Hailed as a “musical genius” he’s been credited as a pioneer and influence to musicians of various genres including rhythm and blues, pop, soul, gospel, funk, and jazz. All while blind since near childbirth. He’s won album of the year 3 separate times, the only artist to win that award with consecutive album releases. His Songs In The Key Of Life was a truly special recording. I was in Philadelphia during a time when that city was celebrating America’s Bicentennial. One couldn’t go anywhere without hearing songs from it being played throughout the city. It truly was a special album from a remarkable artist. What many don’t know is SITKOL nearly ended up on the cutting room floor. But Stevie stuck with it. There’s no greater song of Love and its message of love to the world than Stevie’s Loves In Need Of Love Today. And if I might say, it’s almost like a song the Beatles could have written with its long refrain.


  26. #75

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    Great thread, 2b!

    I heard a lot of R&B radio hits as a kid----Temptations, Four Tops, Spinners, O-Jays, Isley Bros. ("Who's That Lady?"), Sly & the Family Stone, and on and on. I loved it.

    As for the Memphis sound, that's much closer to home geographically (-the only Southern state I haven't spent at least a month living in is Arkansas). And it tended to have more up-front guitar, which suited me.

    A few favorites:
    Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign". (The band is Booker T & the MGs.)