Billboard ad, October 22, 1966

Darrell Banks follow up to "Open The Door To Your Heart". He recorded for Atco and Volt after his two Revilot singles. Darrell Banks was killed  in March 1970.

Pat Lewis also recorded for Golden World. She later became a background singer for George Clinton's Parliament, Isaac Hayes and Aretha Franklin to name a few.

Rose Battiste didn't go all the way. It is now one of many Detroit soul rarities! 

The Four Tops before Motown

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The Four Tops recorded for three labels before Motown: Chess, Columbia and Riverside. This reissue from 1965 was made to cash in on the Four Tops success at Motown the same year. The track was first released on Columbia 41755 in 1961. Before their debut single on Motown they also recorded a Las Vegas style album on the jazz oriented Workshop label. That album had been in the can until 2002 when it was released on CD.

The Temptations before Motown

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Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Elbridge Bryant and Richard Street were produced by Detroit legend Johnnie Mae Mathews, on Northern Records 1960. This up-tempo stomper was leased to Warwick for national distribution. With Norman Whitfield on tambourine and the Andantes on backup vocals make this an interesting early Detroit release.

B-side is a slow doo-wop ballad, "Open Your Heart", with Otis Williams on lead vocals, but Richard Street (Strick!) got the credits there too!

Billboard ad, November 18, 1967

Both J.J. Barnes and Parliament did recordings at Motown during the 60's. But nothing was released on the label.

Barrett Strong freelance project

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Barrett Strong recorded "Money" on the Tamla label 1959. It was Berry Gordy's first hit on his own label, Tamla, nationally distributed on Anna. Together with Norman Whitfield he wrote many masterpieces including "I Heard It Through The Grapevine", "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" and "War". This single on Tollie is a Chicago swinger recorded when he was away from Motown for a few years in the mid 60's.

Clarence Paul as an artist

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The second voice on "Blowing In The Wind" by Stevie Wonder belongs to Clarence Paul (Real name: Clarence Pauling). He was a producer and songwriter at Motown. He was also to become Stevie's mentor. Clarence Paul and Stevie Wonder were like father and son during the 60's.


Clarence Paul freelanced since 1972, and during the late '70's, Paul left Motown to become A & R head of Mickey Stevenson's Venture Records. This is one of his few solo recordings. On 6th May, 1995, Clarence Paul died in Los Angeles with Stevie Wonder at his bedside.

Billboard ad, May 27, 1967

Edwin Starr and The Fantastic Four were the most successful artists on the Ric-Tic label. Motown bought Ric-Tic 1968.

The Jackson 5 before Motown

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Recorded in 1968 but released in 1971 by Steel-Town, a Gary based record company. This is their second single for the label. A ten year old Michael Jackson is waiting for "The Big Time" together with his brothers. Their first four songs on Motown went to number one on the Billboard chart. They left Motown 1976 and by he mid 80's Michael Jackson was the number one artist in the world. His really big break through was on the 1983 TV special Motown 25.

The Velvelettes in a Motown studio!

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The Velvelettes did not pass the Motown audition in 1963 but they recorded two tracks at Motown with producer William "Mickey" Stevenson. The two songs were leased to IPG and released in November 1963. Stevie Wonder is playing harmonica on "There He Goes".


The Velvelettes also recorded a complete album for the VIP subsidiary label at Motown. It was scheduled for release on VIP-401. This single together with other hits and unreleased tracks can be found on the CD "The Best Of The Velvelettes" released 2001 in both the UK and USA. The UK issue has four extra tracks.

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