The Ambassador of The Motown Sound: Miss Martha Reeves

Calling out around the world, we have one helluva birthday to celebrate. She’s perhaps that singular and that collective all in one. In a lot of ways, she’s always and always will be “Miss Motown.” We’re talking Martha Rose Reeves. She turns 75 years old this July 18th. Her efforts for Motown and beyond have…

A Girl Named Gladys: The Marvelous Marvelette Gladys Horton

I originally wrote this post 5 years ago when Gladys Horton passed away at the age of 65 in 2011. Horton’s voice on Marvelettes singles had been a profound link into me digging deeper into my experience as an outsider observing the inside, taking no shit from no one, and living a life from steadfast…

The Myth and Magic of Mary Wells

It’s oft the story that Mary Wells is the forgotten Queen of Motown. She is that, for sure, but there’s a lot to be said about her career that spanned nearly 30 years past her exit from the label as well. She’s sort of the mythological Lilith of Motown in that way. She made the…

Taurus Talent at its finest: The Too Short Times of Tammi Terrell

I think of Tammi Terrell’s short 24 years on this planet, nearly 34 years old, and think I’m really wasting time. It didn’t exactly take that much time for her to establish herself as a legend. I don’t know whether her early death elicits moments of sadness, because she fought up until she went into…