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…

Stephanie Mills “Living On Plastic”(From the LP For The First Time, 1975)

Stephanie Mills “Living On Plastic”(From the LP For The First Time, 1975) There’s a lot to be said about the megawattage pairing of Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Among 1960’s female pop phenoms, other than The Shirelles to Supremes continuum, and Aretha’s 1967 ascension,. Dionne’s sophisticated Soft Soul was perhaps the most influential….

Dear Blondie: A Reflection on Florence Ballard and the legacy of The Supremes.

She was terrific. She was also terrified of the world. 40 years ago today, Florence Glenda Chapman, formerly Florence Ballard of The Supremes, died suddenly of Coronary Thrombosis in Detroit. The inspiration for Dreamgirls became a ghostly gothic story that day. An intersection in which race, rape culture, the pressures of fame and feminism developed…

Eddie Holland “Leaving Here” (Motown 1052, R&B#27 Pop#76, 1963)

Eddie Holland “Leaving Here” (Motown 1052, R&B#27 Pop#76, 1963) Record-A-Day week comes to its penultimate day with my penultimate day of my 5 years of working the same job. It also functions as a early birthday tribute to the legendary Eddie Holland, one third of the Motown Mansion building team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. The trinkets that make…