Mary Love “Hey Stoney Face” (Modern 1010-B, 1965)

Mary Love “Hey Stoney Face” (Modern 1010-B, 1965) By 1965, the Motown influence reached its arms to both coasts. Not only were the sonic patterns of West Grand Boulevard influential on female soul records, as in the case of Ashford and Simpson in New York, certain songwriters vied for attention from the label. Notable on…

Lou Johnson “Park Avenue” (Big Hill 554-B, 1965)

Lou Johnson “Park Avenue” (Big Hill 554-B, 1965) Lou Johnson was perhaps the perfect African American vocalist to hand this chugging and charming aspiring capitalist dream to. Given that he had the vocal capabilities, but not necessarily the chart successes to back up his talents, this soaring ode to unlocking the key to Mainstream American…

Blinky “I Wouldn’t Change The Man He Is” (Motown 1134, 1968)

Blinky “I Wouldn’t Change The Man He Is” (Motown 1134, 1968) Perhaps the most overlooked, poorly treated woman in Motown’s later golden years was Sondra “Blinky” Williams Oakland born, L.A. raised and recording almost exclusively in gospel settings through 1966, Blinky brought a visceral fire to most every recording she laid down for the Motor…

Betty Turner “Stand By And Cry” (Liberty 55861-B, 1966)

Betty Turner “Stand By And Cry” (Liberty 55861-B, 1966) Given the top flight production values all of her singles received, one would think that Betty Turner had a really big chance of breaking through to become an accomplished recording start of the West Coast recording scene. Of course, it’s another story of not exactly turning…

Valerie and Nick “Somebody’s Lying On Love” (Glover 3003-B, 1964)

Valerie and Nick “Somebody’s Lying On Love” (Glover 3003-B, 1964) Long before they were the very earthy (Valerie the Virgo, Nick the Taurus) duo reeling off smashes like “Solid” they were newlyweds on the New York recording scene. They were Valerie Simpson and Nickolas Ashford, fresh faced, optimistic and full of harmony and songwriting ideas….