Mickey’s Mojo: The Extensive Talents of Motown’s A&R Magician

As Motown continues to roll out celebrations of its 60th anniversary, it’s extremely curious who doesn’t get attention for their hard work and extraordinary talents getting the label underway. There’s plenty of names that get lost today behind the glittering legacy of Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and the mourning of Marvin Gaye. Indeed if it…

Forgotten Pearls, Unpanned Gold: Even More Motown Lady Tunes

They say Atlantic Records was The House That Ruth (Brown) Built. We never ever really give credit to the women who built an empire for Berry Gordy in the conjoined houses at 2648 West Grand Boulevard in Detroit. He Started with the business savvy of his sisters Anna, Gwen, Loucye and Esther. Early signings like Claudette…

Heaven Must Have Sent You: Your Holland-Dozier-Holland History Lesson

I’ve been prone to these songwriter series playlists moreso. This time we make a visit to our first team. While Burt Bacharach’s mix featured him not exclusively tethered to Hal David, and Sylvia Moy found herself working with a round robin of partners, this one solely focuses on Holland-Dozier-Holland. Brothers Eddie and Brian Holland and…

Lady & Some Tramps: 32 Girlish Gems with Guy Support Systems

As you should know, there’s no such thing as gender binaries in Popular Music. Female and Male singers didn’t stay separate on stage, quite often, the blending of vocal harmonies across gender and range gave us our most beloved soul music. One of the most popular forms of this was having one female lead singer…

Unpolished Diamonds, Unused Jewels: More Motown Femme Marvels 1964-69

As we wind down Women’s History Month we head back to Detroit. While we worship at the temples of Marvin, Stevie and The Temptations, The Sound Of Young America was built on the clicking of high heels. Not only was it the matriarchy of The Gordy Family that had Berry’s Back, early acts such as Mable John…