Everybody Sings Smokey: Motown’s Poet Laureate 50 times Over

It wouldn’t be Motown’s 60th Anniversary without visiting their premiere singer, songwriter and producer. As legend goes, Smokey Robinson met Berry Gordy with a notebook of songs, of which maybe one or two Gordy considered viable, yet he was impressed with the teenager’s moxie. So goes the template of who Gordy accepted into the fold,…

Girls Trip ’64 – Swinging Sixties Divine Diva Delights

I’ve mined the territory of checking in with women were doing in the recording studios through some random assortment of years during the 1960s. I started with 1965, jumped to 1961 and then did 1963. 1964 is an interesting year to ponder. Of course it’s mostly remembered as the beginning of the British Invasion that…

Pride & Allies – A Queer Mid Century Celebration Mix

I’m a firm believer in having to remember where you’ve been to see where you’re going. To root and meditate on our history is to build for a stronger future. As a society, the United States tends to make our collective memory disposable. This includes the evolution we’ve managed around sexuality in the last 50…

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…

Swinging Sweet ’63: A Soirée of Sister Soul

As you may know by now, Girl Group and Femme Soul songs are my bible. My first Astrology lecture is dedicated to this particular genre of music and how it unfolded around the Virgo maiden archetype during the 1960’s. Critically ignored by the dominance of white male musicians and music critics, the “girl group” genre…

Live! Live! Live! Soul From The Stage To Your Stereo 1963-71

We’re decidedly blessed with continuous access to acres of studio recordings of our favorite soul artists. There’s the hits we know, and then even there’s alternate takes. Nevermind the LPs they released, the B-sides that end up being true gems, or the unreleased material that sees light of day more than a half century later….

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…