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…

Just Like The Ditty From The Motor City: Motown Femme Soul Soundalikes 1963-1969

Another way to measure the scope of influence accountable to the music produced by Motown Records in the 1960’s is to pay attention to how often its various forms were imitated. Motown itself feed on itself, developing so many styles to craft different personae for different artists. Realistically, there’s no singular “Motown Sound.” Decidedly diverse…

Pat Thomas “The Long Long Night” (Verve 10333-B, 1964)

Pat Thomas “The Long Long Night” (Verve 10333-B, 1964) Jazz Singer Pat Thomas found herself in an interesting predicament. Having trotted onto the scene in 1961, she managed to score the one of highest  charting versions of ” “Desafinado (Slightly Out Of Tune)” the next year. Her relative youth, beauty and poise made her seem…

Erma Franklin “Don’t Wait Too Long” (Epic 9559-B, 1963)

Erma Franklin “Don’t Wait Too Long” (Epic 9559-B, 1963) *Happy Birthday Erma Franklin* The oft overlooked older sister of The Queen of Soul would have celebrated Birthday 78 this March 13th. Although scoped out for secular music ahead of her sisters, Erma was actually a year behind Aretha for signing with a record label. She…

The Apollas “Open The Door, Fool” (Warner Brothers 7181, 1968)

The Apollas “Open The Door, Fool” (Warner Brothers 7181, 1968) Another door opens, and then it closes. So goes a number of “game of love” songs in the proliferation of music created by humanity. There’s plenty of those to find and discover in the Lady Soul mold, therefore, as we slip and slide down a…

Anita Humes “Just For The Boy” (Roulette 4575-B, 1964)

Anita Humes “Just For The Boy” (Roulette 4575-B, 1964) She’s perhaps one of the most innocent and earnest voices in Soul Music. So it’s no surprise that Anita Humes got singled out to give audiences some of the most angst-ridden pop perfections of the early 1960s. Balancing the strife of love, affections and societal expectations…

Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles “Danny Boy” (Parkway 935 Pop#76, 1965)

Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles “Danny Boy” (Parkway 935 Pop#76, 1965) It seems appropriate for St. Patricks day to post this song long associated with “Irishness” or whatever, and take a glimpse into the long road that is Patti LaBelle (and her fellow BlueBelles) career. There’s numerous covers of this song, and it’s not too…

The Fascinations “Mama Didn’t Lie” (ABC Paramount 10387, Pop #108, 1962)

The Fascinations “Mama Didn’t Lie” (ABC Paramount 10387, Pop #108, 1962) We’re just about halfway through our Women’s History Month tour through soul music, so it’s perhaps time to score one of the best advice songs that made it to the airwaves during the 1960’s. But not the best known version. The Fascinations were actually another…

The Honey Bees “She Don’t Deserve You” (Fontana 1939, 1964)

The Honey Bees “She Don’t Deserve You” (Fontana 1939, 1964) Of all Girl Groups that were quite thoroughly the same group of women, The Cookies had the most diverse set of names. One has to wonder what the reasoning was, given that they had 3 Top 40 hits under their most consistent name. But as…