Tag Archives: The Funk Brothers

Motown Monday ~ “That’s a Funny Way” ~ The Velvelettes.

Recorded in 1965 and never released until 2004 off the Motown Anthology album.

As I’ve said before these girls were robbed like so many. Fantastic song with Benny Benjamin carrying the instrumentation with his powerful drumming.

 

The Velvelettes

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Motown Monday ~ “Where Did You Go” ~ Four Tops

Four Tops

Never get tired of featuring my favorite male vocal group, or these fantastic extended versions that highlight The Funk Brothers, The Andantes & The Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

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Motown Monday ~ “Last One Out Is Brokenhearted” ~ The Temptations

I still sit stunned that so many songs went unreleased by Motown. I also still want to cry every time I hear Paul Williams on lead who I’ll always regard as the soul of The Temps. His performances that powerful.

The album Unreleased until 1999 Lost and Found: You’ve Got to Earn It (1962-1968) gave no indication to the year when many of the songs were actually recorded. There were some in-which Elbridge “Al” Bryant were on with David Ruffin not having yet joined the group. From the year of 66′-67′ their 67′ release The Temptations with a Lot o’ Soul. This song came up from known outtakes, so whether it in fact was recorded then who knows. But if it was that tells you that Paul was still very much together.

On page 133 of The Temptations by Wikimedia Foundation
it states what most of us already know. That Paul and other Temptations constantly complained about the label not letting Paul sing lead on more album tracks or singles but Motown’s Berry Gordy continually blew them off. Remaining focused on Ruffin & Kendricks singing the leads.

As good as Williams was no wonder why it became so increasingly frustrating for him. After all we know what Gordy did to Flo Ballard another glowing voice ignored to death.

It is inconceivable why this song was never released. As a single it would have blasted to #1, on an album it alone would have gained sales. More than that it would have finally given Paul Williams the recognition and due he for so long very much deserved.

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Motown Monday ~ “Fire” ~ Gino Parks

Geno Purifoy aka Gino Parks didn’t have a very long solo career in the motor city spite his powerful vocals chords. Only three records (5 songs) were released, two for Tamla and one for Golden World.

“Fire” would be the second and last for Gordy. According to Parks, Andre Williams was mainly responsible for the song and although Parks helped write the lyrics he was never given a credit. Andre Williams & Gino Parks had recorded together with songs released by Fortune Records in the late 50s.

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Motown Monday ~ “You’ve Got To Earn It” ~ The Temptations

The Temptations

B Side to “Since I Lost My Baby”

To me there was never a wrong side on any Motown song made in Studio A at Hitsville U.S.A.

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Mary could Blues it, Soul it, Sass it and Seduce it, but most of all her pipes could sell it. She set the standard and the tone for the rest of the females who followed her.

From the beginning Mary Wells stood in a league of her own with hit after hit after hit. An individual still missed, a legacy that will never fade away.

 

Mary Wells_Looking Back 62'

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Motown Monday ~ “Stop Her on Sight (S.O.S.)” ~ Edwin Starr

Edwin Starr

This 1966 release was Starr’s third straight chart hit for Ric-Tic behind “Agent OO Soul” and “Backstreets”. With the moonlighting Funk Brothers and Mike Terry’s blazing baritone sax it was all pure Motown sound. Personally I thought his recordings with this label was his best before reaching Motown’s.

Detroit never sounded so sweet.

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Motown Monday ~ “Just Like You Did Me” ~ Yvonne Vernee

Yvonne Vernee

CORREC-TONE Sonbert & Yvonne Vernee.

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Friday Funk ~ The Funk Brothers Receive Star on Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Yesterday March 21, 2013 Detroit’s own got their due by Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Our treasures, musicians, sound, style, epitome of the definition of Instrumentation.

US-ENTERTAINMENT-FUNK BROTHERS-STAR

US-ENTERTAINMENT-FUNK BROTHERS-STAR

Surviving members Eddy Willis & Jack Ashford attending this honor. Joe Messina who has been said to be sick viewed the ceremony via a live stream from his Detroit suburban home. To me this should have been done long ago and about time!

Because what you heard on every single one of the Motown Hits you was the music behind the vocals and they were simply called The Funk Brothers. But what a sound they created. No one on this earth could ever duplicate them if they tried.

The were not only Detroit’s legends they were the worlds. They were musics magicians. Extraordinary talents each and every single one of them. And if I repeat myself more than one time on this blog so be it. It cannot be said enough times

This blog will honestly reiterate one I did honoring them on Jan. 2, 2012. Only I switched up what video auto-played. You will be hearing almost 4 hours of ex-tended Motown that features the artists and the music. (sadly already removed by YT)

13 Names….13 of the most outstanding individuals who ever created the most recognizable sound around this whole world totally together.

The Motown Sound and Epitome of Class.

Earl Van Dyke
Robert White
Joe Hunter
Johnny Griffith
Eddie Willis
Joe Messina
William “Benny” Benjamin
Richard “Pistol” Allen
Uriel Jones
The Best Bassist In The World “James Jamerson”
Bob Babbitt
Jack Ashford
Eddie “Bongo” Brown

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Motown Monday: In Honor of Bobby Rogers Homecoming Service “What Love has Joined Together” ~ Mary Wells

Bobby co-wrote this song that Mary would sing second rendition to behind The Miracles and I couldn’t have thought of a more appropriate song for today.

His words, our feelings about him.

What Love has Joined Together, Can nobody take it apart.

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Motown Monday ~ “He’s The One I Love” ~ Mary Wells

Mary Wells 1964_Motown

This one from The Queen of Motown was released off her 4th album “Mary Wells Sings My Guy” in 1964. Sadly it would be her last for the label as she left Motown in a dispute.

Written by Smokey Robinson and backed by the vocals of The Andantes and The Love Tones it again defined her signature smoothness. Tammi Terrell covered this song a few years later.

Everything that Wells sang sounded like satin.

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Wednesday When It Was Music ~ “Ask The Lonely” ~ Four Tops, The Andantes, The Funk Brothers, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

To me this was the prettiest song that ever came out of “Motown”.

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Motown Monday ~ “You Keep Running Away” ~ Four Tops

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Motown Monday ~ “After All” ~ The Miracles

Written by Smokey RobinsonReleased in 1961 off first album “Hi! We’re The Miracles”. Tamla Label

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Motown Monday ~ “Laughing Boy” ~ Mary Wells

 

Written by Smokey Robinson
Released in 1963

Mary had 10 consecutive #1 hits between 1962-63, this should have been number 11.

There is something about this song that puts a smile on my face but in reality every early Motown song does that. A classic period and a classy singer who started off the very long ride Motown had.

Laughing Boy also made you appreciate the Muse behind the singers with Ivory Joe Hunter’s piano, James Jamerson’s bass and the beat of William “Benny” Benjamin’s drums. Music never had it so good.

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Motown Monday ~ “Come See About Me” ~ The Supremes

Released in 1964, third song out of 5 consecutive singles released to hit #1 on U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

 

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Motown Monday ~ “My Baby Loves Me “

Written by William “Mickey” Stevenson and Ivy Jo Hunter
Released under Martha Reeves & the Vandellas Jan. 4, 1966

This was one of my favorites from this group yet sadly not one of the Vandellas were on the record. The Andantes (Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow and Louvain Demps) did the female backing vocals and the male backing vocals were none other than my favorite guys, The Four Tops.

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Motown Monday ~ “Love, Trouble, Heartache & Misery” ~ Hattie Littles

It is a damn shame that these artists and their songs sat in some vault unreleased all these years. Again another worthy singer completely ignored by Berry Gordy.

She was signed to Motown in 1962 to a four-year contract where she recorded 10 singles. Only one record was ever released until 2005 off the Gordy Label. “Your Love Is Wonderful” / “Here You Come” 1962.

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Motown Monday ~ “Left With A Broken Heart” ~ Four Tops

How I pray we could bring back these days. This sound, the mood……Man the chills it still gives hearing it.

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Motown Monday ~ Everybody Needs Love ~ Mary Wells

Written by Norman Whitfield and Edward Holland Jr.

Mary Wells was the first to record this song in 1964 but another that Berry Gordy wouldn’t release until Wells left Motown. Instead opting to release The Temptations version done in 1965 first. But not even The Temps could out do Mary Wells.

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Motown Monday ~ Carolyn Crawford ~ My Smile Is Just A Frown Turned Upside Down

What an awesome voice that fit in perfectly with the Motown sound but sadly just another artist totally ignored and overlooked by Berry Gordy.

Crawford debuted her first single with Motown that she wrote in 1963, “Forget About Me” then with “My Smile Is Just a Frown (Turned Upside Down)” Written by Smokey Robinson soon following and charting at #39 on the R&B chart. When her next in 64′ “When Someone’s Good To You” didn’t set Gordy’s own world that was strictly in his mind ablaze she wasn’t resigned and as the same story with a lot of other talented artists that came through the doors of Hitsville nobody ended up being good to her.

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Saturday Soul & The Detroit Red Wings Keep The Steak Alive with #22! ~ Higher and Higher ~ Jackie Wilson

The Motor City Always Had It!!!

Red Wings now have 22 consecutive wins on home ice. And as in our past with “Mr. Excitement” we keep going higher and higher.

Enjoy The Ride…….

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Motown Monday ~ The Tracks of My Tears ~ The Miracles

Written by Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore and Marv Tarplin.
Released June 23, 1965 on the Tamla Label .

Smokey Robinson – lead vocals
Marv Tarplin – guitar
Claudette Rogers Robinson – background vocals
Pete Moore – background vocals,
Ronnie White – background vocals
Bobby Rogers – background vocals
The Funk Brothers and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra – Instrumentation

 

Lyrics are pure honesty, Muse is pure magic.

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Motown Monday ~ The Funk Brothers

These Musicians were MOTOWN.

They alone gave the artists the Muse to make it complete for a sound that would be recognized and known around this entite world as, Motown.

Earl Van Dyke
Robert White
Joe Hunter
Johnny Griffith
Eddie Willis
Joe Messina
William “Benny” Benjamin
Richard “Pistol” Allen
Uriel Jones
The Best Bassist In The World James Jamerson
Bob Babbitt
Jack Ashford
Eddie “Bongo” Brown

Detroit, Michigan had it all and owned the sound.
It was “MOTOWN” and it was ours.

I’m proud to make The Funk Brothers my first Motown Monday of the New Year dedicated to the greatest group of musicians ensembled.

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Motown Monday ~ Tammi Terrell ~ I Can’t Believe You Love Me

What an awesome song and highlights the ultimate talent of this vocalist. Another who should have shined as a number one star.

This was Terrell’s first solo recording for “Motown” followed by “Come on and See Me”.

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Motown Monday ~ The Andantes ~ Like A Nightmare

Louvain Demps, Jackie Hicks and Marlene Barrow didn’t need Ann Bogan to sing lead on the only two singles Berry Gordy ever let this group record as a group.

They had more than enough talent to be one of the biggest acts to come out of “Motown” and Gordy knew it. So he again like he did with so many other artists literally held them back and put them in the back row with The Funk Brothers.

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Motown Monday ~ Take Me In Your Arms ~ Kim Weston

“Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)”
Written by Holland / Dozier / Holland
Released in 1965

Kim Weston – vocals
The Funk Brothers – music

Another powerful voice of Motown but you wouldn’t know it since this was another artist Berry Gordy just left on the shelf.

Kim Weston born Agatha Natalie Weston was signed by Motown in 1963.

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Motown Monday ~ The Velvelettes ~ Stop Beating Around The Bush

Written by Harvey Fuqua
Recorded in 1964

Mildred Gill, Bertha Barbee, Carolyn Gill, Betty Kelley & Norma Barbee

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A Hot Motown Monday ~ Martha & The Vandellas ~ Heat Wave

Just the beginning of one. ENJOY IT!

Written by Holland–Dozier–Holland
Released in 1963

Martha Reeves – vocals
Rosalind Ashford – vocal
Annette Beard – vocals

Music – The Funk Brothers

Richard “Pistol” Allen: drums
James Jamerson: double bass
Joe Hunter: electric piano
Robert White: guitar
Eddie Willis: guitar
Thomas “Beans” Bowles: saxophone solo

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Motown Monday ~ The Miracles ~ I’ll Try Something New

Written by Smokey Robinson.
Released off the third self titled album in 1962.

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