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March 24th 2016

Very sad news to report today, March 24th 2016, James Jamerson, Jr. has passed away at the age of 58. A cause of death has not been announced, though he had been ill for some years bravely battling the spinal condition ankylosing spondylitis.
Rest In Peace JJ, my thoughts are with your family ...
Beverley. x


Don't forget the...
Detroit Black Music Awards

August 5th 2012
Bert's Warehouse,
2739 Russell St.,

Celebrity VIP at 5pm. show time at 7:30pm.


Charles Givings

February 7th 1946 ~ April 15th 2012
Founder member, drummer and singer of the Rare Gems Odyssey, Charles E. Givings has sadly passed away in his sleep from a massive heart attack at the age of 66. He leaves behind a loving family, including his wife Sandy; and many dear friends who will always be grateful and remember his extreme kindness.

American musician, singer, songwriter, producer, Charles E. Givings, a session drummer for Motown in the LA Studios in the 60s, was the founder of the 'Black Gems Rare' in 1969. A year later the band changed their name to 'Rare Gems Odyssey', and later became The Rare Gems. Over the years they toured, played regularly in Las Vegasand in California and opened for for Ray Charles at the Shrine. They have had many hits including the classic funk track "What is Funk", which has become a very collectable record especially in the UK. With 8 albums under their belt, they were still performing until Charles' death. In the 80's Charles formed his own label, Imagination Records, where he produced his own band and other artists. Charles has also released some beautiful solo love albums, including... 'Songs For Sunset Lovers', 'Songs For Serious Lovers', 'Songs For Moonlight Lovers', 'A Night On The Town' and 'Everlasting Love Songs', sung with his wife Sandy. As well as all this he still found time to session with The Penguins, The Olympics, Al Wilson, Don Julian, Tony Allen, Brenda Holloway, The Cadets, The Sixteens, Ernie Valens, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Frankie Avalon and J.J. Jackson. Among his treasured memories over his busy 45 years plus career was meeting the legendary bassist, James Jamerson. Charles has also written a book.. not about his musical journey, but his second love .. baseball .. among other things!! Drawing on his early life, this is a story about a rag tag multi-racial Little League baseball team from Southern California and this exciting, fun book, delves into the day-to-day lives of kids growing up in an inner city, and Charles has really captured the flavor and spice of the growing pains in the inner city. Before his sudden death Charles was a regular part of Woody Radio's Saturday night EJ Emmons Show, credited as Mr Charles "Chizzy" Givings. ~ R.I.P. Charles

Saturday ~ April 14th 2012
in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.

The Miracles
were inducted into the 2012
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Gladys Horton
May 30th 1945 ~ January 26th 2011

Gladys Horton, co-founder and former lead singer of the popular Motown all-female group, "The Marvelettes," has sadly died
at the age of 65 in Sherman Oaks, Calif. a nursing home where she had been bravely fighting complications from a stroke that she suffered a few years ago. Gladys leaves behind a loving family including her sons, Sam and Vaughn along with two grandchildren.
Gladys Horton
Born in Gainesville, Fla, but tragically orphaned at 9 months old, Gladys was raised by foster parents, in a suburb of Detroit. It was here as a student at Inkster High School, when she developed a strong interest in singing and joined the high school glee club. She got together with other members of the glee club, Katherine Anderson, Juanita Cowart, Georgeanna Tillman and later Georgia Dobbins to form a group, calling themselves "The Casinyets," short for "can't sing yet". Following a successful talent contest to sing for Motown, Georgia, who was the group's first lead singer, co-created "Please Mr. Postman". Sadly, Georgia had to leave the group after her father forbid her from singing in nightclubs. Where upon Gladys became the lead singer and the group changed their name to "The Marvelettes". Motown released their song in the summer of 1961 when Glays was only fifteen. The song jumped to No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Motown's first No.1 Pop hit. She led on several other hits songs, including "Beechwood 4-5789," "Playboy" and "Too Many Fish In The Sea". Gladys was later replaced as lead singer in 1965 by Wanda Young, but stayed with the group until 1967. Gladys relocated to California in 1970 and for years had retired from the business to take care of her handicapped son. On occasion, she performed as Gladys Horton of the Marvelettes. In the late 1980s, she and Wanda reunited to collaborate on the 1990 Marvelettes album for Ian Levine's Motor City Records label titled The Marvelettes...Now! though Wanda didn't take part in the group's performances. The Marvelettes released the single "Holding On With Both Hands" in 1990, which the lead was sung on record by Wanda but performed by Gladys in public due to Wanda's severe personal problems.

White Jack / Jack Brokensha
January 5th 1926 ~ October 28th 2010

Australian vibraphonist and percussionist, a pillar of the Detroit jazz scene for over 40 years has sadly died in his home town of Sarasota, America, from congestive heart failure at the age of 84. He is survived by his wife, Shirley; daughters Brokensha Yaroch and Nicole Brokensha Squiers, and a grandson, Michael Gloff.

Born John Joseph Brokensha in Adelaide, Australia, he initially studied percussion under his father, and played xylophone in his father's vaudeville show from the age of 6. By age 14, he was the youngest member of with the Australian Symphony Orchestra and he played in a band in the Air Force in 1944-46. Forming his own group, he played in Melbourne in 1947-48, Sydney in 1949-50, Brisbane later in 1950, and Adelaide in 1951. In 1953 Jack moved to Windsor, Ontario in Canada with pianist Bryce Rohde. The following year they formed the Australian Jazz Quartet with Errol Buddle and Dick Healey. This ensemble, sometimes recording as a quintet or sextet, and toured together until '58 after a tour of Australia. Jack then moved to Detroit, Michigan, USA, where he became a pillar of the Detroit jazz scene for 40 years. Jack was hired by Berry Gordy of Motown Records as a percussionist, becoming one of the few white members of Motown's Hitsville USA recording house band, The Funk Brothers. It was here he was given the nickname "White Jack", to distinguish him from Jack Ashford, an African American percussionist nicknamed "Black Jack". Following further tours Down Under with Sammy Davis, Jr. and Stan Freberg, Jack founded his own music production company. He did a session with Art Mardigan in 1963, and after this Jack became more active in disc jockeying and writing music for television. He recorded as a leader again in 1980 and continued to lead his own group well into the 1990s. The Australian Jazz Quartet also reunited for tours and recording in 1994. Jack and his family moved to Sarasota in 1997, where he remained active until earlier this year. He also returned to metro Detroit regularly to perform.
Michael Joseph Jackson
August 29th 1950 ~ June 25th 2009

The musical legend, King of Pop, Michael Jackson has tragically and unexpectedly died of a cardiac arrest at his home in Bel Air at the age of only 50. He is survived by a large loving family and his three children, Prince Michael Jr, Paris and Prince Michael II. Suspicions surround his death, further autopsies are being conducted.
Michael Jackson
The "King of Pop", American recording artist, entertainer and businessman, born in Gary, Chicago, Indiana, he was the seventh of nine children. His siblings are Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet. His father Joseph Jackson, who physically and emotionally abused Michael as a child, often performed in an R&B band called The Falcons and Michael was raised as a Jehovah's Witness by his mother. In 1964, he and his brother Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers, a band formed by brothers Jackie, Tito and Jermaine, as backup musicians playing congas and tambourine, respectively. Soon he began performing backup vocals and dancing; then at the age of eight, he and Jermaine assumed lead vocals, and the group's name was changed to The Jackson 5. They extensively toured the Midwest from 1966 to 1968 and frequently performed at a string of black clubs and venues collectively known as the "chitlin' circuit", where they often opened for stripteases and other adult acts. Michael's first brake came in 1966, when the band won a major local talent show with renditions of Motown hits and James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)", led by himself, after which The Jackson 5 recorded several songs, including "Big Boy", before signing with Motown Records in 1968. The group set a chart record when its first four singles "I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There" reached No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Starting in 1972, Jackson released a total of four solo studio albums with Motown, among them Got to Be There and Ben, which produced successful singles such as "Got to Be There", "Ben" and "Rockin' Robin". The Jackson 5 left Motown in 1975. It was in 1978 while Michael was working on the film musical The Wiz, an all-black retelling of the Wizard of Oz - in which he played the Scarecrow to Diana Ross's Dorothy - that he met music producer, composer and arranger, Quincy Jones, the man who would turn him into a superstar and transform the world of popular music, taking Michael's raw talent and moulding it into an awesome new sound, producing albums with massive world sales, such as Off The Wall: 19m, Thriller: 65m, Bad: 28m, Dangerous: 29m, HIStory: 18m, Invincible: 8m. As well as being a double-inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997 and later as a solo artist in 2001, throughout his career Michael has received numerous honors and awards, including the World Music Awards' Best-Selling Pop Male Artist of the Millennium, the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award and the Bambi Pop Artist of the Millennium Award. He was also an inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. His awards include multiple Guinness World Records, eight in 2006 alone, 13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era and the sale of over 750 million albums worldwide, making him the world's best selling male solo pop artist. In recent years, Michael has been plagued by money problems and shielded himself from public view. Arrested in 2003 on charges of molesting a 14 year old boy, after a gruelling five-month trial, which took it's tole on Michael, he was cleared in June 2005. After which he moved for a while to the Middle East where he befriended the king of Bahrain's son, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa. Sadly his record breaking charity programs seem to have been pushed to the background in more recent years, over the decades Michael has raised and helped raise millions of dollars for various charities. Michael was due to begin a sold-out comeback 50 date residency in London starting next month. Hundreds of fans queued at the O2 arena as tickets went on sale and more than a quarter of a million people queued online, around 750,000 tickets were sold for the 50-date residency, which he had billed his "Final Curtain Call". Rehearsals for the show were under way when Michael allegedly suffered a cardiac arrest at his home in Bel Air. He was later pronounced dead at the UCLA medical centre in Los Angeles.
Derek Jamerson Sr
The Legacy Continues

Derek Jamerson Sr.

Posted January 2009 ~ The late Derek Jamerson Sr, son of the legendary bassist, the late James Jamerson, became well known for his contribution to the Detriot Techno music scene. His credits appear 5 different ways: Derek Jamerson, Derrick Jamerson, Jamerson and both D. Jamerson and D Jamerson.

Under the name of Derek Jamerson
Vivian Lea - Music Is So Wonderful (2x12", Promo) .. Slip 'n' Slide Label 1994
Vivian Lea - Music Is So Wonderful (CD, Maxi) .. Slip 'n' Slide Label 1994
Vivian Lea - Music Is So Wonderful (12") .. Slip 'n' Slide Label 1996
Track: Music Is So Wonderful (7 Radio)
Credit: Mixed By - Derek Jamerson
* * * * *
Baby 'D' - Adventures Of A Disco Diva (12") Basement 282 Label
Credits: Producer, Written-By - Derek Jamerson
* * * * *
Inner City - Back Together Again (CD, Maxi) 6 x 6 Records 1993
Credits: Keyboards - Derek Jamerson
* * * * *
Billy Ocean - Pick Up The Pieces (Put It Back) (12") .. Jive Label 1993
Credits: keyboards - Derek Jamerson
* * * * *
The Reese Project - Faith, Hope & Clarity - Remixed .. Control Label
Tracks: 1-08, 1-09, 1-11, 1-12, 2-03, 2-07
Credits: Written By - Derek Jamerson, Ann Saunderson
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Under the name of Derrick Jamerson

D'Pac with Terrence FM - Everybody / Wouldn't Lie (12") .. Vicious Music 1992
Wouldn't Lie (Wouldn't Mix)
Credits: Written-By - Derrick Jamerson, D'Pac Pater, Terrence FM
Wouldn't Lie (Shouldn't Mix)
Credit: Written-By - Derrick Jamerson, D'Pac Pater, Terrence FM
* * * * *
Donna Black - Find Sum In U (12", Ltd Edition, Red) Serious Grooves 1993
Credit: Written-By - Derrick Jamerson , Donna Black , Santonio Echols
* * * * *
Napolean Soulo - I've Got To Be Strong (12") Mousetrap Records 1994
Track: I've Got To Be Strong (Overcats Mellow Pitch Fix)
Credit: Keyboards - Derrick Jamerson
* * * * *
Basshook & Friends Present David Fergusson - Hear My Call (12") Emotive Records 1995
Credit: keyboards - Derrick Jamerson
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Under the name of D. Jamerson
The Reese Project - Free At Last (12") .. Control Label 1993
Track: Miracle Of Life (Big Bump Mix)
Credit: Written-By - D. Jamerson
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Under the name of D Jamerson
The Reese Project - I Believe (12") Network Records 1992
I Believe (12") Network Records 1992
Credits: Written-By - D Jamerson, A Saunderson, K Saunderson
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Under the name of Jamerson
JAMERSON - The Legacy Continues
Got To Give It Up (12" Yellow Label) Happy Records 1992
Got To Give It Up (12", White Label) Happy Records 1992
written and produced by Jamerson
Track listing:
A1 Got To Give It Up (Underground Resistance Mix)
A2 Got To Give It Up (Late Night Mix)
B1 Got To Give It Up (Mind Controller Mix)
B2 Got To Give It Up (Agent X Mix)
* * * *
Various artists - Soul From The City (CD) Submerge Recordings 1995
Track: Jamerson - Got To Give It Up
Credits: Written-By, Producer - Jamerson

Obituary Tribute to Derek Jamerson
Berry Gordy, founded the Motown empire after securing an $800 loan from his family on Jan. 12, 1959, The official Motown 50th celebration kicked off Tuesday Dec. 9th 2008, with the release of "Motown: The Complete No. 1's,", a 10-disc set housed in a package designed to look like the company's original Hitsville U.S.A. headquarters in Detroit. Berry Gordy and former Motown staffer Suzanne DePasse, who won a 1983 Emmy Award for the Motown 25th anniversary TV special, are also producing a documentary about the company that's due to roll out in September 2009.
Berry Gordy
"It's about me and ... not only what I did and how I did it but how I felt doing it and what it was that happened, from my standpoint," explains Gordy. Among the footage is a videotaped session of one of the company's famed weekly Quality Control meetings, at which staffers argued over whether or not to release the Temptations' "My Girl" as a single. A Broadway musical about Motown is due to open in 2010, and Gordy says there will also be "long-form, multi-part videos" about the company's history "because there's so much to tell. The documentary is just a two-hour thing." Universal Music Enterprises, which handles Motown's archival releases, is also planning to support the activity with online podcasts and other special features. More retrospective titles are expected to come out over the course of the celebration, and the Motown Historical Museum in Detroit is planning a series of special events for 2009, including an In Their Own Words series with Motown alumni that will kick off Jan. 12, a Marvin Gaye exhibit in April and a pumped-up version of its annual gala and concert in November. "It's just a unique situation," Gordy notes, "and I'm the major recipient of that now because I can look back. It's a different kind of enjoyment. I enjoyed making the records. I enjoyed dealing with the people. Bow I can look at it a different way and say, 'OK, we did it. We really did it.'" ~ source Billboard

Levi Stubbs

June 6th 1936 ~ October 17th 2008
Former lead vocalist of the Four Tops, Levi Stubbs, one of the most profound lead vocalist in American history has died at his Detroit home at the age of 70. He had suffered a series of strokes and had been battling with cancer for a number of years prior to today's tragic news. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Clineice, five children, and 11 grandchildren.
Levi Stubbs
Born Levi Stubbles in Detroit, he formed a doo-wop quartet with his friends Abdul 'Duke' Fakir, Renaldo 'Obie' Benson and Lawrence Payton in 1954. In 1953 Levi, then a student at Pershing High School in Detroit, and his friend Abdul Fakir, known as Duke, attended a birthday party, it was here where he met Renaldo 'Obie' Benson and Lawrence Payton, both students from Northern High School, together the four students formed a vocal group called the Four Aims. To avoid confusion with a group known as The Ames Brothers, they changed their name to the Four Tops in 1954. They went from strength to strength from backing up Jazz musicians like Count Basie to singing R&B, recording for Chess, Red Top and Riverside Studios before signing up to Motown in 1963. Their first substantial hit, the first of many with Motown, was "Baby, I Need Your Loving" in July 1964. This was followed by many more memorable hits including "I Can't Help Myself", "It's the Same Old Song", "Something About You", "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)", "Loving You Is Sweeter than Ever", "Reach Out, I'll Be There", "Standing in the Shadows of Love", "Bernadette", "7 Rooms of Gloom" and "You Keep Running Away". The Tops last R&B Top Ten on Motown, was "(It's the Way) Nature Planned It". Levi had been offered a solo career, but chose to stay loyal to his friends, his fellow group members and when Motown closed the Detoit studios and moved to Los Angeles in 1972, Levi and the Tops stayed behind in Detroit. They were soon enjoying a long string of hits for ABC Records, Dunhill Records and MCA Records, these included "Keeper of the Castle", the gold-selling "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I Got)", "Are You Man Enough", "Sweet Understanding Love", "One Chain Don't Make No Prison", the hit theme for Shaft in Africa, “Are You Man Enough", "Catfish"and "Midnight Flower". They moved to the Casablanca Label, now PolyGram for their R&B number one "When She Was My Girl". Between 1964 and 1988 they had a staggering 45 top 100 singles, plus all the *original members* performed up to 200 times a year together well into the 90s. Levi stepped down from his role in 2000 after he was diagnosed with cancer. He later suffered a stroke, and had been in poor health ever since. In the movies, Levi also made a lasting impression, as the voice of the man-eating plant, Audrey II, in “Little Shop of Horrors” and singing the memorable “Mean Green Mother From Outer Space.”. Levi was also the voice of Mother Brain, an evil character on the cartoon show “Captain N: The Game Master,” from 1989 to 1991. This mighty icon and legend will be so sadly missed
Norman Whitfield
May 12th 1940 ~ September 16th 2008

American songwriter and producer, best known for his work with the Motown label and bringing the sub-genre of psychedelic soul to Motown has died at the age of 65. He had been fighting against diabetes and other ailments for some years, but has now sadly lost the battle.

Norman Whitfield was born in Harlem, he used to earn a living as a hotshot pool player, before becoming a junior at Hitsville, in Detroit. He watched and learnt, seeing how everything worked. After writing hits for Marvin Gaye, the Marvelettes and the Velvelettes and after the success of "Ain't Too Proud to Beg", he gained control of the Temptations from Smokey Robinson. Strongly influenced by Sly and the Family Stone and the Holland-Dozier-Holland team gone from Motown, Norman took Marvin Gaye, Edwin Star, but mainly his Temptations, into rockier territory with hard-hitting songs, driving rhythms, wailing guitars and ominous string arrangements.
The first Temptations single to feature his new "psychedelic soul" style was "Cloud Nine" in late 1968, it earned Motown its first Grammy award for Best Rhythm & Blues Performance by a Duo or Group. He co-wrote and/ or produced many funkier hits for the label, including "Heard It Through the Grapevine," "I Can't Get Next to You," "Cloud Nine," "Ball of Confusion," "Just My Imagination," "War," the Grammy-winning "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" and many others. His most frequent collaborator during this era was lyricist Barrett Strong. At the same time other Motown artists would record his songs entirely differently. This is how he worked, exploring many sounds and trying out funk and psychedelic experiments on his productions. Norman left Motown in 1973 and set up Whitfield Records, where he found chart success Rose Royce, who were originally Edwin Starr's backing group and Norman won a Grammy Award in 1976 for his work on the "Car Wash" film soundtrack. He had retired from music by the late '80s, only to resurface in 2005 when he pleaded guilty to settle a tax-evasion case. The final months of this innovator were spent in
at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was undergoing treatment for his diabetes and other ailments.
Richard "Popcorn" Wylie
June 6th 1939 ~ September 9th 2008

Legendary pianist, producer, band director and songwriter, Popcorn Wylie has unexpectedly died at the age of 69. The one time Motown musician was sadly found dead at his home in Detroit by a family member. He had been battling congestive heart disease for five years since he lost his wife. He leaves behind a loving family.
photo of Richard"Popcorn" Wylie with courtesy of  The Motown Alumni Assocaition
Detroit native, Richard "Popcorn" Wylie was born into a musical family, learning the piano at a very young age. It was when he was at high school that he formed his first band with his fellow school friends James Jamerson on the upright bass and Clifford Mack on the drums, the three were dedicated musicians, and had a huge love of jazz. They soon became a popular band at parties, weddings, colleges functions and night spots around Detroit. Popcorn's band gradually evolved into Popcorn and the Mohawks. In 1960 Popcorn signed with the Northern label to record his debut single, "Pretty Girl" before signing with the Tambla Motown Label. At this stage Popcorn and The Mohawks consisted of Richard "Popcorn" Wylie playing piano, James Jamerson grooving on his upright bass, Eddie Willis on guitar, Robert Finch on drums, Andrew "Mike" Terry playing the sax, and Norman Whitfield on the tambourines. While with Motown, Popcorn and The Mohawks released "Shimmy Gully," one of the earliest Motown releases, "Money (That's What I Want)" and "Real Good Lovin'.". His piano work was also featured in the Miracles' "Shop Around" and the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" , he also served as the bandleader for the first Motown Revue tours. Popcorn left Motown in 1962 for a solo career signing with Epic records releasing 4 singles over 2 years. In 1964 he freelanced as a songwriter, producer, and session player for SonBert and Ric-Tic label, after which in 1966 he formed his own labels, Pameline and Soulhawk, as well as writing and producing dozens of singles for Ed Wingate's Golden World labels. Popcorn returned to his own recording career in 1968 at the Karen Label, releasing "Rosemary, What Happened?" and "Move Over Babe (Here Comes Henry. In 1971 he briefly signed with Motown again to record the now classic "Funky Rubber Band" which wasn't released until 1975. 1974 saw Popcorn's last headlining singles, an excellent collection of songs written by himself and Lamont Dozier, including "ESP", "Lost Time", "I Can Take The World On With You", "Both Ends Against The Middle", and "Singing About You And Me". and "Georgia's After Hours". From then on he dedicated his time to session work, song writing and production, becoming one of Detroit's most respected men in music.. He will be sadly missed by friends and fans, as will his vast experience in the music business, but his many influences and his music will play on.
Thankyou to Lester Williams for notifying me of this sad news. Lester, a friend of Popcorn, and played keyboard for Eric & the Viking in the late 60's and early 70's, one of Popcorn's groups signed to his Soulhawk Label, Lester played on their number one hit "Vibrations"
The Valadiers
The Valadiers  in their early days.
The Valadiers was formed in Detroit, MI, in 1959 with Stuart Avig as lead singer, Martin Coleman, Art Glasser and Jerry Light . Their early influences included among others Jerry Butler & the Impressions and Jackie Wilson. One day after high school in 1960, they auditioned at Hitsville USA for Berry Gordy and secured a three-year contract, and became Motown's first white group. Their first recording session produced "Nothing Is Going to Change It," and "Somebody Help Me Find My Baby," but Motown shelved them. Their second recording was the self-written "Greetings, This Is Uncle Sam," and "Take a Chance," on the B-side. Their other recordings with Motown were. "When I'm Away" in 1962 and "I Found a Girl" in 1963. The Valadiers toured frequently Marv Johnson, the Isley Brothers, Wilbert Harrison and other early Motown artists and lead singer Stuart Avig wowed the audiences with a voice that is a cross between Jackie Wilson and Smokey Robinson. After their Motown contract ended the Valadiers split. Stuart has carried on over the years singing solo and with different line-up of The Valadiers. In 1989 & 90 The Valadiers became part of a major project of which there were several known Motown artists, they released: Painted Smile, What's Wrong With Me Baby, No Competition, Love Don't Love Nobody & The Truth Hurts. After which Stuart toured with the likes of Gene Chandler, The Contours, The Spaniels, The Dells, Dion, Martha Reeve & The Vandellas, The Teenagers and many others. Then in 2004 he joined up with the vocal group Shades Of Blue
as lead singer along with Nick A. Marinelli, the original Shades of Blue lead singer and Andy Alonzo, singer from many groups including a line-up the The Valadiers. Shades of Blue have a very active concert and touring career and are coming to the UK in May 2008!
The Shades of Blue Come To England!!!
The Impressions
Kenny Bernard
Stuart Avig, Nick A. Marinelli,  Andy Alonzo,

The Shades of Blue ... who feature Stuart Avig
lead singer of Motown's First White Group
"The Valadiers"

and more acts to come....
The Park Inn Hotel
~ UK
Friday, May 23rd 2008 ~ Sunday, May 25th 2008

How to book
The Four Tops

Musical Legends, The Four Tops
Performing Live "New Years Eve"


Hotel St. Regis in Detroit
Historic hotel “Brings Back the Magic”
to the home of Motown

The legendary Four Tops known the world over for their smooth, sophisticated sounds will be performing live News Year’s Eve at the all new, upscale Hotel St. Regis in Detroit. Appearing with the superstar performers will be Les Williams & The Band, Tyrone Bradley, 'Stand By Me' artist, and The Valadiers of 'Greetings this is Uncle Sam' fame lead singer Stuart Avig; Spyder Turner will host the evening’s concert and the Original Vandellas along with other former Motown artists will be in attendance as celebrity host at this superstudded event.

New Year’s Eve at the Hotel St. Regis promises to be an incredible affair as the renowned Four Tops mix with the audience for a lively evening of celebration including champagne, dancing and live entertainment. For Duke Fakir of the Four Tops, Detroit is where it all began and there is nothing like performing for the hometown crowd. “Detroit is our home and performing in Detroit at the Hotel St. Regis on New Year’s Eve is going to be really exciting. We love our fans, we love the city and we’re looking forward to being part of an incredible evening of celebration as we bring in 2008 at the Hotel St. Regis”.

There will be other artists appearing to support The Four Tops including

The December 31st concert will mark the first New Years celebration for the historic Hotel St. Regis Detroit since it reopened in August, 2007 after an extensive multi-million dollar renovation and restoration. The six story structure located at 3071 West Grand Boulevard in Detroit includes a ballroom, bar and lounge, a split-level dining room with a selection of over 200 wines, a private
dining area and a posh, sophisticated Motown inspired Cajun steakhouse, La Musique which pays homage to many of Detroit’s favorite musical legends including the Four Tops.

Since its reopening, the Hotel St. Regis has hosted several prominent political and entertainment figures including Senator John Edwards, Al Sharpton, Ashford and Simpson, Billy Dee Williams, Roy Ayers, George Clinton, Martha Reeves, The Original Vandellas, Anita Baker, The Dramatics, The Miracles and many more.

Tickets are $90pp including champagne, $150.00pp with dinner (8-10 pm) or $399 per couple for a complete package including concert, dinner, champagne, luxurious hotel room and a full breakfast the following day.
For more information including reservations, call the
Hotel St. Regis Detroit at 313-873-3000.

Hotel St. Regis

The Miracles ~ Congratulations!!

The Miracles
Posted December 2007 ~
The Miracles, have been celebrating 50 years in the biz .. what a marvelous milestone! It all began with the recording "I Got A Job" back in 1957, then came Motown .. and in 1960 The Miracles were the very first successful Motown group, bringing Berry Gordy's young Detroit record company it's first ever gold record for selling over a million copies, with the song "Shop Around". They went on to become one of Motown's mega acts of the 1960s.
During their first 19 years The Miracles charted over 50 hits and recorded in the genres of soul, doo wop, R&B and disco. Twenty-six Miracles songs reached the Top Ten of the Billboard R&B singles chart, including four R&B number ones. Sixteen of the Miracles' songs charted within the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, with seven songs climbing into the Top Ten and two 1970's "The Tears of a Clown" and 1975's "Love Machine" (Part 1) reaching No.1. Almost all of their hits were self-written, making them unique among Motown groups, plus they are the most covered Motown group of all time. After Smokey Robinson's departure for a solo career in 1972 , The Miracles, Bobby Rogers, Pete Moore and Ronnie White recruited a new singer, Billy Griffin, and went on to deliver several more hits, most notably, "Love Machine", "Do It Baby" and "Don't Cha Love It". By 1978, this group had disbanded and following a period of inactivity, Bobby Rogers and Ronnie White decided to reform the group, sadly, Ronnie has passed now away following a long illness. Today the group consists of lead singer Bobby Rogers, Dave Finley, Tee Turner and Mark Scott. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine honored The Miracles by ranking Smokey Robinson & the Miracles No.32 on their list of The Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. We congratulate them on an amazing 50 years of fine achievement.
Read more and catch up with

Tee Turner ~ Solo

Many Thanks to Jeanne Sorensen
and J. Reed Entertainment


Caroline /Carolyn Crawford
Caroline Crawford, former Motown artist Carolyn Crawford busy at work in the studio.
Posted November 2007 ~ Have you ever wondered what happened to the pretty little Motown girl, Carolyn Crawford? Carolyn, one of the original artists, was signed by Motown in 1963 at the age of only 13 years. She sang backup vocals for many of the early Motown artists. Her first solo recording on the Motown label was a lovely self penned song "Forget About Me", with the fabulous "My Heart" on the flip side, released in 1964. She recorded two more records for Motown "My Smile Is Just A Frown Turned Upside Down" and"When Someone's Good To You", which reached the R&B charts, both written and produced by Smokey Robinson, but Carolyn also recorded a great track "Until You Came Along" which was shelved for 38 years, why I do not know, but in 2002, this great track appeared on a Motown compilation album 'Cellar full of Motown'! Carolyn left Motown in 1965. In the early 70's Carolyn sang in the group, Hodges, James, Smith & Crawford recording 2 singles with them: "Nobody" / "I'm In Love" and "Let's Pick Up The Pieces" / "Write Me A Letter" both in 1972. In the mid 70's she changed her name from Carolyn to Caroline and joined Hamilton Bohannon's (Stevie Wonders former on-the-road drummer) band, Bohannon, as lead singer, recording 6 albums and having many hits and top ten hits on both sides of the Atlantic including "Let’s Start The Dance", "Disco Stomp" and "Foot Stompin’ Music". Caroline has gone on to have a very successful solo career
Check Caroline on Youtube

Caroline Crawford and
Lester Williams
are appearing at
Hotel St. Regis, Detroit City
this November 2007

Lester Williams & The Vandellas

Posted August 2007 ~
A great photo of Lester Williams in-between the lovely ladies Rosalind Holmes nee Ashford and Annette Helton nee Beard ... the legendary Vandellas. There is much more about what the highly multi-talented Lester has been up to further down the page.

James "Jimmy" Garrett

1927 ~ March 5th 1993


This obituary was sent to me by James Garrett's niece Judy. James Garrett died in 1993, he had an incredible career
, but so very sadly he seems to have been forgotten on the pages of internet Motown writers and all other web page writers, after such a full and successful career before, with, and after Motown; there is little, if anything about him on the internet.

Posted April 2007 ~ James "Jimmy" Garrett was the music director and road bassist with the Supremes, he helped them develop from their narrow rock style into the top female group in popular music history. Mr. James Garrett, 66, died in Teaneck, N.J. from complications of diabetes. He is survived by his wife; a son James; daughters, Shirley, Anita and Grace; 2 sisters; 3 brothers; 9 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren.


Joe Hunter
Joe Hunter
November 19th 1927 ~ February 2nd 2007
Motown's first Funk Brother and first leader, three-time Grammy winner, pianist Joe Hunter has sadly died at his Detroit apartment. Although the cause of death is not known as yet, it is thought to be related to longtime diabetes, it appeared he was trying to take some medicine when he died. He was 79. Joe is survived by his son, Joe Hunter Jr.; his daughter, Michelle, and three grandchildren.


Motor Town Revue Tour

Posted December 2006 ~
Classic Motown acts are ready to play. Including Dennis Edwards Temptation's Review, Jean Terrell of The Supremes, Martha Reeves, Junior Walker's All-Star Band, The Miracles, Brenda Holloway, The Contours
More info phone: (231) 629-1298
Thankyou to Acklee King of The Junior Walker's All-Star Band


Clement Barone
Clement Barone
Photo with courtesy of Margaret Barone, wife of the late Clement Barone
Posted August 2006 ~ Piccolo and flute virtuoso, Clement Barone, sadly died from cancer August 28th 2004. Philadelphian Clem came to Detroit in 1958 to play flute and piccolo in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under principal conductor Paul Paray, where he was a member for nearly 34 years. (1958 ~ 1991). As well as this, Clem was a regular sessionist in Motown's "snakepit" at Hitsville,West Grand Boulevard. This great piccolo player can be heard on many Motown hits such as 'Bernadette', 'Reach Out I'll Be There', 'Standing in the Shadows', 'Uptight', 'How Sweet It Is', 'Heard it Through the Grapevine', 'War', 'I just Want to Celebrate', 'Do You Love Me', 'Heat Wave', 'Baby I Need Your Loving', 'I Can't Help Myself', 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered'.
For more reading about Clement Barone's amazing achievements
Thankyou Mary S. for this very interesting, but also sad information

Mary Wilson
Posted June 2006 ~
Thankfully Mary Wilson has made a full recovery. Mary has done a great deal of charity work, raising millions for AIDS through the People with AIDS Coalition of Tucson (PACT). She has also raised funds for homeless people, cancer research and victims of child abuse. ~ update since May
Mary Wilson
Posted May 2006 ~ Mary Wilson, a founding member of the 1960s Motown group The Supremes, suffered a heart attack on Tuesday (16th MAY '06) at her home in Las Vegas, Nevada. The singer is still hospitalized and her condition has not been made available. Mary Wilson is a cultural ambassador for the US who performs over 150 concert dates per year. Mary has been performing continually with orchestras, symphonies, and her own touring band. Mary suffers from hereditary high cholesterol and is scheduled to have elective heart bypass surgery on Monday morning. ~ Thanks Ray

The Soul of Two Cities

Posted April 2006 ~ Producers, songwriters, artists jo
in forces to record some of the best songs from two musical giants. The project is the brainchild of Phil Hurtt, a Philadelphia International songwriter who co-wrote the Spinners' "I'll Be Around" with Thom Bell. Hurtt and his cohorts are working in studios in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn and Philadelphia, where Motown singers are recording classic Philly soul songs and the Philly artists are doing the same with Motown hits. The final product will feature 46 tracks spread across two CDs. Hurtt's Soul Renaissance Records hopes to release the album in June, with the first singles, one Motown and one Philly song, due May 16. "It's one camp honoring the other camp, and vice versa," says Soul Renaissance vice-president Theo Primas, who is serving as the project's co-executive producer. "It's two great bodies of music that constitute what you can call the soundtrack of our lives. The artists are still here and vibrant, and we have not forgotten about them." The Detroit contingent includes George Clinton ("Expressway to Your Heart," "Love Don't Let Me Wait"), Freda Payne ("Betcha By Golly, Wow," "When Will I See You Again"), Lamont Dozier ("Me and Mrs. Jones," "Close the Door"), the Velvelettes ("People Make the World Go Round," "One of a Kind Love Affair"), the Temptations' Ollie Woodson ("Stairway to Heaven", the O'Jays), Chapter 8's Carolyn Crawford ("Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)") and the Vancouvers' Bobby Taylor ("Sadie," "If You Don't Know Me by Now"). The Philly corps features Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge ("Superstition," "Dancing in the Street"), Jean Carne ("Higher Ground," Ted Mills of Blue Magic ("Shop Around," "Just My Imagination (Runnin' Away With Me)"), Barbara Mason ("Get Ready," "My Baby Loves Me"), the Delfonics' William Hart ("Just Ask the Lonely," "Darling Forever"), Russell Thompkins Jr., of the Stylistics ("Ain't That Peculiar," "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)"), Bunny Sigler ("Stop! In the Name of Love," "Ooh Baby Baby," "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing"), the Trammps' Jimmy Ellis ("Shotgun," "Isn't She Lovely") and Hurtt ("Girl's Alright With Me"). Sigler and Carne team up on "Fire and Desire," while Sigler and Hurtt have recorded a rendition of the Temptations' rarity "I Need You."
Bunny Sigler: Philly ~ Bobby Taylor: Motown
Bunny Sigler: Philly & Bobby Taylor: Motown
Motown's Funk Brothers and Philadelphia International's MFSB are also participating in the project. A DVD from the sessions will be released, and some sort of live presentation and possibly a tour is being investigated.

Derek Raynard Jamerson
Posted April 2006 ~ Derek Jamerson Sr, the
son of the late James Jamerson, sadly passed from us, 10.56pm April 7th, at the Presbyterian St. Lukes Hospital, Denver, Colorado. He was 39 years of age. Derek is survived by his wife, Deidre Jamerson, three children: Jennifer, Derek Jr. and Jordon Jamerson; his mother, Annie Jamerson, his sister Dorene "Penny" Jamerson; two brothers James Jamerson 111 and Joey Jamerson; and many other loving relatives ~ FULL TRIBUTE
Derek Jamerson Sr.
Derek Jamerson ~ May He Rest In Peace

Motown Music Festival

Posted February 2006 ~ WE TOOK THIS PHOTO ON SATURDAY, FEB 4, 2006 AT THE MASONIC TEMPLE (at the Motown Music Fest) ~ Mr Wendal.

Posted January 2006 ~ A host of Motown legends will be appearing at a Motown Music Fest, to be held Feb. 4 at Detroit's Masonic Temple, the day before the National Football League's Super Bowl XL.
Among the Motown acts set to perform at the event are the Four Tops, the Miracles, the Contours, the Dramatics, the Former Ladies of the Supremes, Freda Payne, Brenda Holloway, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, the Velvelettes and Paul Hill. The house band will feature members of Motown's legendary Funk Brothers. Stars Nelly, John Legend and Jamie Foxx will also be appearing along side these legends.

Mrs. Elizabeth Bacon
November 13th 2005 ~ I was informed by her nephew Anthony McKnight of The McKnight Brothers, that: Mrs. Elizabeth Bacon, the mother of the late James Jamerson and grandmother to James Jamerson junior, passed away last night in the hospital. Further information will be forthcoming.
Mrs. Bacon was a wonderful sweet loving person,
who will be greatly missed.
~ Mr Wendal.
photo with courtesy of
Our sincere condolences to the family.


Lester Williams

October 2005 ~ Les who worked professionally at the age of 14 with Motown's Holidays, Edwin Starr & the Contours. Not long after, Mr. Williams worked with some of the biggest names in R&B of the time including: Chuck Jackson, Al Hudson & One Way, Phyllis Hyman, Michael Henderson, Jerome Rimson, Ray Parker Jr, Al Green, John Lee Hooker, Spinners, Funkadelics, Dramatics and the Dells to name a few. While performing with the Spinners legendary band leader Maurice King said to Micheal Jackson one night in Vegas that he was one of the best keyboard player the Spinners ever had.
Lester Williams.
After years of touring the U.S., Africa, and Europe with various singers and musicians, Les decided to exercise his musical talents in a different manner. He went into advertisement, focusing on writing jingles , and copy. He make history when he wrote and produced the first AIDS awareness jingle for the Michigan Department of Public Heath. Additionally, he produced commercial jingles for Cheerios, Honeynut Cheerios, Pop Secret Popcorn, Sibley Shoes, The Michigan Lottery, Crissman Cadillac, Joe Dumars and Dark & Lovely just to name a few. He made history again in February of 05 being the first to write and produce the the first Black History Month radio spots for the Michigan Lottery. The passion for music still burns deep within Lester Williams, releasing his first solo CD, which is the culmination of 40 years of hard work and dedication to his craft. His CD entitled "Les Roll" explodes with excitement and energy from the first drum pick up on "Choo Choo Cha Boogie" to the big band ending on the "Big Dipper".



Martha Reeves

Nov 9th 2005 - Update from August: Marth
a Reeves has won a new title in Detroit; she's now Detroit City Councilman Martha Reeves! Martha came in 9th on the available nine seat council, with 18 candidates running along with her, she won 5% of the available votes. Three seats were open on the council, and Reeves will be going down in Detroit history being the first Motown superstar to take on a political role in the City of Detroit.
Martha Reeves
August 9th 2005 - Martha Reeves lead singer of Martha and the Vandellas appeared headed for one of 18 spots in the Nov. 8th general election for City Council. With nearly 75 percent of precincts reporting in Tuesday's primary, she was in ninth place out of 120 candidates.
With 517 of the city's 720 precincts reporting, or 72 percent, Reeves had 20,279 votes, or about 3 percent.

Norman Whitfield
July 18th 2005 -
year-old Norman Whitfield songwriter and leading Motown Records producer till 1975 is to serve six months of incarceration under home confinement, for failure to file U.S. income tax returns. Whitfield will be placed on probation for a year after his home detention is completed. Whitfield admitted in January that he had deliberately neglected to report to I.R.S. the $4 million in songwriting royalties he earned from 1995 through 1999. Out of five counts of willful failure to file an income tax return, he pleaded guilty to a single count under an agreement with federal prosecutors and made restitution on the $956,000 in taxes he owed the government.
Whitfield served as the principal producer for The Temptations from 1966 until 1974. He co-wrote and produced such hits "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)." "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," "Cloud Nine," "I Can't Get Next to You" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," which was first released by Gladys Knight & the Pips before Marvin Gaye turned it into a blockbuster hit for Motown in December 1968. Whitfield left Motown in 1975 to form his own label, Whitfield Records, (Rose Royce's "Car Wash,")

Thankyou Clarence for sending me some of this info

Renaldo "Obie" Benson
July 8th 2005 -
Motown came together to say a farewell to Four Tops' singer Renaldo "Obie" Benson, at a service held at the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, a few miles the former Motown studios at 2648 W. Grand Blvd. in Detroit. Obie was a Four Top for 51 years, and as a songwriter, he co-wrote Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On.". The Four Tops lasted more than 40 years without a personnel change, up to the death in 1997 of Lawrence Payton.
Seated at the right, Four Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs, watches as his friend and colleague's coffin is carried from the church. Four Tops Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Ronnie McNair, Theo Peoples and Roquel Payton are among the pallbearers. . . Tempations singer Ollie Woodson (right) hugs and consoles James Jamerson, Jr.
Many Motown persona fly in to pay tribute to this great singer, James Jamerson Jr, Otis Williams of the Temptations; Smokey & Claudette Robinson; singer/songwriter/producer Harvey Fuqua (Motown Records); Janie Bradford, (the Motown secretary ); Mr. Wendel (Dramatics); Bobby Rogers of the Miracles; musicians Sir Mack Rice, Norman Thrasher of the Midnighters, Clay McMurray, Esther Gordy Edwards and many more.
Wr. Wendal, James Jamerson Jr.,  Ollie Woodson . . James Jamerson Junior, Otis Williams and James (Pete) Crawford
Former Temptation Ollie Woodson sang a heart rendering "Walk Around Heaven All Day," and Smokey Robinson drew laughs from the assembled with his story about Benson's nickname, "De One." One amazing sight for any Motown fanatic was that of Eddie Holland reading Berry Gordy's tribute to Benson from the church podium. (Holland-Dozier-Holland, left Motown in the late '60s and filed a lawsuit against Gordy that led to decades of ill feelings). Claudette Robinson (Smokey's wife) marveled at this site saying "After all, we started out as a family. And we're ending up a family."
Photo's are courtesy of Mr. Wendal
~ thanks Wendal

Hotel St. Regis
Grand Boulevard
Detroit ~ Michigan

Click to visit Hotel St. Regis, Detroit, Michigan
This stately hotel is connected by skywalk to the Fisher Theatre, Detroit's premier theatre for touring Broadway productions, just a few minutes walk from the hotel is where Motown was born, Hitsville USA and the Motown Museum ~ see where it all began. The Hotel's signature restaurant, La Musique, a Cajun restaurant, serves an inspired menu in an elegant room that features stage costumes and memorabilia from past Motown hit makers, with an adjacent Lounge which is a perfect place for cocktails and entertainment. The hotel rooms have been beautifully refurbished and each of their suites is inspired by and named for a famous Motown artist and is decorated in sophisticated European furnishings with a flat-screen television, and includes complimentary USA Today and New York Times, slippers and robe, in-room coffee service and honor bar. A perfect place for your stay in Detroit.
visit Hotel St. Regis

J. Reed Entertainment
Waterford ~
CLICK to vist J. Reed Entertainment and read about the many acts of most genre on their roster.
A full service entertainment agency providing national and local talent that is professional and suitable for your special event. They have many Motown artists including The Miracles, Tee Turner, The Contours featuring Sylvester Potts, Jean Terrell and many others. Their roster includes a host of top quality musical groups in the fields of R&B, Motown, Jazz, Country and everything in between. National Recording Artists, Stand-up Comedy, Impersonators and Tribute Artists are all part of the excitement provided by this agency.
and visit The Motown Artists at J. Reed Entertainment


Any information over the last 30 years or so will be greatly appreciated.
!!Photo's would be a huge bonus
. Even on their own!!

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© 2005 Phil Brodie Band