Blog Archives

FlinterFile: Michael Jackson- Farewell My Summer Love

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At Motown, they sometimes lose recordings. Read the rest of this entry

FlinterFile: The Four Tops- It’s The Same Old Song

The Four Tops had a number 1 hit in 1965 and so a follow-up single had to be written quickly. Read the rest of this entry

FlinterFile: The Temptations- Plastic Man

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The Temptations released a new album in 1973, with the name Masterpiece. Read the rest of this entry

FlinterFile: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

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In 1967, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell hit the charts. Read the rest of this entry

FlinterFile: Edwin Starr- War

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In 1970, Edwin Starr released a flaming protest against the Vietnam War. It would be one of the first political songs Motown released. Read the rest of this entry

FlinterFile: Elton John & Kiki Dee- Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

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In 1976, Elton John and Kiki Dee recorded a duet. They both loved the duets on the Motown label, but at the time, there hadn’t been one for some time, so they made one themselves. Read the rest of this entry

Song of the day: Rockwell- Somebody’s Watching Me

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In 1984, Kennedy Gordy (yes, the son of the Motown founder Berry Gordy) recorded a demo with a Motown producer under the name Rockwell. Berry did not believe his son had capacities as an artist, but was convinced the demo could be a hit. Michael Jackson sang the backing vocals, something Kennedy strongly wanted. It would mean the guarantee the single would be a hit, which it was: number 2 in the US and number 6 in the UK. Enjoy

Rockwell- Somebody’s Watching Me

Song of the day: The Contours- Do You Love Me

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In 1962, the Contours released a song on a sub label of Motown, Gordy. Berry Gordy had written the song for the Temptations, to score their first hit with it. At the time of recording, the Temptations were not there, since they had not been notified. Berry Gordy looked some time for them, but found the Contours instead. Berry Gordy wanted to make the song a hit as fast as possible, and the Contours needed a hit, since they were in danger of being fired because of having no hits. Both were helped: the song became a number 3 hit in the US. In 1988, they re-entered the charts because of Dirty Dancing, in which the song is featured. Enjoy

The Contours- Do You Love Me

Song of the day: The Temptations- Papa Was A Rolling Stone

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In 1972, the songwriters of Motown came up with a new song. Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong wrote Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone, and this was recorded by The Undisputed Truth. However, it was only a minor hit in the US. Therefore, Whitfield reworked the song to a 12 minute version, produced it for the Temptations and they brought it to number 1 in the US in the same year as the original. The song pictured some children asking their mother about their father, who died before they could have known him and all they know are bad things. Enjoy

The Temptations- Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone

Song of the day: Thelma Houston- Don’t Leave Me This Way

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In 1976, Thelma Houston released a cover of Don’t Leave Me This Way. The original song was recorded in 1975 by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes as an album track. However, it did reach the charts in the US, number 3 on the disco chart. Motown had thought of Diana Ross covering the song, but eventually gave it to Thelma Houston. It made it to number 1 in the US soul, club and normal chart. In the UK, it made it to number 13. In the eighties, the Communards also recorded the song, reaching number 1 in the UK. Enjoy

Thelma Houston- Don’t Leave Me This Way