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Motown From The Background Paperback – 25 Oct 2007
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Estimates of the number of records The Andantes appear on vary wildly, up to and including twenty thousand. Their sweet, pure and powerful voices were every bit as much a part of the Motown phenomenon as the fantastic Funk Brothers, the ace arrangers and the peerless producers. Louvain Demps, Marlene Barrow and Jackie Hicks added their voices, and their own vocal arrangements, to classics by the Four Tops, Jimmy Ruffin, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and all the company's uniquely successful roster of male stars. Perhaps more surprisingly, they also contributed more than they have ever been given credit for to records, not only by solo female perfomers such as Kim Weston and Brenda Holloway, but by Motown's legendary girl groups. The time for keeping their contribution a secret is over. These great ladies need to be recognised for their momentous contribution to musical history, and Bank House is proud and delighted to play a part in making that possible.Author Vickie Wright, fresh from telling the true story of tragic Motown songstress Tammi Terrell in collaboration with her sister, Ludie Montgomery, has done another first-rate job in coaxing the stories, the memories, the emotions and the truth from The Andantes themselves. Now it can be told. This is Motown from the Background.
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God Bless Louvain, Marlene and Jackie for bringing the voices of Angels into my life.
Without blowing the cover of many a famous group they allow you to know who really sang on which record. they should have been stars in their own right, maybe this book will slightly balance that injustice. A good read if you grew up with the Motown sound, and certainly a good piece of education for those of us who loved this music.
Jackie, Marlene & Lorraine, plus Pat through author Vickie Wright come through at last with their respectful memories of the people of Motown and their huge body of vocalwork background singing on the hits, albums and tracks in the vaults of American soul which crossed over to all the world, but more importantly to England, UK.
I've always loved 'harmony' and the excellent Funk brothers rhythm was overlaid with voices used in inventive ways; in the vocal blend, response calling, under-scoring - the layers of girls singing, the mix of female amd male voices are all in the music of Motown. It is very creative stuff and I think made more satisfying, emotional listening than the harder Stax sound. Therefore this book is a logical next 'story to be told'. The background singers are finally acknowledged by record company boss, Berry Gordy. Paid by the session, the ladies & background singers like the musicians were hit hard when Motown pulled out of Detroit at the end of the 60's hits but the book focuses on the positive and is not a 'kiss & tell' like Mary Wilson's book, even though we are all keen for the gossip on our 'yesteryear soul stars'.
This is an excellent book with many contributors from Motown and the Detroit community. I hope some celebrity status and remuneration reaches the singers at last. We have already gleaned info on the mysterious Andantes, who they were, what they looked like and now we have their story.
What next? A book from the Detroit Strings?
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