MAA NEWSLETTER - Thursday September 29, 2011
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Spinners nominated to Rock Hall of FameThe Spinners, the Detroit group who started at Motown ("I'll Always Love You," "It's a Shame") but jumped to Atlantic ("Could it Be I'm Falling in Love," "I'll Be Around," etc.) are among the nominees for the 2012 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, released Tuesday.The core of the group — Bobbie Smith, Henry Fambrough, Billy Henderson and Pervis Jackson — grew up in Royal Oak Township and went to school in Ferndale. Their early singles were on Harvey Fuqua's Tri-Phi Records. When Fuqua's brother-in-law Berry Gordy merged Tri-Phi into Motown in the early '60s, the Spinners were part of the deal.A new addition, G.C. Cameron, sang lead on "It's a Shame," the 1970 hit written and produced for the group by Stevie Wonder, but Cameron stayed behind at Motown when the group jumped to Atlantic, at Aretha Franklin's suggestion. There they had a run of hits with another Detroiter, Philippe Wynne, taking many of the leads.To be considered for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, nominees must have their first single release 25 years ago. The Spinners more than meet that qualification.Several members have died, and several have moved on but two — Fambrough and Smith — continue to tour as the Spinners with new members.Fambrough, who still lives in Metro Detroit, said Tuesday: "It's a beautiful feeling, an honor that they'd recognize us and put us there with the rest of the greats.""I'm so glad it happened at this time, at their age, it will mean a lot to them," said Claudreen Jackson, Pervis Jackson's widow. "There was an 'Unsung' show on the Spinners recently, and someone from the show told me that people suggested they get a petition together to get them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."Other nominees this year are the Small Faces and the Faces (as one entity), Laura Nyro, Joan Jett, Donna Summer, Donovan, War, the Beastie Boys, the Cure, Eric B & Rakim, Guns 'N Roses, Heart, '50s R&B star Freddie King, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rufus with Chaka Khan.The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's class of 2012 will be inducted on April 14 in Cleveland. There will be a week of events leading up to the induction ceremony to celebrate the ceremony's return to Cleveland from New York, including a free concert and the grand opening of the Hall of Fame's new library and archives.
The packaging of Motown: Publicist's book shares rare photos, letters, clippings
By BRIAN MCCOLLUM
Detroit Free PressDETROIT - This is a familiar spot for Al Abrams.We're talking right here, where you're looking, in the pages of this newspaper.It was 52 years ago that an 18-year-old Abrams became the first hire for Berry Gordy Jr. and rose to become publicity director for Motown Records, charged with landing headlines for the label and its artists.For the next eight years, Abrams was in the front seat as Motown conquered first Detroit, then America and finally the globe, a journey chronicled in his delightful new book, "Hype & Soul: Behind the Scenes at Motown " (TempleStreet Publishing).Abrams wasn't just a PR man - snappy, sunny and inspired by Tony Curtis' press-agent character in "Sweet Smell of Success." He was a pack rat, and his book is brimming with rare photos, press releases, letters and other well-worn documents that help reveal how Motown was packaged, presented and spun for public consumption."You can still see the Scotch tape marks where I had stuck them in scrapbooks. If it had my name on it, I felt compelled to take it home," he says. "I'm not going to claim I knew this would all become as big as it turned out. But I did always feel that one day this stuff may really matter."While the glossy, full-color book makes a fun browse for casual fans, its real thrills are geared to the Motown diehards, including the healthy legion overseas.They'll find telegrams and postcards and Abrams' hand-scrawled pitches for promotions that never came off, like a proposal for Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanaugh to rename the city "Motown" for a day in '64, and a record deal for 17-year-old first daughter Luci Johnson that year.There are the letters buttering up reporters, and the loads of press clippings they produced - including what Abrams says is Motown's first-ever media mention: a 1959 Windsor Star profile of the long-forgotten singer Mike Powers.And then there are the reams of press releases ("MARVELETTES FLY TO LONDON," "MARVIN GAYE RETURNS TO 20 GRAND") - often pecked out by Abrams with one finger on a typewriter and rushed to a mail drop where he'd wait to ensure they were picked up.Alongside Abrams' own anecdotes and candid snapshots of artists such as the Supremes and Stevie Wonder, it makes for a brisk and bustling jaunt through a bygone era."You wind up with a day-by-day chronicle of what really happened at Motown," Abrams says. "What are today's publicists going to have down the road - a book of Twitter posts?"In the pre-Rolling Stone era, pop-music journalism was still taking shape, often the province of teen-beat cub writers and castoff coverage, with writers and press reps inventing the standards as they went.But in Detroit, the Motown story was more than just a hit-parade tale. It was a business and cultural phenomenon, and Abrams' go-to outlet was the Free Press, where he hobnobbed regularly with now-iconic Freep figures such as Van Sauter and Bettelou Peterson. Former editor Mort Persky provides a foreword in the book, recounting the coverage of Motown acts as "Abrams shoved them into our consciousness."The world certainly isn't short of Motown books, though many were criticized for sloppy reporting and slippery agendas. But a book of raw materials is its own fact-checker, and Abrams says he and his team - including the English journalist Neil Rushton - aimed to "tell the story that a lot of people had forgotten or overlooked."Many of the documents are drawn from the hefty collection of memorabilia Abrams donated to the University of Michigan in the late '80s, when his wife finally convinced him to liberate their closet. He'd declined opportunities to sell to collectors such as the Hard Rock Cafe."I kept picturing this stuff in a frame with spaghetti sauce splattered on it," he says. "I realized it had value for historians, and a university archive would make it available to scholars."Abrams, a Detroit native who today lives in Findley, Ohio, chuckles at some of the "grandiose PR ideas" he concocted during his Motown tenure - which ended when he took up with the competing Stax Records label in 1967. He lays claim, for instance, to the famous quote attributed to Bob Dylan describing Smokey Robinson as "America's greatest living poet" - a plug Abrams says he concocted with Dylan pal Al Aronowitz.But he's also proud of his time at Motown, where he warmly recalls "being this young Jewish kid welcomed in like one of the Gordy family."His efforts produced more than column inches and record sales for Detroit's biggest entertainment company, Abrams says. They also supplied powerful social fuel."When the Supremes got the cover of (the nationally syndicated) TV Magazine in 1965, that really jump-started things," he says. "It really opened the doors everywhere else - 'Hey, we can put black people on a cover that will sit in people's living rooms for a week, and they won't cancel their subscriptions.'"So we saw every magazine cover, every front-page article, not just as a breakthrough for the Supremes or the Temptations or whoever, but as a breakthrough in the civil-rights struggle.""Hype & Soul: Behind the Scenes at Motown" by Al Abrams; TempleStreet Publishing (288 pages)
Frantic Scene, Crying Kids At Scene Of Jackson Deathby Reuters in Stop The Presses!LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Witnesses on day two of the Michael Jackson death trial on Wednesday told of a panic-stricken doctor and the pop star's children crying in disbelief with their father lying unresponsive on his bedroom floor, mouth agape and eyes wide open.Faheem Muhammad, the ex-chief of Jackson's security team, testified that Jackson's oldest children reacted in horror when they saw their father's lifeless body.Other witnesses said Dr. Conrad Murray, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death, telephoned the singer's assistant before calling an ambulance and may have sought to hide evidence of drug use.Prosecutors claim Murray not only caused Jackson's death by giving him the powerful anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid, along with other sedatives but that the physician also was negligent in his care of the "Thriller" singer and failed to get timely medical assistance.Murray has admitted giving Jackson propofol -- the principal cause of his death -- but his defense attorneys claim Jackson administered additional propofol to himself, leading to an overdose. Murray faces four years in prison if convicted.Wednesday's most dramatic testimony came from Muhammad, who told of a frantic call from Murray that brought the security chief rushing to the singer's bedroom. There he saw Murray and another guard already in the room and Jackson's oldest children, Prince and Paris, taking in the frantic scene."Paris was on the ground balled-up crying and Prince, he was just standing there, he had a real shocked -- just slowly crying -- look on his face," Muhammad said.TIMELINE FOR HELPIn other testimony, prosecutors sought to draw a timeline between when Murray found Jackson unresponsive at 11:56 a.m. (2:56 p.m. EDT/1856 GMT) on June 25, 2009, and when the doctor finally sought help.Initially, Murray called the singer's personal assistant, Michael Williams, at 12:12 p.m./1612 GMT with the message "Call me right away," rather than calling for an ambulance.Williams testified that he called Murray back at 12:15 p.m., and was told Jackson had suffered "a bad reaction.""When I hear a 'bad reaction,' I wouldn't think anything fatal, personally, and I wasn't asked to call 911," Williams said. He said Murray told him to get to Jackson's mansion immediately and also to send up a security guard.An ambulance was finally called at 12:20 p.m. and it was already there when Williams arrived at the Jackson mansion."It was real frantic. I got there when the gurney (carrying Jackson) was coming down" from the bedroom, Williams said.The assistant said that at the hospital where Jackson was later pronounced dead, Murray made a request that seemed strange. "He said, 'There's some cream in Michael's room that he wouldn't want the world to know about,' and he requested that I or someone would give him a ride back to the house, so that he could get the cream," said Williams.Prosecutors have suggested Murray probably wanted to return there to remove evidence of the drugs that he had given Jackson before he died.Earlier on Wednesday, a lawyer who drafted Murray's contract to provide medical services for Jackson said the doctor had assured her multiple times in the days before his death that the singer's health was good.
Michael Jackson trial jury hear 'frantic' Conrad Murray phone callBy Tom Eames, Entertainment ReporterConrad Murray Michael Jackson's former personal doctor Conrad Murray has continued his involuntary manslaughter trial in Los Angeles today.The court was played a "frantic" voicemail left by Murray moments after he found the late singer unconscious.Murray can be heard saying: "Call me right away, please. Please call me right away. Thank you." He had left the message on the phone of Jackson's former personal assistant Michael Amir Williams.Williams told the court that Murray had informed him Jackson suffered a "bad reaction" and that he needed to "get here right away". He added that Murray, who had seemed "frantic", had not told him to call 911 and didn't describe Jackson's condition.Listen to the voicemail message being played in court below:Jackson's former chief of security Faheem Muhammad told the court that Jackson's two oldest children, Prince Michael and Paris, had seen their father lying on the floor as Murray tried to revive him."Paris was on the ground, balled up, crying. Prince was just standing there. He just had a real shocked, slowly-crying type of look on his face," he recalled.When asked if he thought that Jackson appeared to be dead, he replied "Yes".Kathy Jorrie, a lawyer for AEG Live, who were organizing Jackson's planned This Is It tour, told the court that Murray had requested the purchase of a CPR machine, as well as an additional nurse in London."He wanted to make sure that there was somebody else available to be of assistance," Jorrie said. She added that Murray felt the CPR machine was needed due to Jackson's health.Michael JacksonAEG's Paul Gongaware also claimed that it was Jackson's idea to hire Murray as his personal doctor for the duration of the London residency, saying that the relationship between the doctor and Jackson was "friendly and caring".The court was played a haunting piece of audio from Murray's phone of Jackson slurring while talking about the tour on Monday.
MAA PRESIDENT IN FUNK BAND PERFORMING AT THE MAJESTIC IN DETROIT
AL CHISHOLM LEAD SINGER OF JOE BILLINGSLEA'S CONTOURS PERFORMING AT THE 20 GRAND IN DETROIT
CHARLES DAVIS LEAD SINGER OF JOE BILLINGSLEA'S CONTOURS PERFORMING LIVE IN DETROIT
THE MAA MOTOWN QUIZ... So you think you know Motown ah?Dear Motowners,I thought I was placing some easy question for everyone to answer, apparently, everyone don't know a lot of these answers; even most of the Motowners don't know many of the answers to our Motown quiz. So, as we continue to conjure up new and farmiliar question pertaining to Motown, we hope that you can communicate with friends, and socialize with network people on getting the right answers on the Motown Quiz. We will ad a new set of questions as we answer the old ones we placed prior.This is actually becoming rather fun stompping the professionals. All of the answers can be found on the Internet... I'm just not going to tell you where to find the answers! There questions are great for a party, a private event or even a convention. We will have thousands of questions we will add as we go. MAny you will say "I didn't know that", and others you will say, "You don't say". Enjoy the first round of question on the MAA Motown Quiz.Cordially,Billy WilsonPresidentMotown Alumni Association-----------
JETTING BACK TO MARCH OF 2009: REMEMBERING URIEL JONES
Uriel Jones: A Motown legend rememberedOwen Adams Posted by Owen Adams Thursday 26 March 2009 08.47 EDT guardian.co.ukOne of Motown's hardest-hitting drummers, Uriel Jones was a true funk soul brother who was happiest playing in the sidelinesThe Funk Brothers featuring Uriel Jones in 1965
Motown's unsung heroes ... the Funk Brothers in 1965Although engine-room greats often go unsung, Uriel Jones, one of the original Funk Brothers, at least received some recognition, if only in his twilight years.His name didn't appear on a record sleeve – Marvin Gaye's What's Going On – until 1971, yet Jones was a key player in Motown's transformation from classic stomp to multi-textured psychedelic funk. He was recruited to tour with Gaye in 1963, after mercurial organist Earl van Dyke clicked with Jones during in a bebop jam session.Detroit-born Jones, like Motown founder Berry Gordy, trained as a boxer before pursuing music. However, it was when he was sent to a disciplinary school, whose alumni included the Four Tops' Levi Stubbs, that music became his life. Jones, or Possum to his friends, told drummer Tiger Bill in a 2005 interview that he started his career playing trombone but a split lip received during boxing training forced him to turn to the drums.Interestingly, Allan Slutsky, who masterminded the Funk Brothers' return, said: "Uriel was one of the great R&B drummers … Benny [Benjamin] and Pistol [Allen] were more finesse jazz players. Uriel was a beast, that's why he and Earl van Dyke were such a pair. He would hit really hard."Jones's presence was felt on the Temptations' Ain't Too Proud to Beg, one of the hardest Motown stompers, but it's his effervescent, shimmering turns on Cloud Nine and Psychedelic Shack, and Smokey Robinson's gloriously soft I Second That Emotion, not to mention Marvin Gaye's radically reworked I Heard It Through the Grapevine, where he came into his own. This halcyon period came about when he took over from his drug-addled mentor, Benny Benjamin, on lead drums (Motown achieved its dynamic sound by using several guitarists and two or three drummers).Gordy had given Slutsky's 1989 book and 2002 film Standing in the Shadows of Motown his blessing and cooperation, and the Funk Brothers (usually billed as the Soul Brothers on instrumental cuts, as Gordy reputedly hated the word "funk") said little about being treated badly by their famously ruthless boss. Despite being dropped when Motown moved to LA in 1972, Jones and the few surviving Funks didn't suffer financially. Jones also discovered on a 1964 UK tour that soul fans were as interested in the sidemen as the lead singer. When he returned to the UK several years ago, Jones and the band were given a heroes' welcome from northern soul fans.
Owen Adams Posted by Owen Adams Thursday 26 March 2009 08.47 EDT guardian.co.uk
BIOGRAPHY ON CAROLINE CRAWFORDInformation from WikipediaCaroline Crawford (born c. 1949) is an American rhythm and blues and disco singer and actress, who recorded as Carolyn Crawford for Motown Records in the early 1960s, and for other labels later in her career.In 1963, at the age of about 13, she won a talent contest held by Detroit radio station WCHB, the prize for which was a contract with Motown Records. She recorded three singles for the label, an unsuccessful first release of "Forget About Me" (Motown 1050) being followed by "My Smile Is Just a Frown (Turned Upside Down)" (Motown 1064), written by Smokey Robinson. The record reached # 39 on the Billboard rhythm and blues chart.She also sang backup vocals for some of the Motown artists. Her final record for Motown, "When Someone's Good To You" (Motown 1070), released in December 1964, failed to chart and her contract was not renewed, although the record later became a favorite among British soul fans.A few years later, she joined a girl group, Hodges, James, Smith and Crawford, put together in 1972 by William "Mickey" Stevenson. She released two singles with them, "Nobody" and "Let's Pick Up The Pieces", before leaving the group (which went on to achieve some success as Hodges, James and Smith). She then joined the group Chapter 8, but left them in 1976 to start a solo career; she was replaced in the group by Anita Baker.In the late 1970s, and through the early 1980s, she was featured vocalist on several of Hamilton Bohannon's singles and six of his albums, including his biggest US single hit "Let's Start the Dance". She also signed a solo contract with Mercury Records (using the spelling Caroline), and released a single "Coming On Strong" which reached # 66 on the R&B chart at the start of 1979. In addition she released two albums, My Name Is Caroline (1978) and Nice And Soulful (1979), both produced by Bohannon.In 1989 (using the spelling Carolyn) she joined Ian Levine's Motorcity project and recorded the album Heartaches, including the single "Timeless" which later became a favourite on the UK Northern soul circuit. She was reported to be still performing (as Caroline Crawford) in Detroit clubs in 2007.Crawford has also worked as an actress in recent years. She voiced the character of Mrs. Lovat in the 2009 stop-motion film Coraline, and appeared in the TV series Leverage.
POPULAR SITE GIVES JUSTICE TO MOTOWN CATALOGSoulfkindamusic.net is one of the preeminent websites on the Internet. The site is always updating their information, and it focus on more than just Motown artists. In fact, you can find most relevant artists on the web page. Go check it out.
THE ENTIRE LISTING OF UNPAID ROYALTIES FOR $50That's right, you can get the entire 4 book listing of Unpaid Royalties for $50. You get:Unpaid Royalties Listing of Universal Music Publishing GroupEMI Unpaid RoyaltiesJapanese Unpaid Royalties Listing (Album)Japanese Unpaid Royalties Listing (Individual artist)You only have until October 1, 2011 at 11:59pm. to order before the price goes back up to $100 for all 4 listings.Just go to:https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=e-dHwNe2Xh6dtmy3fREcJnQGasG8QjXoUiY7KgGJlDLABMXDQ08wOdyw9hG&dispatch=50a222a57771920b6a3d7b606239e4d529b525e0b7e69bf0224adecfb0124e9b61f737ba21b081981f0ec5c29429da1e3ab6e3235b433a67
JOIN OUR MOTOWN FAMILY ON FACEBOOKCome join our path to success in getting 1,000,000 motown fans on our facebook site. just go to: http://www.facebook.com/groups/maainc/or email to: maainc@...Motown Alumni Association • 621 orleans #65 • Detroit • MI • 48207
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