Hitsville Detroit City


Soul Music

One of the highlights of Detroit's musical history was the success of Motown Records during the 1960s and early 1970s.[2] The label was founded in the late 1950s was founded by auto plant worker Berry Gordy, and was originally known as Tamla Records. As Motown, it became home to some of the most popular recording acts in the world, including Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Edwin Starr, Little Willie John, The Contours and The Spinners.[17][18]

Even before Motown, Detroit had an active R&B and soul community. In 1955, the influential soul singer Little Willie John made his debut, and in 1956, the Detroit-based R&B label Fortune Records enjoyed success with Nolan Strong & The Diablos and their hit songs "The Wind", "Mind Over Matter", and "The Way You Dog Me Around". Smokey Robinson noted in his biography that Strong's high tenor was his biggest vocal influence. Strong is remembered on the 2010 album Daddy Rockin Strong: A Tribute to Nolan Strong & The Diablos - a tribute compilation that features current rock and roll bands covering Diablos songs. The album was compiled and released by The Wind Records and Norton Records.

Also In 1956, notable blues and R&B singer Zeffrey "Andre" Williams recorded a string of singles for Fortune, including the song "Bacon Fat." In 1961, Nathaniel Mayer & Fabulous Twilights hit the charts with "Village of Love," which became one of Fortune's top selling singles. Mayer recorded a string of popular 45s for Fortune, even once performing on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

In 1959, The Falcons (featuring Wilson Pickett and Eddie Floyd) had a hit with "You're So Fine". Also that year, Jackie Wilson had his first hit with "Reet Petite", which was co-written by a young Berry Gordy Jr.. The Volumes had hit single in 1962 for Chex Records with the single "I Love You". That same year singer/songwriter Barbara Lewis had a hit with the single "Hello Stranger.", while Gino Washington had cross-racial appeal and achieved Midwest hits in 1963 and 1964 with "Out of This World" and "Gino Is a Coward".

Several other Detroit artists became nationally known without the help of Motown. Perhaps the best known of such artists was Aretha Franklin. Other non-Motown acts included The Capitols with their 1966 hit "Cool Jerk" and Darrell Banks with "Open the Door to Your Heart". The following year, J.J Barnes had his biggest hit with "Baby Please Come Back Home".

In 1967, longtime back room barbershop doo wop group The Parliaments, featuring George Clinton, scored a hit with "I Wanna Testify" for Revilot Records, and marked the beginning of funk in mainstream R&B. In 1968, Clinton changed the name of The Parliaments in 1968 to Funkadelic following a legal dispute with Revilot, but in 1970 reclaimed the rights and renamed the group as simply "Parliament". Eventually the group became known as simply P-Funk which is short for Parliament-Funkadelic. Berry Gordy House, known as Motown Mansion in Detroit's Boston-Edison Historic District[19]

In 1967, Berry Gordy purchased what is now known as Motown Mansion in Detroit's Boston-Edison Historic District.[19] Motown Records relocated to the West coast 1972, yet Detroit remained an important center of R&B with acts such as Freda Payne, The Floaters, Enchantment, Ray Parker Jr.; both solo and with his group Raydio, One Way, Oliver Cheatham, Cherrelle, The Jones Girls, Anita Baker, and BeBe & CeCe Winans.

In 1969 The Flaming Ember had several hits for Hot Wax Records, a Detroit-based record label created in 1968 by the Holland/Dozier/Holland song writing team after they left Motown Records. The following year Chairmen of the Board had the first hit for Invictus with "Give Me Just a Little More Time."

During the disco craze of the late 1970s, Detroit artists had several dance hits. In 1975, Stevie Wonder's drummer Hamilton Bohannon had a hit with "Foot Stompin' Music", while Donald Byrd & The Blackbyrds infused jazz with dance friendly elements that produced the song "Change (Makes You Wanna Hustle)". In 1977 Brainstorm & C. J. & Company each had soul driven dance hits.

In 1978, George Clinton's bass player Bootsy Collins had a top charting hit with Bootzilla. George Clinton and his band Parliament-Funkadelic is often cited as being a direct influence on the future Detroit Techno scene that emerged in the early 1980s.

Soul Music Genres

jazz funk soul
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Soul City