Sep 082020

No need to shoehorn Motown acts into some Rushmore; here they get their very own.

Here are my ground rules but feel free to go ahead and make your own.

This is Motown, not soul more generally, not Stax/Volt, not Philly International. If you are on the Motown Rushmore then your bones had to be made at Motown.

We all know that Berry Gordy, the Funk Brothers, Holland-Dozier-Holland, and a bunch of other behind the scenes people had as much to do with Motown’s success as any act did. Maybe they will get their own Rushmore one of these days but for now, for this Rushmore, these are the acts (individuals or groups) whose names were on the discs.

I’ll offer up the act I think is the Beatles of Motown, the undisputed act that has to be carved on the Mount – Marvin Gaye. Singer, songwriter, sweet soul-pop love songs, the duets, and the pièce de résistance of “What’s Goin’ On.” A song so magnificent we have to present it twice

With James Jamerson:

Who shares the Mount with Marvin?

Mar 222014


Sounds of the hall in roughly 33 1/3 minutes!

The best part of tonight’s spotlight on Rare Earth Records is that no Rare Earth songs are included.

Rare Earth

[Note: You can add Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your iTunes by clicking here. The Rock Town Hall feed will enable you to easily download Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your digital music player.]

rdtalyor rareearthxitrareearth

Playlist after jump

Apr 022010

Lamont Dozier, “Breakin’ Out All Over”

Greetings again, fellow Thrifty Music enthusiasts!

You thought I was kidding, didn’t you? 20 Thrifty Music tracks in 40 days? Surely not! I say: surely! And today’s track is a stone winner from 1976 — a bit of proto-disco flava from one third of the legendary Motown songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland: Mr. Lamont Dozier.

I’ll spare you the history lesson about Lamont’s disaffection with the Berry Gordy machine and how stingy they were with the proceeds from the hard work of staff writers and performers — and the long, fascinating saga of the Invictus label and its ultimate failure. This track, “Breakin’ Out All Over,” actually comes from Lamont’s years at ABC, when he tried to parlay his undeniable talent and his Gary Coleman, uh, “good looks” into a career as a solo artist.

Well, as great as much of Lamont’s music was during that era, he never quite gained the solo artist traction he was seeking. But the music — much of which remains out of print — was frequently quite good, and this song is no exception. So, yes, as usual, I’m looking for your impressions of this sweeping, soaring, orchestral soul number.

But more than that, I’m looking for an answer to a question: What would you do if you had a million dollars to spend on bringing a musical dream to life?

You know what I’d do? I’d put together my own Love Unlimited-style Orchestra and tour the larger, fancier concert halls of this great, over-compensated nation. I’d work the music media like hell, getting them to realize that it’s been THIRTY FREAKING YEARS since anybody’s been able to hear the orchestral masterworks of Barry White, Thom Bell, Isaac Hayes, and yes, Lamont Dozier in their proper live setting. I’d sell $80 tickets to the 50-something BMW and Mercedes set, and thrill to the knowledge that I could a) keep a magnificent part of America’s musical heritage alive, while b) actually paying my 40-piece orchestra fairly. And I might put on a few cheap shows, too, at larger clubs in town where the proles could actually get down and dance if they wanted to.

That’s what *I* would do with a million bucks. What would *you* do?

I look forward to your responses.



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