This category will have all the Motown legends we remember and love. Let’s keep history alive!!
Artist: The Elgins
Another forgotten treasure! Maybe I should have called my blog “forgotten treasures!” Because most of the artists a blog about are. One thing I really love about myself, is that I am open to so many different types of music, and it allowed me to find such phenomenal artist, as well garner enough culture to hand create a blog such as this one. Today, my focus is on a wonderful group called The Elgins. To me, this was such an unusual name back in the day, and I don’t recall ever hearing this name in my personal circles or otherwise. Back then, very few radio stations mentioned the name of these artists after their music was played. Having said that, because The Elgins were on the Motown Label, and since Motown had their own distinct sound, I easily mistaken the lead singer’s voice, Saundra Mallett, for groups like The Vandellas, or Martha Reeves.
The Height of their career only lasted about 10 Years
I don’t remember my family owning any of The Elgins’s music (at least I don’t own any original albums, but I may have one or two of their songs on a cassette compilation, I think). However, their biggest hit song “Heaven Must Have Sent You,” was heard all over the radio. This was my jam back in the day. You couldn’t help but to involuntarily dance to this song. The beat sort of made you dance. I was shocked to discover that in 1966 the hit song only reached #9 on the R&B chart, and 11 on the Hot 100 Chart. That song became one of many Black Anthems (I remembered growing up). I would have sworn this song was number 1, it was so incredibly popular in the Black community. But, no matter, it was still a colossal hit, and at the time appeared to have immortalized them.
Even Motown Sort Of Forgotten The Elgins!
Another great forgotten song you guys should investigate, is their song called “Darling Baby.” Personally, I felt this was an amazingly beautiful romantic song. What I find really strange tho… Also released in 1966, the song hit #92 on the Top 100 Chart, yet an the R&B Chart, it reached #4. Now, I am no expert when it comes to the flow of Billboard numbers, but to me that’s a huge gap, and I’m wondering if this had to do with the fact that “Darling Baby,” was originally released as a side B. I truly feel that The Elgins were truly underrated, and that includes by Motown too to some extent. I say this because despite only having a few hits under their belt, they were huge enough to be included in much of Motown’s memorabilia collections. And in my opinion, it had a lot to do with people like Berry Gordy. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but lets not forget, Berry Gordy had his hands in Diana Ross’s pants for quite some time. Not only that, performers such as Martha Reeves, The Temptations, and The Four Tops, got all the promotion when it comes to being included in collectable albums. Their existence felt almost compulsory. There were so many more talents on the Motown label that were not acknowledged until well after the very artists were forgotten by fans. Now, if you do find music from The Elgins, it will be on some sort of “obscure collections.”
Song: Free Me From My Freedom
Artist: Bonnie Pointer
Soulful singer Bonnie Pointer is the sister of singing group, the Pointer Sisters. I started off my title with “What A Shame,” because quite frankly, it is. It’s a same because she has become one of many really, really talented forgotten American performers. Also, I say it’s a shame because of her battle with drugs and alcohol. It breaks my heart to see people who have the gift of singing, and their careers have literally been obliterated by drugs. But, it is also so common among extremely famous music artists of the 70s & 80s (mostly in my opinion (it seems)). From her public divorce, to her embarrassing mugshot after being caught for drug possession. Bonnie became a steamy hot plate of mess. The worst thing in the world is for a music artist to be on TMZ’s list, because a significant amount of music fan base reads and watches TMZ. You can read more about it from The Daily Mail.
In Essence, She Lost Her Career Through Drugs & Alcohol!
I’m not sure if a lot of people remember, but… Back in the day, we had a lot of what I think was called “Double Featured Albums,” such as the one I have below. Usually the music labels would release 12 inch version of 1 hit song from 2 different artists on the same album. Side A for one artist and side B for the other. Man, I played the hell out of “Free Me From My Freedom (1978).” This was my sh*t. This was a powerful, soulful and a fun disco love song, that in essence talks about telling her man to take her off the singles market. I love these kinds of love songs. I hate love songs where the lyrics sound like the singer is begging.
Now, I have to be honest, I hated “What You Gave Me (1978),” by Diana Ross. This should have been on Side TWO instead, but I knew the game. It was “Diana Ross,” ooooooo. Bonnie has such a soulful voice, I really think Motown should have picked another performer that complimented her (Sorry Diana Ross fans). Now, according to Wikipedia, “What You Gave Me,” was actually a cover of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, ’cause Wiki recorded the release date as being 1969. By the way, I liked Marvin & Tammi‘s version better. Way better.
After Bonnie Gone Solo, She Only Had 3 Major hits (Tho Not Number Ones)!
It was absolutely disappointing that Bonnie’s amazing song “Free Me From My Freedom,” only peaked at #58 on the Top 100, and only #26 on the Club Chart. Perhaps despite being a dance song, the rhythm wasn’t fast enough to appeal to more dance fans? Two other popular hits you should listen to. “Heaven Must Have Sent You (1979)” should be the first you listen to! This song was not only the most popular, but the biggest one of her career. It shot up to #11 on the Top 100. Wasn’t a Top 10, but it was close enough 😄. Lastly, she made a cover of The Four Tops “I Can’t Help Myself (1980).” I have to say tho, this song had to grow on me. I wasn’t immediately turned on by the song, but I’ve come to like it over time.
Artist: Stevie Wonder
Album: Uptight (1965)
Today’s recommendation comes from my 45 collection. You know, Stevie Wonder has got to have been one of Motown’s most successful popular artist. I remember watching an interview that talked about how Stevie demanded a significant higher pay (upon first contract). Everybody thought he was out of his mind. But, Motown eventually gave in. I’m sure Motown never expected that Stevie would not only be so successful, but well loved by millions. Stevie’s song “Uptight” not only hit #1 on the Top 100 Charts, it stayed #1 for 5 weeks! Some of the most talented artists never got that!
So, today I just heard this awesome remix. But first, have you heard of a guy named SalaAM ReMi? I thought he was a DJ, but turns out that he’s both a musician and a producer (kind of reminds me of the late Biggie). It appears that there is very little information written about him, which is shocking, because he worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry. Some of the biggest names he worked with were Nas & the late Amy Winehouse. He has even worked with the Fugees; now, they split up a long time ago, so that suggests he’s been in the business for awhile.
Recently, this year (2019) Remi released an awesome remix of Marvin Gaye’s song called “Symphony.” I absolutely love this mix, and I highly recommend that you check it out. The song has been totally reinterpreted! It’s smooth, and has a silky groove. I really appreciate the fact that he kept the integrity of that classic sound that made Marvin who he was. If you want to, listen to Gaye’s original 1973 version of “Symphony.”Decadent chocolate covered strawberries & more @ Strawberries.com
Let me tell you guys something. You couldn’t mess with Martha Reeves and The Vandellas! They were one of the hottest girl groups at the time (next to the Supremes). This amazing girl group started around 1957. What I didn’t realize was that the group was first called “The Vandellas,” and Martha Reeves was not included in the group until a few years later. Eventually she ended up lead singer.
These legendary Motown girls had many classic hits we all know and love. Songs like “Dancing In The Streets (1964),” “Heatwave (1963),” “Nowhere To Run (1966),” and of course we all know “Jimmy Mack (1967).”
But There Is A Forgotten Song You Need To Hear!
There is an outstanding song that Martha performed with the Vandellas called “Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things) (1966).” Martha ripped this song to shreds! This song gave me a whole new respect for Martha as a singer. Unfortunately, the song only hit #70 on the Top 100 Chart, and only #22 on the R&B Chart. Are you kidding me? This song was amazing! My opinion is that compared to all their other songs, this should have been on at least the top 10 list.Shop for Makeup at FragranceNet.com…Low Prices Plus Free Shipping Over $59