** This is just a short biographical summary – for the full story, check out this artist’s reviews! **
Saxophonist Walter “Choker” Campbell rarely got into the studio, you won’t find his name listed on many classic hits or even mentioned in the same breath as the more famous members of the Funk Brothers, and yet he played an instrumental part (no pun intended) in the rise of Motown from local curio to national phenomenon. Campbell was the leader of Motown’s live band, the saxophonist and conductor who kept any number of Motortown Revue shows driving along. A respected leader of men, and later a talented producer – not to mention a notorious rake – Choker cut singles before and after he was signed to Motown, but his time with the label was mostly spent out on the road.
To keep him happy, in 1964 Berry Gordy granted Choker a record release, Choker Campbell and his 16 Piece Band play Hits of the Sixties, an album of Campbell’s live arrangements of Motown hits adapted into peppy big band instrumentals. The album yielded up one Motown single in the US, and a completely different one in the UK, creating the first ever UK-exclusive Motown single.
Choker left Motown at the end of the 1960s and formed his own label in Canada. He passed away in 1993.
Review Archive: Choker CAMPBELL’S BIG BAND (1964-65)