Valvano, Mike

** This is just a short biographical summary – for the full story, check out this artist’s reviews! **

White Detroit teen Mike Valvano came to Motown in 1960 with his group the Modifiers, but became far more useful as a behind-the-scenes jack of all trades – studio hand, engineer, acetate cutter, tape op, audition panelist, and eventually a producer and writer. He cut two of his own singles as an artist for Motown, one credited to “Mike and the Modifiers”, the other to “the Hornets”, but ironically his best-known contribution on the fun side of the mic was his foot-stomping on the Supremes’ breakthrough million-seller Where Did Our Love Go.

Mike left Motown in the mid-Sixties to set up his own production and writing company, scoring a big hit with If This Is Love I’d Rather Be Lonely for the Precisions. Stiffed by another record label over unpaid work in the late Sixties, he was invited back to Motown, where he masterminded sessions for several of the white rock acts on the company’s Rare Earth subsidiary label. He passed away in the early 2000s.

Review Archive: Mike VALVANO (4 items)

We have 4 reviews for Mike Valvano (in his various guises as an artist) currently available here on Motown Junkies – click the link above to see our archive for more details.


4 thoughts on “Valvano, Mike”

  1. Hi, I was interested to see if you folks had a picture of Mile Valvano? We grew up and went to Grade School together in Detroit. Mike lived with his family on Holcomb St. which is near Gratiot Ave. and Harper Ave. on the Eastside of the city. We went to A.L. Holmes school on Rohns St. and Georgia St. two streets away from Mike’s Parents home. If you could post a photo of Mike, I would be most appreciative.
    Respectfully, John Ray

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  2. I had the great opportunity to perform with Mike in a small town CCTV program in Oregon during his last years. A great talent and huge influence. We miss him here dearly…

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  3. Mike composed two songs for me which I recorded for Poo Pan Productions in 1966: “Love’s What You Want” and “You’re Gone Now.” At the time, he told me that he had played the “mallet” during the recording of “Reach Out I’ll Be There.” “Love’s What You Want” started out as “Hey There, Mr. Sun,” but was changed completely at the last minute. I even got to contribute a line to the new lyrics. On a separate occasion, I saw the musicians who recorded the music: there were several white men. The back-up singers were either the Supremes or Martha and the Vandellas.

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  4. Kitty Colbert said:

    I was so fortunate to have known Mike in the 80’s and 90’s. He was one of the kindest most humble people I’ve ever known. Even living very modestly in a tiny rustic town in Oregon (Mill City) he loved his suits and silky shirts! He was always surrounded by great music people. I have such fond memories of wonderful gatherings at his house…his wife was also very sweet and down to earth…Miss you so much Mike ❤

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