Miscellaneous

(“Flotsam and jetsam”)

**This is a discography for Motown-related releases other than those on the main Motown labels, which are listed here. If you’re looking for a full list of every Motown single, try the Master Index instead!**

Not everything on this site fits neatly into the Motown catalogue. Between the company’s foundation in the winter of 1958/59, and its demise as an independent concern in 1988, Motown-related music appeared on a whole host of obscure, often one-shot labels, either licensed by Motown or set up by the company specifically to release one or two records.

Rather than set up a separate sub-page for each of these weird and wonderful Motown apocrypha, I’ve collected them all below. Most of these releases don’t have anything in common with each other, beyond the fact Motown didn’t really know what to do with them. Enjoy!

THE UNCLASSIFIED SINGLES


(Click a song title to read a full review of that side. NB: The coloured numbers after each title indicate the highly subjective mark out of ten I gave that song on the day I happened to write about it. They weren’t intended to be taken too seriously.)

9 thoughts on “Miscellaneous”

  1. Robb Klein said:

    I’d like to see the “Motown” Rich record 1801, “I Got That Feeling”/”I Want My Share”, by Cornell Blakely, on here as well. The recordings were made in The Snakepit, produced by Mickey Stevenson and Clarence Paul, and songs written by Motown writers, published by Jobete Music. The record even had a Motown “duplicate master” number (like only Motown Records had). It was released AFTER Nashville DJ Richbourg’s Rich Records label (to which Berry Gordy and partner James Hendrix had been leasing Blakely’s recordings) had gone out of business. Motown then pressed up their “own” Rich Records label (apparently to guarantee continuity for Blakely’s career). Although it is not a “pure” Motown record (in the sense that James Hendrix and Berry Gordy were partners in that venture (as Motown and Harry Balk were partners in the Motown-Distributed Inferno Records). The “Motown Rich Record (1801) was as much a Motown Record as the motown Inferno Records were.

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    • The Nixon Administration said:

      I don’t disagree (having relented and added in Wade Jones, there’s no real policy reason to keep Cornell’s record out any more), but I don’t have a copy to review!

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  2. Bob Anderson said:

    The Black Forum label is missing. Unfortunately, I never purchased any of these spoken word LPs. Therefore, I don’t have a lablel scan to share.

    Link to the 45s: http://www.seabear.se/Black%20Forum.html

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    • Hi Bob,

      It’s not missing – we just won’t cross paths with Black Forum for another nine years! BF released several albums, but just one single (which is what this site is concerned with), and that didn’t arrive until the spring of 1973. It didn’t seem worth setting up a whole discography page just for one single, so when we get to Elaine Brown’s “No Time”, it’ll have a Misc heading and appear on this page. But I won’t get there for quite a while yet…

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  3. Ed Pauli said:

    any chance of reviewing any of the Berry Gordy produced records for other major labels ie. Marv Johnson on UA or Miracles on End and Chess??

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  4. I’m engaged in some research on Letha Jones `I Need You` Anna #1113. I’ve sufficient info on both the Rivals and T J Fowler who also feature on the label but nothing about Letha. One straw that I’m plucking at is that Uriel Jones was in T J Fowler’s band on the recording and could he and Letha be related? Any info on her will be gratefully received. Thanks.

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  5. Robb Klein said:

    There has recently been a discovery made related to the start-up of The Motown label (as a separate Motown subsidiary after Tamla Records. Previous to this, it was thought that “Bad Girl” by The Miracles, Motown TLX 2207, released in September, 1959 was first. But now, a claim is being made, that an unnumbered pink Motown 45 was pressed up earlier (perhaps in August 1959?), to give to DJs, bearing recordings made on Motown’s new studio equipment, bought from Bristoe (Bristol) Bryant, in summer, 1959, when the latter closed down his recording studio. The two recordings by Popcorn Wylie, and Motown’s studio house band, (“Rumble” and “The Wolf Man”) were ostensibly use to test out the quality of the new recording equipment. These 2 recordings, employed Wylie singing and playing piano. “The Wolf Man”was a duet, with Wylie accompanied by a female singer (perhaps Sherri Taylor or Janie Bradford?) was a novelty comedy song, while “Ri\umble” was a raucous, Jazzy Rock and Roll number, with a great sax solo, probably played by Beans Bowles. I have never seen nor heard of an unnumbered, pink Motown pressing of these two cuts. Nor have I ever previously seen any reference to these 2 cuts on any official or unofficial Motown listing, nor did I find any tapes of it or acetates during my several years of perusing The Motown Vaults on vaulted unreleased issue projects. There is no listing of the two cuts on Kieth Hughes’ “Don’t Forget The Motor City”, nor any reference to the songs being published by Jobete, Bengal, Fidelity, Ro-Gor, Stein and Van Stock or any other Motown-related music publishing company on either BMI.com, or ASCAP.com. The two cuts were released commercially in Australia and New Zealand on Lee Gordon’s Leedon Records in mid 1959. The story is that he obtained them (tapes) from a Motown staffer (through rights lease?). I suspect that there was never a pink Motown pressing handed to DJs, but rather, a few vinyl studio demo records handed to a couple Detroit radio station DJs. So, I’m not convinced that this was a “Motown” Record in the narrow sense, but was merely demo cuts on studio demos, used to check the quality of Motown’s new in-house recording studio, at a time when only Tamla Records (and the one RayBer Record) had been released. I also think that HAD Berry Gordy decidednto issue the record commercially, it probably would have been released on Tamla, rather than Motown, and The Miracles’ “Bad Girl” would still have been the first Motown commercial issue.

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