(“The Californian one”)
Like VIP seven years earlier, MoWest was founded in January 1971 as a specialist label to handle Motown’s West Coast acts.
Much had changed in those seven years, however; while in 1963/4 VIP’s initial roster of California-based artists and LA recordings were very much a minority among the Hitsville material coming out of Detroit which made up the bulk of Motown’s catalogue, by 1971 the plan to move Motown’s entire operation to Los Angeles was well and truly underway and more and more sessions were taking place on the West Coast.
The first single issued on MoWest was DJ Tom Clay’s baffling What The World Needs Now/Abraham, Martin And John, in June of 1971; the label went on to release records by the likes of Thelma Houston, Syreeta Wright and GC Cameron during its short lifespan, as well as featuring the earliest Motown appearance of the Commodores, but Motown’s full-blown permanent move to Los Angeles in 1972 negated the need for a separate Californian label, and MoWest sputtered to a halt in early 1973. The last MoWest single was Thelma Houston’s Piano Man.
Here’s a list of the MoWest Records singles that have been covered on Motown Junkies so far.
MoWEST RECORDS: 45 DISCOGRAPHY (incomplete)
(this is just a placeholder, we’re not at 1971 yet!)
- TOM CLAY: What The World Needs Now/Abraham, Martin And John / The Victors (MoWest MW 5002F, June 1971)
(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.)