The Holidays and Debonaires - A Marriage Made in Detroit by Rob Moss
Motown's purchase of Golden World Records Inc. in September 1966 created considerable turbulence among the artists, musicians, producers and technicians associated with the sequested company. Speculation persists as to owner Ed Wingate's actual willingness to sell, having refused on several occasions, and the possible involvement of 'outside' organisations in applying pressure on him to bring about the move, as well as providing the capital to finance it.
The success of the Golden World and Ric Tic labels with a stable of talented artists providing local, national and international hits, the profitability of the Golden World studio as a recording facility for 'outside' projects and Wingate's association with related businesses that enhanced his profile in the community, all point to the implausibility of such a decision at that juncture. His failure to be associated with any and all public announcements of the takeover, choosing instead to let (business partner) Joanne Bratton represent the company, may portray the real story.
The immediate effect of the change saw the dissolution of two of the company's most prolific groups - The Debonaires and The Holidays. Both had worked extensively around the city providing background accompaniment for a host of artists, including, ironically, many sessions at Motown, and had recorded under their own identities for Golden World and others. Despite several more records and more background work in the months following the sale, it was the relationship between Elsie Baker and Tony Gray that ultimately signalled the end of both groups, when they were married in the autumn of 1967. The events leading up to the union provide a compelling and engrossing chronicle of life at 3246 West Davison during the mid 1960s.
Joyce Vincent, Dorothy Garland and Elsie Baker began life as The Debonaires by auditioning for Bob Hamilton in the Spring of 1963 at Pershing High School in Detroit. They were 15 and 16 years of age. Hamilton's friendship with Ed Wingate and Joanne Bratton led to a second audition at Bratton's house, where they were signed to a contract. Elsie Baker recalled that "...
note from the soul source team - sorry but all Robs non-current articles are now clipped due to a future book release - watch out for news of that!