The Tempos Story by Rob Moss

The Tempos Story by Rob Moss magazine cover

The Tempos Story

The lineage of vocal groups, male and female, in the 1950s and 60s can be as difficult to establish as any family tree. Line-ups would frequently change as individual members came and went, group names could be dropped and replaced completely or entirely different personnel brought in to replace decampers. On a few occasions in the 1960s several different groups, with the same name, managed to co exist. An entire book, devoted to the various and varied formations that represented 'The Drifters', provides a clear indication of the complexity of personnel peripety through the decades, and they certainly weren't the only ones. Legal wrangles over name usage, and performance rights persist to this day, affecting groups like the Contours, Temptations, Four Tops, Coasters, Drifters, Marvelettes to name a few. Some of us can still recall 'known' groups touring Britain in the 1960s purporting to be their more famous compatriots, and believing that the addition of a prefix like 'Fabulous', 'Original' of 'Fantastic' would, in some way, legitimise the ruse. The Invitations toured as 'The Original Drifters', the Velours came as the 'Fantastic Temptations' (later to become the Fantastics) and there were others. An expose of the practice even made it to the pages of the News of the World newspaper, such was the outrage. This could have all been avoided, of course, if the 'real' groups had come in the first place. Ironically, soul devotees would have been quite happy to see these same groups perform as themselves!

Local singer James 'Jay' Davis happened to perform with two Detroit groups with names that appeared elsewhere - the Moments and the Tempos. " I don't know if we were the first to be called the Moments, 'cause I honestly can't say, but Diamond Jim (Riley) told us to change the name when he heard there was a group out of New Jersey, or somewhere like that, with the same name. 'Cause he was kinda managing us then we did what he said. We were the same guys and we just became the Tempos." The (Detroit) Moments was actually started by Herschel Hunter in the early 1960s and comprised of himself, Buford 'Fab'Glatton, Sam Pearson and James Davis...

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!


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Mike profile photo

Posted

Another great informative and worthwhile contribution by Rob.

Sometime I go through articles and highlight some of the names or tracks that may be of interest.

If I did it with this one think its fair to say that the whole page would seem to be full of bold text!

if viewing the forum version, check out the front page version, as per normal from Rob there's some great photos to accompany his latest words.(click on the images to enlarge)

boba profile photo

Posted

excellent, this fills in a lot of holes about previously unknown groups, thanks for this

Chalky profile photo

Posted

another great informative story Rob.

Jez Jones profile photo

Posted

Wow what a great read over breakfast that was. Hats off to you Rob in giving us such a succint and informative piece.:yes:

Demonstrates 'what a tangled web they did weave' back then and gives food for thought on the 'stories' behind ALL our little bits of plastic.

Great stuff sir:thumbsup:

Val  (Chunky) profile photo

Posted (edited)

Great work Rob...thoroughly enjoyed reading that. thumbsup.gif

Edited by Val (Chunky)
Guest Dave Turner profile photo

Posted

Wow what a great read over breakfast that was. Hats off to you Rob in giving us such a succint and informative piece.:yes:

Demonstrates 'what a tangled web they did weave' back then and gives food for thought on the 'stories' behind ALL our little bits of plastic.

Great stuff sir:thumbsup:

Just the sort of articles I like, full of facts.

I agree with you Jez. We often take for granted those little black discs. which have so many "real life" and often tragic stories behind them.

For me, listening to any Jack Montgomery tracks from now on will never be the same but in fact "heightened" due to a little background knowledge.

:yes:

Dave Thorley profile photo

Posted (edited)

Hi Rob

Nice job mate, great info and cool you share it with all.

Just a note

Buford 'Fab' Glanton, went on to record as David Lenyard and was also a member of Four Real Inc. all of which came out on Flying Eagle. He still lives in Detroit to this day, but has suffered from poor health for many years.

Edited by Dave Thorley
platters 81 profile photo

Posted

top notch article.....really enjoyed reading it .....:yes:

Marc Forrest profile photo

Posted

Fantastic read. I will forward this to my friend Odell Jones of the Steptones...he did not remember to have cut "I`ll Never Forget You" when I first asked him about it.

Marc

macca profile photo

Posted

Excellent and just proves the worth of documenting this stuff before it's too late. The part relating to Marvin Jones-Jack Montgomery is tragic. It looks like people did turn their back on him, for him to take his life in such circumstances. Like Arkwright, those records of his will take on another dimension for me now.

Amsterdam Russ profile photo

Posted

Informative, impressive, compelling and inspired! A marvellous job for which I take my hat off to you!

hatsoff2.gifthumbsup.gif

Johnmcc profile photo

Posted

Rob,

Nice one, again!

It's amazing, given what has happened to so many, that Jay Davis remains in good health and maintains his enthusiasm...........................that hit is just around the corner................

John

Jay Davis, Detroit 2009

post-9997-059789900 1281436250_thumb.jpg

Wilxy profile photo

Posted

Good shout Rob.....as per usual:yes:

Eddie Hubbard profile photo

Posted

A highly informative and well written piece as per usual , very well done Rob .......Best wishes ,Eddie

Hitsville Chalky profile photo

Posted

Hi Rob ..great work Mate and Great Read . Fab's Name is spelt

Fab Buford Glanton , Fab is really a nice guy and good friend he done so much work back in the day and later went to Invictus Records where he joined The Politcians.

Jimmy Charles later Joined The Elgin's .

keep up the good work Rob :tumbleweed3:

Docfish profile photo

Posted

Very informative and enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing!

Rob Moss profile photo

Posted

Thank you all. I'm really glad you enjoyed the piece. Debonaires and Holidays coming up.

Best regards

Rob

Guest JIM BARRY profile photo

Posted

Thank you all. I'm really glad you enjoyed the piece. Debonaires and Holidays coming up.

Best regards

Rob

i can't wait rob, that was so informative and interesting.thats what makes this site so great, more please, jim.

local profile photo

Posted

Thank you all. I'm really glad you enjoyed the piece. Debonaires and Holidays coming up.

Best regards

Rob

Hi Rob,

Great work yet again !!!

hope your well,

regards

Gilly profile photo

Posted

Well done Rob,it makes for good reading,Gilly and Nicola

Northern Soul Uk profile photo

Posted

Hi Rob. Hopefully this may help with the 'Tempos' Biography? I bought these 'AFTRA' (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) documents, signed by 3 members of 'The Tempos', Bobby Sanders, Billy London and Bobby Mac. I am finding it really difficult to find out much more about the bands career. If you find out anything else about them, could you please let me know by PM, as I am trying to piece it together to display with the 'AFTRA' documents. Thank you.

P.S. I also  bought 'AFTRA' documents signed by Leon Heywood (1966), and Marlena Shaw (1967)

IMG_20180325_172024.jpg

IMG_20180325_172033.jpg

IMG_20180325_172042_01.jpg

Chalky profile photo

Posted

1 hour ago, Northern Soul UK said:

Hi Rob. Hopefully this may help with the 'Tempos' Biography? I bought these 'AFTRA' (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) documents, signed by 3 members of 'The Tempos', Bobby Sanders, Billy London and Bobby Mac. I am finding it really difficult to find out much more about the bands career. If you find out anything else about them, could you please let me know by PM, as I am trying to piece it together to display with the 'AFTRA' documents. Thank you.

P.S. I also  bought 'AFTRA' documents signed by Leon Heywood (1966), and Marlena Shaw (1967)

IMG_20180325_172024.jpg

IMG_20180325_172033.jpg

IMG_20180325_172042_01.jpg

Different Tempos, those in your document are the West Coast group (Countdown).  The one who is the subject of this topic is from Detroit.

Northern Soul Uk profile photo

Posted

Yes Rob Definitely 



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