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Soul Artists Who Stumbled Over Diana Ross (Or Berry Gordy)


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Hi folks, I am looking for information about the artists who by some means or another stumbled over Diana Ross's unstoppable ascent in Motown.

I refer to Florence Ballard, supposed leader of The Primettes that will finish becoming enemies with Berry Gordy when this one decides to give more protagonism to Diana that to Flo and Mary Wilson, treating them as mere "decorations" of the scene, which will end in the fall in the alcohol and the depression for Florence, and finally an early death.

I refer also to since Berry it finishes being done by Wingate's empire (Golden World, Ric-tic. Wingate) Throwing to the street Barbara Mercer (probably too many competition for Diana?) instead of her incorporating to Motown since it did with Edwin Starr and the majority of artists of Golden World.

 

I suppose that there will be mas histories that some of you can count and to put in the way.
Thanks soul lovers.

 

David.

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You can list as many as you want....if not for Berry Gordy you wouldn't have heard of any of them.

Guest Dave Turner
Posted (edited)

J.J. Barnes suffered as an artist after the Wingate buyout due to sounding too much like Marvin Gaye.

 

Put on to the writing team and although he recorded tracks for Motown whilst there nothing was released.

Edited by Dave Turner
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I suppose you have read 'To be loved', Gordy's self deprecating (tee hee) auto. biog? It seems pretty obvious he would throw a leg over anything that took his fancy, Chris Clark amongst the many.

I can't be arsed to re-read it, so disappointed was I with the flannel. There are definately some clues in there though, good luck to yer.

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I suppose you have read 'To be loved', Gordy's self deprecating (tee hee) auto. biog? It seems pretty obvious he would throw a leg over anything that took his fancy, Chris Clark amongst the many.

I can't be arsed to re-read it, so disappointed was I with the flannel. There are definately some clues in there though, good luck to yer.

 

Linda Griner has unhappy memories of her treatment at the hands of that gentleman as well.

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You can list as many as you want....if not for Berry Gordy you wouldn't have heard of any of them.

Does that mean he's beyond reproach? Piles of dirt have been piled on the Chess brothers and Ahmed Ertegun and no-one died.

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While there are two sides to every story I generally think Berry Gordy gets a bad rap over the Wingate takeover and his modus operani in general. Much is made of his taking out  the local Detroit opposition. I view this as load of rubbish. He wanted the Golden World Recording Studio. That was his main priority.  By this time TM was the Sound of Young America and The Supremes the biggest selling American pop group. He could handle the local Detroit opposition.

 

The whole Motown set-up was based on the release of an average on single a week (maybe a little more perhaps 1.2 or 1.3?) from the total five labels. To this end BG was already stretching everything to the limit with regard to legalities  in getting radio play for his releases. And obviously without radio play there were no hits. I don't see how much room there was to take anyone else on board. He took Edwin Starr and later the Fantastic Four but there  simply wasn't room for everyone.  There were already established artists at Motown who were releasing only one or two singles a year. 

 

JJ Barnes was at Motown for a relatively short time. There was no  attempt to stem his career or keep him on hold. When he left Steve Wonder gave him a brilliant song, that they had both been working on but SW had had greater input, to use as his own with writing credits (Baby Please Come back Home).  (which also gave him his biggest hit. - bigger than anything he did at Ric-Tic).

 

From interviews I have seen I think JJ Barnes knew the score. He might have stayed at Motown but  been one of the "one single  a year" guys. It seems to me he was given the option to leave and was happy to do so and have a new start at Groovesville,

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miss ross(3rd best singer in the supremes) according to gladys knights biography wasnt too pleased about gladys knight and the pips supporting the supremes and playing them off the park and had them kicked off the tour.

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