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Buddy Holly And Motown?

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What links rock and roll legend Buddy Holly to Motown?

 

I bought Graham Betts' "Motown Encyclopedia" and it's a decent book to dip into and some great information but I'm totally bamboozled by the inclusion of Buddy Holly.  Motown wasn't even a month old when he died.  Anyone know the link?  Cheers.

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The only connection that I can make is courtesy of a book called Rock and Roll: Gold Rush (Maury Dean).

 

On page 252 it states: "Buddy left-handedly created the Motown Soul Empire for Berry Gordy, via Robert Gordy's "Everyone was there"."

 

That's it. Robert Gordy released the song on the Carlton kabel in 1958 under the name of Bob Kayli and it was bit of a hit. The label credits songwriters as Kayli-Gordy Jr. It also states that it's Bob Kayli with the Barry Gordy Orchestra!

 

The allusion is that the song is in the Buddy Holly style and that its small success encouraged Berry Gordy move on to greater things musically.

 

Possibly - through bad editing - Betts' encyclopedia accidentally left out the specific reason for Holly's inclusion. Stranger things have been known in publishing.

 

Here's the song...

 

Edited by Russell Gilbert

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The only connection to Buddy Holly could be the slight hiccough that he uses on some words, but that might originally have come from Elvis Presley's style. Typical of the era including titles of other records in the lyrics. Oh hang on, Peggy Sue is mentioned, BH's first solo hit, so maybe that's the connection, rather tenuous.

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Wasn't he the first white act to play the Apollo?

 

Not sure if he was the first white act to play there but it seems the bookers thought the Crickets who were currently having a hit with That'll Be The Day were the same group as the black doowop group of the same name. Just checked them out and there's one by them on YouTube, Are You Looking For A Sweetheart, featuring Dean Barlow. Is it the same Dean Barlow of Third Window From The Right fame? The black Crickets recorded between 1953 and 1954 which may be why there was a mistake in the booking to the Apollo. The black Crickets later recorded as the Bachelors and the Montereys. Apologies for waffling.

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The only connection that I can make is courtesy of a book called Rock and Roll: Gold Rush (Maury Dean).

 

On page 252 it states: "Buddy left-handedly created the Motown Soul Empire for Berry Gordy, via Robert Gordy's "Everyone was there"."

 

That's it. Robert Gordy released the song on the Carlton kabel in 1958 under the name of Bob Kayli and it was bit of a hit. The label credits songwriters as Kayli-Gordy Jr. It also states that it's Bob Kayli with the Barry Gordy Orchestra!

 

The allusion is that the song is in the Buddy Holly style and that its small success encouraged Berry Gordy move on to greater things musically.

 

Possibly - through bad editing - Betts' encyclopedia accidentally left out the specific reason for Holly's inclusion. Stranger things have been known in publishing.

 

Here's the song...

 

      That may be true but.... if Berry Gordy had already written hits for Jackie Wilson, why would one song written "in the Buddy Holly style" suddenly encourage Berry Gordy to "move onto greater things musically" ??

    I think the author is taking a few liberties with the facts?

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      That may be true but.... if Berry Gordy had already written hits for Jackie Wilson, why would one song written "in the Buddy Holly style" suddenly encourage Berry Gordy to "move onto greater things musically" ??

    I think the author is taking a few liberties with the facts?

Isn't that something you should be taking up with the author, or better still, Berry Gordy?

 

The author's comment is incredibly ambiguous, meaning it's not clear what he's actually conveying. If we don't know what the author means exactly, it's hardly possible to conclude that he's "taking a few liberties with the facts..."

 

The Gordy-co-penned Reet Petite made it to 62 in the Billboard Top 100 in Sept 1957. The Bob Kayli track hit something like 92 a few months later, thus at best both songs were minor Billboard hits. 

 

There's quite a bit of biographical information out there that highlights the ultimate failure of his brother's recording as being a formative and very important lesson for the ambitious Berry Gordy.

 

It appears that Kayli's song was selling quite well until he decided to make personal appearances, after which sales dried up. Seemingly the record-buying public took it for granted he was white (singing in a Buddy Holly style) and turned their back on the song when they discovered he was black. Apparently this had a profound effect on Berry Gordy.

 

Perhaps the author is in some way alluding to this lesson. Perhaps he means something completely different. Considering the vagueness of the statement about the Buddy Holly contribution to the success of Motown, any discussion around it is pure speculation. 

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First things first, when I used your post, I meant no offense towards you. I didn't want to put "referring back to post #3,....."

So, I just reposted it  since everything was there. If I offended you, I apologize.

   I still think that the connection is weak at best. You could also make a strong argument that Doris Day  left handedly created the Motown sound.

Edited by the yank

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First things first, when I used your post, I meant no offense towards you. I didn't want to put "referring back to post #3,....."

So, I just reposted it  since everything was there. If I offended you, I apologize.

   I still think that the connection is weak at best. You could also make a strong argument that Doris Day  left handedly created the Motown sound.

Absolutely no offence taken.

 

My opening point is exactly as stated - that the only way you'd get a proper answer to your question would be to ask the author what they meant or to run it by Berry Gordy.

 

I wasn't able to add earlier - as I was using my iPad - this screen grab of some text from a book entitled "The black culture industry" by Ellis Cashmore.

 

In his own words Berry Gordy highlights the lesson learned from the Bob Kayli situation, and a life lesson that I feel the author Maury Dean is referring to in his left-handed Buddy Holly comment. 

 

post-9478-0-37777000-1421263592_thumb.jp

 

It certainly all adds up for me.

 

Now, about you being able to show how Doris Day was left-handedly responsible for the Motown sound. I'd like to hear that one…  :D 

Edited by Russell Gilbert

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It's very easy to make the Doris Day connection. But bear with me- as I don't have the book in front of me.

If I get any of the facts wrong- I hope someone corrects me.

   In his book "To Be Loved", Berry says that one of the earliest songs he ever wrote was intended for 

Doris Day. I think he mailed it to her and never heard anything about it again. 

   So...isn't possible that  after that experience, that Mr. Gordy strove even harder for success, worked on

his writing style, and became a better songwriter which eventually made him start Motown? 

    To me- there's just  as strong of a connection here as with Buddy Holly. 

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Not sure if he was the first white act to play there but it seems the bookers thought the Crickets who were currently having a hit with That'll Be The Day were the same group as the black doowop group of the same name. Just checked them out and there's one by them on YouTube, Are You Looking For A Sweetheart, featuring Dean Barlow. Is it the same Dean Barlow of Third Window From The Right fame? The black Crickets recorded between 1953 and 1954 which may be why there was a mistake in the booking to the Apollo. The black Crickets later recorded as the Bachelors and the Montereys. Apologies for waffling.

That's the kind of waffling we like Geoff!...a few great facts chucked in there!

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Not sure if he was the first white act to play there but it seems the bookers thought the Crickets who were currently having a hit with That'll Be The Day were the same group as the black doowop group of the same name. Just checked them out and there's one by them on YouTube, Are You Looking For A Sweetheart, featuring Dean Barlow. Is it the same Dean Barlow of Third Window From The Right fame? The black Crickets recorded between 1953 and 1954 which may be why there was a mistake in the booking to the Apollo. The black Crickets later recorded as the Bachelors and the Montereys. Apologies for waffling.

Yes, THAT Dean Barlow had been the lead singer of The Crickets,  and a couple other groups.  Most group collectors know him only as a group lead singer, and would be surprised that he had any solo career, at all (he really didn't have almost any sales).  Same with Tony Middleton (Willows) Ray Pollard (Wanderers), Tony Williams (Platters), Eugene Pitt (Jive Five), Rudy West (Five Keys)Nate Nelson (Starglows), and so many others.

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It's very easy to make the Doris Day connection. But bear with me- as I don't have the book in front of me.

If I get any of the facts wrong- I hope someone corrects me.

   In his book "To Be Loved", Berry says that one of the earliest songs he ever wrote was intended for 

Doris Day. I think he mailed it to her and never heard anything about it again. 

   So...isn't possible that  after that experience, that Mr. Gordy strove even harder for success, worked on

his writing style, and became a better songwriter which eventually made him start Motown? 

    To me- there's just  as strong of a connection here as with Buddy Holly. 

Ha-ha. What's missing though, is the evidence to support that claim. Without evidence all it can be is an assumption and you can make those about absolutely anything. 
 
For example, perhaps Gordy was really reaching out to Rock Hudson and thought he could do it through Doris. Write her a song. It becomes popular. Gordy gets to meet Doris and they collaborate successfully, all of which enables he and Rock to get acquainted. NIce.
 
Without anything to support that claim, it is of course absurd.
 
In the case of the Buddy Holly comment, it is incredibly vague and does need a supporting explanation; we shouldn't have to interpret what he might mean or examine other sources (which we've done) to understand it.
 
Having looked at other sources, we find that Gordy's own words stand as evidence to support the Buddy Holly statement: putting out a Buddy-esque song, and the negative response received from the record-buying public when they discover the singer is back, taught Gordy a very important lesson, one that shaped how he made and marketed the music of Motown.
 
Suddenly the author's Buddy Holly statement is no longer unsupported. We have Gordy's own words to back it up. Therefore it's not incorrect to say, even tenuously, that Gordy's success came about in a round-about way because of Buddy Holly.
 
As to Doris Day being responsible for Motown's success, well, as said, unless there's some actual evidence - perhaps some words from Gordy about how the experience of writing and sending a song to Doris influenced him - it's entirely unfounded. You have to go with the evidence.

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That's the kind of waffling we like Geoff!...a few great facts chucked in there!

 

Thank you, don't want to be the geezer at the bus stop that you all try to avoid, lol!

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Yes, THAT Dean Barlow had been the lead singer of The Crickets,  and a couple other groups.  Most group collectors know him only as a group lead singer, and would be surprised that he had any solo career, at all (he really didn't have almost any sales).  Same with Tony Middleton (Willows) Ray Pollard (Wanderers), Tony Williams (Platters), Eugene Pitt (Jive Five), Rudy West (Five Keys)Nate Nelson (Starglows), and so many others.

 

Thank you Robb for that information. Singers don't usually come from nowhere, they usually have some background if you understand my meaning. I've looked at soul artistes' discographies and been surprised that many went back to the middle and early 50s.

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Ha-ha. What's missing though, is the evidence to support that claim. Without evidence all it can be is an assumption and you can make those about absolutely anything. 
 
For example, perhaps Gordy was really reaching out to Rock Hudson and thought he could do it through Doris. Write her a song. It becomes popular. Gordy gets to meet Doris and they collaborate successfully, all of which enables he and Rock to get acquainted. NIce.
 
Without anything to support that claim, it is of course absurd.
 
In the case of the Buddy Holly comment, it is incredibly vague and does need a supporting explanation; we shouldn't have to interpret what he might mean or examine other sources (which we've done) to understand it.
 
Having looked at other sources, we find that Gordy's own words stand as evidence to support the Buddy Holly statement: putting out a Buddy-esque song, and the negative response received from the record-buying public when they discover the singer is back, taught Gordy a very important lesson, one that shaped how he made and marketed the music of Motown.
 
Suddenly the author's Buddy Holly statement is no longer unsupported. We have Gordy's own words to back it up. Therefore it's not incorrect to say, even tenuously, that Gordy's success came about in a round-about way because of Buddy Holly.
 
As to Doris Day being responsible for Motown's success, well, as said, unless there's some actual evidence - perhaps some words from Gordy about how the experience of writing and sending a song to Doris influenced him - it's entirely unfounded. You have to go with the evidence.

 

     I guess it wasn't obvious I was being 100% completely sarcastic with the Doris Day theory.

       I should probably clear up a few more things :

      1) I don't think Buddy Holly "left-handedly created the Motown Soul Empire for Berry Gordy".

       2) I don't think Doris Day "left-handedly created the Motown Soul Empire for Berry Gordy".

    

    But.... if someone believes either of the two ideas are correct, that's fine with me.

    I think everyone has the right to their own opinion.

         I'll say no more .

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     I guess it wasn't obvious I was being 100% completely sarcastic with the Doris Day theory.

       I should probably clear up a few more things :

      1) I don't think Buddy Holly "left-handedly created the Motown Soul Empire for Berry Gordy".

       2) I don't think Doris Day "left-handedly created the Motown Soul Empire for Berry Gordy".

    

    But.... if someone believes either of the two ideas are correct, that's fine with me.

    I think everyone has the right to their own opinion.

         I'll say no more .

Of course you weren't being serious about Doris Day. That was obvious and my own humour is obviously a tad too dry for you.

 

Perhaps I should just reassert that I wasn't being serious either in linking Gordy and Rock Hudson (just in case Gordy's lawyers happen to stumble upon this now or in the future).

 

As you say, we all have our own opinions. C'est la vie & vive la différence. :hatsoff2::thumbsup:

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