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RobbK

Harry Lee Gates Seems to also be Louis Curry

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Detroit '60s Soul artist and songwriter, Harry Lee Gates, lead singer of The Dramatics on Crackerjack, The Caravelles on Starmaker, and solo artist, "Lee" Gates on Enterprise, also seems to be Louis Curry on Detroit's M-S and Reel Records. ALL of his cuts on those two Detroit late 1960s labels were Fred Brown/Joe Hunter productions published by their Brohun Music, and had Gates as a co-writer of the songs. Listen to "A Toast To You" and "Captivated" on M-S Records and "You're Just Plain Nice" on Reel Records. Gates' voice is unmistakable.  I can't believe I didn't notice that all these years.  I wonder if he was also the lead singer of Motown's (Miracle) mystery group, The Equadors.  "You're My Desire" sounds like he might not be the lead.  But, "Someone To Call My Own" sounds a lot like him.  What do you all think?

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On Lee Gates "Nothing But Wonderful", his voice does sound like "You're Just Plain Nice", and there's even more similarity between parts of the two songs themselves.

I can't remember how the Equadors songs sound, so will have to have a listen, but certainly the above two are vocally pretty similar. Yes, think you are right.

Cheers
Mick

 

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2 hours ago, Premium Stuff said:

Robb - having listened to all of them I can't agree

Isn't it way too much of a coincidence that Fred Brown and Joe Hunter produced arranged and recorded two people with such similar voices who were both Detroit artists.  If the voices don't sound exactly alike, we must realise that "Toy Soldier" was recorded in 1963, Lee Gates' Enterprise record in 1965, and the Louis Curry cuts in 1967 and 1968.  He got a little older, and more experienced in singing.  But, the tones in people's voices are unique, and inherited from their genes.  Which is why twins sound almost identical, and siblings and children and parents share a familial tone.  That is why Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick sound so close, and even cousins Cissy and Whitney Houston have voices very similar to the Warwicks.  I hear that unique familial tone in both singers.  So, to me, I would say that they are no further removed than brothers.  Which leads me to my original theory that Lee Gates on Enterprise was Harry Gates' brother.  But that theory was thrown out when my friend, Detroit Soul producer and record masterer, Ron Murphy was told that Harry Gates was Harry Lee Gates, and had gone by his middle name on the Enterprise release. 

But, perhaps Louis Curry is Harry Gates' brother, using a stage name?  Brown and Hunter would have met him through his brother, or Gates' fellow group members.  I think you'll have to admit that Fred Brown and Joe Hunter being his production team and being Harry Gates', as well, is too much of a coincidence.  Also, Harry Gates "disappeared" just when Louis Curry came on the scene.  That's too much of a coincidence for me.  How do you explain "H. Gates" being a credited co-writer on more than half of Louis Curry's songs, if Gates is not either Curry, himself, or Curry's brother?  Still, Gates disappearing as a singer, just about the time Curry first appears, is too much of a coincidence for me to believe they are brothers.  Singers voices change a bit through their careers.  But for me, that one unique individual tone is there in both Gates' known Dramatics, Caravelles and Lee Gates leads, and Louis Curry's recordings.

The only thing I propose that might be far-fetched is that Gates might also have been the lead singer of Motown's (Miracle's) Equadors.  The voices sound close enough, at least on "Someone To Call My Own" to be possible.  And it is really odd that a singer with such an unique and beautiful voice just made that one 1961 record, and nobody on the Detroit '60s scene knows who were the members of that group.  Why did that super singer not make other recordings?  I think he did, leading Starmaker's Caravelles in 1963, and making the Enterprise record in '65, and the Reel record in '67, and several M-S records in '67 and '68.

Edited by RobbK

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Hi Robb,

               Dave Hamilton managed Louis in 1967 and a contract dated March of that year syas Louis was his real name and Lonnie was a stage name that he presumably used for a short time that he was with Dave and Darryl. Dave had songwriting tapes from Harry Gates and Cee Wills separately so I doubt very much that they were the same guy. I'll check with Darryl Goolsby who was Dave's partner and also on the contract.

 

ady

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5 hours ago, weingarden said:

McKinley Jackson would know the answer.

 

Why would McKinley Jackson know who was in a totally obscure Motown group from 1961, when he was barely in his teens then, and hadn't worked for Motown by that time?  And if he DOES know, how is it that that information never got to anyone with Universal/Motown or into the collector Motown/Soul historians community?

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I was addressing the Louis Curry identity question. They're friends. Get up on the wrong side of bed this morning, Robb?

 

Edited by weingarden
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4 hours ago, weingarden said:

I was addressing the Louis Curry identity question. They're friends. Get up on the wrong side of bed this morning, Robb?

 

No.  I just made an assumption, as you didn't refer to which question Jackson could answer.  Now I know we can find out if Curry and Gates are related.

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