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Fascinating Facts No 1 - Lester Tipton


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Posted

I was reading a TV history at work today and came across a chapter on a '60s show called 'Swingin Time', which was broadcast locally in Detroit. The show was presented by Robin Seymour and like TOTP featured real people dancing in the studio. When asked who the top dancers were Seymour replies:

'The Tiptons - Lester and Leslie - they were probably the most famous. They were a black couple and great dancers, they were on the show every single day...Lester and Leslie would do do things, and the other kids would try to copy them. They entered this national contest that Dick Clark had and won..they won two Pontiac automoblies."

I didn't know Lester Tipton was a dancer, I didn't know Leslie existed and had no idea they won two Pontiacs.

I'd welcome more fascinating if useless facts about the rare soul greats.

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I grew up in Detroit and most of the info is accurate.  Leslie and Lester were twins and dance partners on the show, Swingin Time, which was broadcast from Windsor, but most dancers were from the Detr




Posted

That is brilliant!

I think Lester Tipton died in very tragic circumstances, as the victim of a robbery or something. Anyone able to confirm that?

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Guest mel brat
Posted

I didn't know Lester Tipton was a dancer.....

I'd welcome more fascinating if useless facts about the rare soul greats.

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Posted

Wow nice info Soulfulsaint! !

Couple more Lester facts.....he's in the film 'Thank God It's Friday' ..I assume as a dancer, and according to Ritson and Russell in the book 'The In Crowd' he lived with Motown man Tom Deperro.

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Posted

Berry Gordy signed The Four Tops to his Motown label for a mere $400 signing bonus.

you can tell things are slow at work today.....

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Posted

That is brilliant!

I think Lester Tipton died in very tragic circumstances, as the victim of a robbery or something. Anyone able to confirm that?

according to thisoldsoul.com website, "Tipton died while disturbing a burglar at his Detroit home in 1982"..

probably never knew how popular his La Beat 45 was to become

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Posted (edited)

February 18, 2006

Gentlemen,

I'd like to share an experience with all of you that I thought might interest you. In June, 1970, as a "short-timer" in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam I was guarding 6 Viet Cong prisoners who were helping to rebuild a sandbag bunker that their comrades in arms had demolished with mortar fire. As I kept watch over the captured enemy soldiers I was listening to The AFVN (Armed Forces Vietnam Network) on my battery powered radio. The DJ announced "and now a just released jam "Give Me Just a Little More Time" by The Chairmen of the Board!

It wasn't the first time that I'd heard it and I liked it very much but this time I noticed one of the prisoners was not singing but was lip syncing the words, even the part that goes ..... "and our love will surely grow....bluuuurrrrtttt"! I asked him if he spoke English and he told me that he attended the University of Michigan. When asked how he came to be in his current predicament he told me that North Vietnamese Soldiers held AK-47 Assault Rifles to his wife's, father's and mother's heads and demanded he serve in their army or they would kill his family. He got himself captured the very first opportunity that he got.

That day, instead of being the "inhuman animals" that I had been trained, even brainwashed to believe, I saw my enemy as being human beings for the first time. I believe that event helped me to overcome prejudice more than any other single lesson in my life. You guys clearly had a part in that experience. Thank you for making such a horrible part of my life and the lives of thousands of others a little better, if for just a couple of minutes at a time, through your music.

Thank You and God Bless You,

Harry A, Rogers Captain, Charlotte Fire Department, Retired

Edited by Simsy
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Posted

The Four Tops recorded and performed together for more than 40 years without any change to their original line-up.

No other group with a US number one record can make that claim.

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Guest Andy BB
Posted

February 18, 2006

Gentlemen,

That's brilliant Simsy!

I never even knew you were in Chairman of the Board.

That particular song was (more triv here folks...) produced by Holland Dozier Holland but because they were undergoing legal contractual issues with Motown they credited themselves on the pressing under the pseudonym "Edith Wayne" - As they did on a lot of the early invictus records.

What do you mean you all knew that? tchah!

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Posted

That's brilliant Simsy!

I never even knew you were in Chairman of the Board.

That particular song was (more triv here folks...) produced by Holland Dozier Holland but because they were undergoing legal contractual issues with Motown they credited themselves on the pressing under the pseudonym "Edith Wayne" - As they did on a lot of the early invictus records.

What do you mean you all knew that? tchah!

If I remember correctly Lamont Dozier cleared up the Dunbar - Wayne conundrum last year once and for all. Apparently they were the Invictus Office cleaners! Great stuff!

Regards,

Dave

http://www.theresthatbeat.com

http://www.hitsvillesoulclub.com

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Posted

I was reading a TV history at work today and came across a chapter on a '60s show called 'Swingin Time', which was broadcast locally in Detroit. The show was presented by Robin Seymour and like TOTP featured real people dancing in the studio. When asked who the top dancers were Seymour replies:

'The Tiptons - Lester and Leslie - they were probably the most famous. They were a black couple and great dancers, they were on the show every single day...Lester and Leslie would do do things, and the other kids would try to copy them. They entered this national contest that Dick Clark had and won..they won two Pontiac automoblies."

I didn't know Lester Tipton was a dancer, I didn't know Leslie existed and had no idea they won two Pontiacs.

I'd welcome more fascinating if useless facts about the rare soul greats.

It's mentioned in Dave Welding's sleeve notes to the LaBeat cd grapevine put out that he was a dancer with his sister. It also mentions he later went on to become a barber. Was beaten to death by burglars 9th Feb 1982.

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Guest mel brat
Posted (edited)

(Lester Tipton)...was beaten to death by burglars 9th Feb 1982.

Edited by mel brat
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Posted

(Lester Tipton)...was beaten to death by burglars 9th Feb 1982.

Doesn't such tragedy put it all into focus though? What price our petty concerns about "exclusives" and record prices, when the musical legacy we've inherited is way above monetary value. Lester Tipton's soul lives on.

Absolutely spot on :thumbsup:

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Posted (edited)

Here's one I'm sure most don't know....

Milton Parker was a clothing shop owner near 27th street (the home of the first "Fatburger") off Western in Los Angeles back in the 1960's.

The shop was called "Mr. Parker's Closet" hence the name of his record label.

Bands like The Byrds for example would buy their stage outfits from him, and black teens would rent tuxedos for the prom, weddings, etc.

Most of his singles were distibuted personally, accounting for its rarity.

I still haven't located him or his family. :lol:

ANOTHER "FACT"

HB Barnum told me Earl Wright was actually him....!! :thumbsup:

Edited by MikeVague
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Posted

Here's one I'm sure most don't know....

Milton Parker was a clothing shop owner near 27th street (the home of the first "Fatburger") off Western in Los Angeles back in the 1960's.

The shop was called "Mr. Parker's Closet" hence the name of his record label.

Bands like The Byrds for example would buy their stage outfits from him, and black teens would rent tuxedos for the prom, weddings, etc.

Most of his singles were distibuted personally, accounting for its rarity.

I still haven't located him or his family. :lol:

ANOTHER "FACT"

interesting.....veeeerry interesting

HB Barnum told me Earl Wright was actually him....!! :thumbsup:

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  • 14 years later...
Posted

I grew up in Detroit and most of the info is accurate.  Leslie and Lester were twins and dance partners on the show, Swingin Time, which was broadcast from Windsor, but most dancers were from the Detroit area. They DID represent Detroit in American Bandstand's National Dance Contest in 1968 and won.  The grand prize was matching Pontiac Tempest Convertibles.  I was a teenager at the time and watched both shows.  I also remember they both moved to California and actually remember seeing them as walkons in a couple of television shows.  I think one was Room 222.  Kind of lost track of their careers for a while, due to concentration on school and career and no internet.   Unfortunately,  when I did look them up a few years ago, I learned Lester was killed in some sort of a break-in while in California.  He had achieved a little acclaim as a dancer/choreographer, apparently and his life was fit short.  Not sure what happened to Leslie, his twin sister.  I think she may have been the one to identify him.  What I do remember about them was they would choreograph their dance moves when they danced on the show.  And they would coordinate their outfits.  For example, if Leslie wore a polkadot or print dress, Lester would wear a matching sport jacket and tie.  I believe they mentioned an aunt or grandmother made their outfits.  Very talented family!!

  • Up vote 7
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Posted

Can't seam to find a clip of that 68 dance comp final?

67 is on the tube and 69 with 2 pontiacs.

Anybody able to post the 68 so we can see the siblings perform etc.

Ed

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Tomangoes said:

Can't seam to find a clip of that 68 dance comp final?

67 is on the tube and 69 with 2 pontiacs.

Anybody able to post the 68 so we can see the siblings perform etc.

Ed

From Discogs

Twins Lester and Leslie were high school celebrities in the late 60's as regular performers on Robin Seymour's "Swinging Time" dance program, which aired on Channel 9.

There is one Ed with the Supremes as Guests and the guy introducing makes reference to 2 dancers "They work for us" after Mary Wilson Compliments them.  Could be them or maybe too early, Its worth a look if only to look at Mary for the duration 😍

 

Edited by Imperial C
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Posted

Could well be!

On the AB shows they do name at least some of the prominent dancers.

I'm sure footage of the 1968 AB dance comp winners will show up.

Ed

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