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Robert Bateman interview


G F

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55 minutes ago, G F said:

Did you see this one with Arthur Ashford?... uploaded a couple of weeks ago:

 

 

 Graham

I posted it up under your account a few days back  as per previous pm in our video gallery

there's been some comments on it, link below if not aware

 

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24 minutes ago, G F said:

Cheers - I didn't think I would teach you anything, Robb, but as us older fans disappear, hopefully these YouTube videos will still around to tell the story. 

Well, it is valuable to me, as I got to hear Bateman's voice, and so, get a better feeling for how he felt about past events, than I had had hearing about those events second hand from others (For example, his decision to leave Motown, based on Mickey Stevenson's steering him towards Wilbur Golden's plans to form his new Correc-Tone Records, and recording studio, which Stevenson told him HE was jumping too (for the big salary raises Golden was offering, and also telling Bateman that Eddie and Brian Holland and Popcorn Wiley were also jumping ship, possibly to leave lots of room for advancement for himself (as he really may have been planning not to leave after all)).  When Bateman went to Berry to ask for a raise in pay, and after being turned down, threatened to leave for Golden's offer, Berry wished him good luck in his post-Motown career.  Gordy then went to The Hollands and Stevenson, and offered them significant pay raises and bought them brand new Cadillac cars.  Bateman felt stabbed in the back, and I heard that in his tone when he spoke about the incident and Stevenson taking what would have been HIS job as chief producer.  As it turns out, only Wiley, and his fellow Satintones (some of whom morphed into Correc-Tone's Pyramids), and Janie Bradford who remained Motown's secretary and contracted songwriter, but moonlighted for Golden as a songwriter, under the alias of "Nikki Todd".  Ex-Motowner Don "Juan" Mancha signed with Golden as another producer.  And Herman Griffin left Motown to form his own Hit and Hit Sound Records, which, I believe was at least partially funded by Golden and distributed by Golden's distribution system (small regional only at first) and later, nationally, by Atlantic Records. 

There were some other recollections from Robert that gave me good insight, as well.  They were all as I had guessed, but it's nice to have them confirmed from "the horse's mouth.

So, I greatly appreciate your work and your sharing it with everyone instead of forcing us to buy a book (which I'd have bought gladly, anyway).

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Yes... I also liked hearing how "If You Need Me" was influened by Sam Cooke's "You Send Me" and that Robert had left Berry quite a few times prior to going to Wilbert Golden - my guess is that Fred Bridges song (cut at Special) must have been during one of those times. 

I wish I'd asked about him singing with Mickey Stevenson's brother - what that group was. Also where he sang with The Chimes (he mentions a place that sounds like 'Carnogy Center', but may be 'Carnegie'.

 

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59 minutes ago, G F said:

Yes... I also liked hearing how "If You Need Me" was influenced by Sam Cooke's "You Send Me" and that Robert had left Berry quite a few times prior to going to Wilbert Golden - (1) my guess is that Fred Bridges song (cut at Special) must have been during one of those times. 

I wish I'd asked about him singing with Mickey Stevenson's brother - what that group was. (2) Also where he sang with The Chimes ((3)he mentions a place that sounds like 'Carnogy Center', but may be 'Carnegie'.

 

(1) As far as I remember, from what was related to me from others based on what Robert had told them, and what I heard him say in interviews, and the date code on the Versatile record, and what is written in the Soulful Detroit Fred Bridges article, I concluded that The Fred Bridges Versatile Record WAS. indeed, a Correc-Tone production, that was recorded at Special because that was before Correc-Tone's studio was completed, and Golden was out of cash to pay for its pressing, because he had used all his ready cash to pay for his new studio's equipment and materials.  So he sent Bateman to New York to Shop some of their recordings in pressing/label/distribution/partial publishing deals.  He did the same with The Pyramids sold to VJ, The Donays, Laura Johnson, and  Marva Josie, and a few others.  

(2) I assume that those "Chimes" weren't Willie Jones' Chimes, but rather James Cleveland's Gospel Chimes (of Detroit), also known as "The Original Chimes", who recorded for Carmen Murphy's House Of Beauty Records.

(3) Yes, that is "Carnegie Center" (Music Hall) located in Pittsburgh, PA.  Robert also pronounced a few other proper nouns in a very funny way.  "Carnegie Hall" is in New York City.  But Robert called their venue "Carnegie Center" which is located in Pittsburgh and also has a music hall.  So Pittsburgh must be where they performed.

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48 minutes ago, Robbk said:

(1) As far as I remember, from what was related to me from others based on what Robert had told them, and what I heard him say in interviews, and the date code on the Versatile record, and what is written in the Soulful Detroit Fred Bridges article, I concluded that The Fred Bridges Versatile Record WAS. indeed, a Correc-Tone production, that was recorded at Special because that was before Correc-Tone's studio was completed, and Golden was out of cash to pay for its pressing, because he had used all his ready cash to pay for his new studio's equipment and materials.  So he sent Bateman to New York to Shop some of their recordings in pressing/label/distribution/partial publishing deals.  He did the same with The Pyramids sold to VJ, The Donays, Laura Johnson, and  Marva Josie, and a few others.  

 

I reckon that Versatile 45 predates the first Correc-tone release (Wilson Pickett). 

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6 hours ago, G F said:

I reckon that Versatile 45 predates the first Correc-tone release (Wilson Pickett). 

That may have been Wilbur Golden's first financed recording before Correc-Tone's Studio was finished.  It was produced for him by Golden's chosen A&R Man for Correc-Tone, Robert Bateman, probably just after Stevenson backed out of his agreement to leave Motown.  It was published by BrianBert Music (which was originally set up, by Bateman, to be either a partnership between Brian Holland and Robert Bateman (apparently just after Stevenson dropped out, and The Holland Brothers had not yet followed) or to represent the trio of those two and Golden, to be the in-house music publisher for Correc-Tone.  So, it is clear that Bateman set up BrianBert Music to be used for Correc-Tone's operations.

The reason for Golden sharing only a third of the publishing revenues, or getting nothing from it (and having his own publishing company, Correc-Tone Music), was that due to having so little cash available at the start of his operations, due to having to pay 3 months rent on his new offices and construction and equipment of and for his new recording studio, plus paying back a large loan to Ed Wingate, he didn't have enough cash to pay Bateman, the Holland Brothers, and pianist Willie Harbert (his new Chief musician/arranger) the full salary amounts they demanded.  I assume that he had planned to use his own, Correc-Tone Music to start reaping those profits, after record sales revenues started rolling in in big numbers.  That DiD happen after Bateman set up his own operations in New York, and eventually left Correc-Tone totally, in 1963. 

When The Hollands dropped out, Bateman decided to just keep Brianbert for himself alone.  He and Brian had originally planned to use that name as a slight, ironic slap against Gordy, as "Brianbert" had been Motown's  production team name for Brian and Robert (even when they added Freddie Gorman).  All this was mentioned by Bateman in a few other interviews (and were stories I heard from other people who were at Motown back then, or knew the parties involved).

As I recall, the ZTSP Columbia NY pressing plant pressing job code numbers starting with 816_ _ _, represented an early 1962 job.  So, that seems to fit the time frame of Golden's reaching out to Motown's production people, and that particular incidence of Bateman's asking Gordy for a raise and threatening to leave.  But maybe you are correct, and because Bateman had been almost constantly, during late 1961 through to his leaving in Spring '62, Bateman had been asking Gordy for a salary raise, due to his increasing production duties, successful sales from his productions, and his Snake-Pit recording accomplishments.  But, even IF it happened BEFORE Golden started his operations, I think it still had been with Correc-Tone in mind and recording financed by Golden.  I doubt that Bateman had the available cash at that time to finance the recording session time as well as the costs of setting up his music publishing company.

 

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...it is clear that Bateman set up BrianBert Music to be used for Correc-Tone's operations.

 

I'm not sure, Robb.

In Robert Bateman's interview, he says he established Brian-Bert while at Motown and the first 45 that I can see with it on is The Satintones' "I Know How It Feels", which is from around June 1961 (There may be earlier songs). The Fred Bridges' 45 likely dates from later that year, looking at the ZTSP number.

Robert said that he'd left Berry Gordy many times, but had gone back. He had obviously become disillusioned at Motown and so Brian-Bert was formed, but I just don't see a direct connection between Brian-Bert and Correc-tone.

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1 hour ago, G F said:

...it is clear that Bateman set up BrianBert Music to be used for Correc-Tone's operations.

 

I'm not sure, Robb.

In Robert Bateman's interview, he says he established Brian-Bert while at Motown and the first 45 that I can see with it on is The Satintones' "I Know How It Feels", which is from around June 1961 (There may be earlier songs). The Fred Bridges' 45 likely dates from later that year, looking at the ZTSP number.

Robert said that he'd left Berry Gordy many times, but had gone back. He had obviously become disillusioned at Motown and so Brian-Bert was formed, but I just don't see a direct connection between Brian-Bert and Correc-tone.

The earliest Correc-Tone productions all were published by Brianbert Music.  "I Know How It Feels" was published by Jobete Music, and recorded by a couple Motown artists.  I don't remember Brianbert Music sharing the publication on those records or recording listings.  Laura Johnson's Correc-Tone Production of that song also had only Jobete Music as listed publisher.  Although, it is curious that Brianbert was listed as one of the writers (which indicates the writing team of Brian Holland and Robert Bateman.  So it was written by Janie Bradford, Popcorn Wylie, Brian Holland, and Robert Bateman, while they all were at Motown,  Curiously, ALL four of them either had promised to leave and join Golden's new firm (Brian) or ended up there (the other three). 

You may well be correct that  the Fred Bridges record was produced by Bateman and Holland when Bateman had left Motown for an earlier, very short stint in late '61.  But then, Holland was probably involved.  According to what Bateman said in another interview, he set up that music company for himself and Holland.  Apparently, when Holland didn't join him at Correc-Tone, Bateman asked him to sign away his rights in the partnership, as the former was staying with Motown, and not following him to Correc-Tone.  Holland was apparently moonlighting away from Motown starting in early 1962 and going until very early '64, with Pat Meehan's Hi-Lite, REM, and Pillar Records, as a producer and songwriter, using his mother-in-law's name, Dorothy Pierce as an alias so Gordy wouldn't find out.  Joe Hunter was also moonlighting there.  One of Hi-Lite's singers told me that.  Quite a few Motown writers producers, musicians, and singers were moonlighting between 1961 and early 1964, just before the company skyrocketed, and most of the majortalents started to get decent money from him.

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