Motown Vs. Stax!
Since the theme of our next party is Motown Vs. Stax, I thought I would post some of my favorite videos to get you in the mood.
The first video comes from my favorite Motown duo Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Tammi started her career recording for the Scepter-Wand, Try Me and Checker labels. She signed with Motown in April 1965 and enjoyed modest success as a solo singer. Once she was paired with Marvin Gaye in 1967, her stardom grew. Marvin Gaye started his career as a member of the doo-wop group The Moonglows in the late fifties, he ventured into a solo career after the group disbanded in 1960 signing with the Tamla Records subsidiary of Motown Records. After starting off as a session drummer, Gaye ranked as the label's top-selling solo artist during the sixties. This is a promotional film shot for Motown featuring Tammi and Marvin singing the Ashford & Simpson composition, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", both Gaye and Terrell recorded separate versions. Motown remixed the vocals and edited out the background vocals, giving just Gaye and Terrell vocal dominance. The song, originally written for Dusty Springfield, became a crossover pop hit in the spring of 1967, reaching number nineteen on the Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the R&B charts, making Terrell a star. On October 14 of 1967 Tammi Terrell collapsed on stage into Gaye's arms during a performance. She was soon thereafter diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor which eventually led to her death six weeks before her 25th birthday. A sad romantic end to the life of a beautiful and talented singer indeed.
The next video comes to us from my favorite Stax duo, Otis Redding & Carla Thomas. Otis Redding was born in Dawson, Georgia, and later moved to Macon, Georgia, where he began touring with blues guitarist Johnny Jenkins and served as the lead singer in the band Otis Redding and The Pinetoppers. He moved to Memphis Tennessee and signed a contract with Stax Records in 1964. Like Tammi Terrell, Otis Redding's life also came to an abrupt end when he died in a plane crash in 1967 at the age of 26. Carla Thomas is the daughter of fellow Stax recording artist Rufus Thomas and was often referred to as the Queen of Memphis Soul. She recorded this and five other songs with Otis Redding in 1967 and they are in my opinion some of the greatest Soul songs ever recorded. This one is pure funk though. The kind of Funk that could only have come from a Memphis label like Stax.
Enjoy the funk!
Don't forget to come to the next Shindig! party on September 30th, at our new home at The Piston, 937 Bloor Street West.
See you there!
- Jimmy O'Neil