Motown, Originals   Leave a comment

Motown, Originals

The Originals often called “Motown’s best-kept secret”,[1] were a successful Motown R&B and soul group during the late 1960s and the 1970s, most notable for the hits “Baby I’m For Real”, “The Bells” and the disco classic, “Down to Love Town”. Formed in 1966, the group originally consisted of bass singer Freddie Gorman, as the Holland–Dozier–Gorman writing team (before Holland–Dozier–Holland). Gorman as a mailman (was one of the writers of Motown’s very first #1 pop hit Marvelettes, Beatles and Carpenters hit “Please Mr. Postman”), baritone (and the group’s founder) Walter Gaines, and tenors C.P. Spencer and Hank Dixon. Ty Hunter replaced Spencer when he left to go solo in the early 1970s. They had all previously sung in other Detroit groups, C.P. having been an original member of the (Detroit) Spinners and Ty having sung with former The Supremes member Scherrie Payne in the group Glass House.

Ty Hunter, C.P. Spencer, Hank Dixon, Freddie Gorman and Walter Gaines in the late 1970’sThe group found modest success in the latter half of the 60s, often working as background singers for recordings by artists such as Jimmy Ruffin’s “(What Becomes of the Brokenhearted)”, Stevie Wonder’s “(For Once In My Life” and “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday)” , David Ruffin “(My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me))”, Marvin Gaye’s “(Chained” and “(Just to Keep You Satisfied)”, Edwin Starr’s “(War” and “25 Miles)”, and many more. The Originals found their biggest success under the guidance of Motown legend Marvin Gaye, who co-wrote and produced two of the group’s biggest singles, “Baby, I’m for Real”, and “The Bells”. This latter disc sold over one million copies and received a gold disc awarded by the R.I.A.A.Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 284. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. Both songs became seminal soul music recordings, and both songs have since been covered: 1990s R&B group After 7 re-recorded “Baby, I’m for Real” and made it a hit again in 1992, while another 1990s R&B group Color Me Badd re-recorded “The Bells” for one of their albums. While the group went on to have more modest success in both the soul and disco fields near the end of the decade, including “Down To Love Town”, a #1 dance chart hit, the songs they made with Marvin Gaye are their most memorable and notable. Spencer returned briefly in the late 70s but after the death of Ty Hunter, on February 24, 1981, the group ceased recording and broke up about a year later.

Joe Stubbs, brother of Four Tops’ lead, Levi Stubbs, died on February 5, 1998. He had been with the group for about six months in the mid 1960s, as well as been a member of The Falcons, The Contours and 100 Proof (Aged In Soul). C.P. Spencer died on October 20, 2004, and Freddie Gorman followed on June 13, 2006.[2] Walter Gaines died January 17, 2012, after a long illness.[3] Dixon is now the only surviving, and active, founding member of the original group.


Posted February 22, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in Uncategorized

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