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Aretha Franklin

Daughter of Detroit's acclaimed Baptist preacher, the Reverend C L Franklin, Aretha Louise Franklin was just into her twenties when she signed to Atlantic in November...

Barbara Mason

As an 18-year-old in 1965, Barbara Mason captured the innocent stirrings of adolescence on the self-penned Yes I'm Ready, a US #3 R&B hit which...

Berry Gordy Jr

Berry Gordy's family, like thousands of others, had moved from the southern states of the USA to Detroit, whose automobile industry in the years...

Betty Everett

Born in Greenwood, Mississippi, in 1939, Betty Everett was playing piano and singing in church by the age of nine. In 1957, she moved to...

Bettye Lavette

Bettye LaVette was born Betty Haskins in Muskegon, Michigan on 29 January 1946. Raised in Detroit, she was signed by a local record producer called Johnnie...

Bob & Earl

Bob & Earl had a massive hit with the often-covered Harlem Shuffle (reportedly George Harrison's favourite song of all time). Earl Nelson died in Los Angeles...

Brenda Holloway

Perhaps the most beautiful woman to step in front of a microphone at the studio, there was never a greater, more unfulfilled talent at...

Chairmen Of The Board

The effervescent vocals of General Norman Johnson did much to secure Chairmen Of The Board a major hit with Give Me Just A Little More...

Chris Clark

Motown boss Berry Gordy Jnr signed Chris to his label after she walked into his office in 1963 and performed an impromptu version of the Etta...

Chuck Jackson

Chuck Jackson racked up a string of uptown New York soul monsters on Scepter's subsidiary label Wand in the early 60s, but by 1967,...

Clyde McPhatter

Clyde Lensley McPhatter was born on 15 November 1933 in the tobacco town of Durham, North Carolina. He was one of ten children for...

David Ruffin

David Ruffin, who Marvin Gaye characterised as "one of the true artists of Motown", was among the most conspicuously gifted singers in all of...

Don Covay

Born Donald Randolph in South Carolina in 1938, Don Covay moved to Washington in the early fifties where he performed with his family’s gospel...

Edwin Starr

Charles Edwin Hatcher was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1942. He and his cousins, soul singers Roger and Willie Hatcher, moved to Cleveland, Ohio,...

Etta James

LA-native Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins) was born in Los Angeles on 25 January 1938. Her mother, Dorothy Hawkins, a 14-year-old groupie and jazz fan, put...

Four Tops, The

The Four Tops got together at high school in 1954 and had been playing the Detroit club circuit since the mid-fifties, originally as The...

Jackie Wilson

Jack Leroy "Jackie" Wilson, Jr. (born in Detroit on 9 June 1934) was an African-American singer who played an important part in the transition...

James Brown

Born in a one-room shack in the pinewoods of Barnwell, South Carolina on 3 May 1933, James Joe Brown Jnr. was apparently stillborn, and survived entry...

Jimmy Ruffin

Jimmy Ruffin was born in Collinsville, Mississippi in May 1936. He sang with his family's gospel group, led by his minister father, before moving...

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Children of the Corn (1984)

In a small Nebraska town, children have slaughtered the adults and set up a sinister religious cult. A young physician (Peter Horton) and his girlfriend...

Von Ryan’s Express (1965)

Frank Sinatra is splendidly cast as American Air Force Colonel Joseph Ryan, who is shot down and placed in an Italian POW camp, mainly...

Swingers (1996)

This is an honest exploration of male friendship based on lead actor Jon Favreau's autobiographical script about his first years in Hollywood. He, and three...

Pawnbroker, The (1965)

Concentration camp survivor Sol Nazerman (Rod Steiger) tries to make a fresh start in New York but is plagued by flashbacks of his experiences...

Dean Martin

Dean Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio in 1917.  By the age of 15 he had dropped out of high school...

Debbie Gibson

Long before Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera gave teen pop a raunchy makeover, 17-year-old Debbie Gibson was the undisputed queen of the mall-rats. Thanks to...

Bermuda Shorts

Bermuda Shorts were the strangest male fashion fad to come along in the 1950s. Businessmen would actually wear the big, baggy shorts to work during...

Guy Mitchell

Guy Mitchell was born Albert Cernik in 1927 and recorded for King Records as Al Grant. When he signed with Columbia Records, label president...