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Velvelettes, The

The Velvelettes were formed by Bertha Barbee at Western Michigan University in the early 60s, with Cal (Carolyn) Gill ending up as the lead...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

Chris Clark

Chris Clark was a 17-year-old, 6-foot platinum blonde when she arrived at Motown's Detroit headquarters in 1963 to audition for Berry Gordy Jnr. The Motown...

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...

Supremes, The

In 1961 three teenage girls, Florence Ballard, Diane Ross (not until later would she be known as Diana) and Mary Wilson, began a journey...

Stylistics, The

One of the sweetest soul groups hailing from Philadelphia, with an incredible run of soul smashes from 1971 to 1975, The Stylistics formed from...

Smokey Robinson (& The Miracles)

William 'Smokey' Robinson was born on 19 February 1940, the son of a municipal truck driver from what he called "the suave part of...

Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke was born one of eight children in Chicago on 22 January 1931, into a strong church-going family. His father was a local...

Sam & Dave

Samuel Moore and David Prater were both from the South, had both spent time as gospel singers, and joined forces as a vocal duo...

Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge was born in Leighton, Alabama, in November 1941 and was working as a hospital orderly in 1965 when his former music teacher...

Motown

With an $800 loan from his family and a roster of unknown young Detroit singers, former record shop owner Berry Gordy Jnr (pictured below) started...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Ray Charles

Ray Charles started out smooth - A substandard Nat King Cole - but after signing to Atlantic, his gospel background kicked in and he effectively invented soul. As...

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Abbott and Costello Meet Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1952)

Robert Louis Stevenson probably spun wildly in his grave over this production as Bud and Lou (as 18th Century American detectives) chase down the...

Reds Under The Bed

Cold War America was a hotbed of fear and suspicion of possible Communist infiltrators and spies - known as 'the enemy within' - and...

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1954)

Choreographer Michael Kidd's exuberant dance numbers are the best of many good things about this joyful - though undeniably profoundly sexist - musical set...

Barbara Stanwyck Show, The

1 9 6 0 - 1 9 6 1 (USA) Hollywood leading lady Barbara Stanwyck hosted this anthology of original 30-minute teleplays and starred in all but...

Bobby Limb Show, The (Mobil Limb Show)

1 9 5 9 - 1 9 6 3 (Australia) This Australian national variety show was produced by TCN Channel 9 and originally titled Bobby Limb's...

Moral Majority

In the USA, 1979 was a troubled year. Inflation hit 13.3% - the highest rate in 33 years - thanks to strained relations with...

Paths of Glory (1957)

Based on an actual incident in World War I that was hushed up by the French authorities at the time, Paths of Glory is set at...

Bonzo Goes To College (1952)

This sequel to Bedtime For Bonzo (1951) sees the educated chimp escape from a travelling carnival and move in with Betsy Drew (Gigi Perreau), the...