Motown 1971, Hittsville, USA – Gary

Some significant artists and songs for this year of Motown…

The Undisputed Truth


The Undisputed Truth

Big Thanks to Wikipedia for this information…

This group was assembled by record producer Norman Whitfield as a means for being able to experiment with [new, trendy] production techniques. Joe Harris served as main lead singer, with Billie Rae Calvin and Brenda Joyce, formerly of  The Delicates, on additional  leads and background vocals.

The group’s music and unusual costuming (large Afros and white makeup) typified the then-popular “psychedelic soul” era.

A number of their singles became minor hits, and many of them were also songs for Whitfield’s main act, The Temptations, among them “You Make Your Own Heaven and Hell Right Here on Earth” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone“.

Their one Top 40 hit in the United States was the ominous “Smiling Faces Sometimes“, originally recorded by The Temptations, which hit #3 on the US pop charts in 1971.

Smiling Faces Sometimes: The Undisputed Truth/Release/5/13/71 Pop # 3 R&B # 2

The Undisputed Truth, along with Rose Royce and Willie Hutch, followed Whitfield during his exodus from Motown to set up Whitfield Records in 1975. At this time, Calvin and Joyce left the group, and Harris was joined by new members Virginia “V” McDonald, Tyrone”Big Ty” Douglas, Tyrone “Lil Ty” Barkley, and Calvin “Dhaak” Stephenson. The group’s costuming and style changed as well, becoming even more unusual and Funkadelic-influenced.

However, the group had little success at the new label, and faded into obscurity after two more albums, although they charted in the UK Singles Chart in January 1977 (#43) with the disco single “You + Me = Love” from the album Method to the Madness. Lead singer on the single “You + Me = Love” was Taka Boom who is Chaka Khan’s younger sister.

Other Great Hits of 1971…

Video: What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye

What’s Going On: Marvin Gaye/Release/1/21/71 Pop # 2 R&B # 1

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology): Marvin Gaye/Release/6/10/71 Pop # 4 R&B # 1

Just My Imagination(running away with me): The Temptations/Release/1/14/71 Pop # 1 R&B # 1

Nathan Jones: The Supremes/4/15/71 Pop # 16 R&B # 8

I don’t want to do Wrong: Gladys Knight & the Pips/Release/5/6/71 Pop # 17 R&B # 2

I just want to Celebrate: Rare Earth/Release/6/21/71 Pop # 7 R&B # 30


One response to “Motown 1971, Hittsville, USA – Gary

  1. Marvin Gaye has always jumped out at me as the innovative genius of Motown. What a *GREAT* singer, songwriter, musician, arranger-producer. And what a loss.

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