|Birth name||Marvin Earl Johnson|
|Born||October 15, 1938|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||May 16, 1993 54) (aged|
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, pianist|
|Labels|| United Artists |
Marv Earl Johnson (October 15, 1938 – May 16, 1993) was an American R&B and soul singer, notable for performing on the first record issued by Tamla Records, which later became Motown.
Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.
Rhythm and blues, commonly abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular. In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.
Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the African American community in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combines elements of African-American gospel music, rhythm and blues and jazz. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening in the United States, where record labels such as Motown, Atlantic and Stax were influential during the Civil Rights Movement. Soul also became popular around the world, directly influencing rock music and the music of Africa.
Johnson was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1938.He began his career singing with a doo-wop group, the Serenaders, in the mid-1950s. With budding talents not only as a singer but also as a songwriter and pianist, he was discovered by Berry Gordy while Johnson performed at a carnival. Gordy had already decided to form his first record label, Tamla, and Johnson's recording of their song "Come to Me" was the label's first single, released in May 1959. The fledgling label did not have national distribution, so the song was released by United Artists. It reached number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Johnson went on to co-write another four songs with Gordy. After he issued the first release for the Tamla (Motown) label, Johnson was signed by United Artists. He released three albums and several singles for UA but continued to record in Motown’s homegrown studios at Hitsville USA.
Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest United States city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.
Doo-wop is a genre of rhythm and blues music developed in the 1940s by African American youth, mainly in the large cities of the upper east coast including New York. It features vocal group harmony that carries an engaging melodic line to a simple beat with little or no instrumentation. Lyrics are simple, usually about love, ornamented with nonsense syllables, and often featuring, in the bridge, a melodramatically heartfelt recitative addressed to the beloved. Gaining popularity in the 1950s, doo-wop enjoyed its peak successes in the early 1960s, but continued to influence performers in other genres.
A pianist is an individual musician who plays the piano. Since most forms of Western music can make use of the piano, pianists have a wide repertoire and a wide variety of styles to choose from, among them traditional classical music, jazz, blues, and all sorts of popular music, including rock and roll. Most pianists can, to an extent, easily play other keyboard-related instruments such as the synthesizer, harpsichord, celesta, and the organ.
Between 1959 and 1961, Johnson issued nine Billboard Hot 100 singles, including two Top 10s. The first of them was "You Got What It Takes", which reached number 10 in the US and number 7 in the UK Singles Chart. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc.In the United Kingdom, "You Got What It Takes" reached number 7 in 1960, and both "I Love the Way You Love" and "Ain't Gonna Be That Way" made the UK chart. "I Love the Way You Love" reached number 9. Johnson had his final US Top 40 single in 1960 with "(You've Got To) Move Two Mountains". It also sold a million copies, giving him his second gold disc.
In the music industry, the top 40 is the current, 40 most-popular songs in a particular genre. It is the best-selling or most frequently broadcast popular music. Record charts have traditionally consisted of a total of 40 songs. "Top 40" or "contemporary hit radio" is also a radio format. Frequent variants of the Top 40 are the Top 10, Top 20, Top 30, Top 50, Top 75, Top 100 and Top 200.
"You Got What It Takes" is a 1959 single by Marv Johnson. In the US it reached #2 on the Black Singles chart, and #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 early in 1960. In the UK Singles Chart it reached a high of #7. The original recording of "You Got What It Takes" was by Bobby Parker on Vee-Jay 279 in 1958. Parker claims to have written the song, and his name is on the 1958 recording, but later versions credit Berry Gordy, Gwen Gordy, Billy Davis, and sometimes Marv Johnson.
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence. The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.
Johnson had many hits in Australia, with a total of eight Top 40 hits, including three chart-toppers. "Come to Me" was released in Australia on EMI's London Records (as were most of his Australian releases) and reached number 16 on the 2UE Top 40 in Sydney. "You Got What It Takes" was his biggest Australian hit, topping the national charts for over 16 weeks in 1960. After "I Love The Way You Love" became a national Top 10 hit in mid-1960, Johnson flew to Australia to meet the entrepreneur Lee Gordon, the creator of the radio program Big Show , and performed "Twist It Up" on the September Big Show. At the top of the bill were Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker, and James Darren with Jackie Wilson, Johnson, and Barry Mann. They were supported by Johnny O'Keefe, the Delltones and Col Joye. Lonnie Lee also appeared on a Lee Gordon Australian tour in 1960 with Marv, Bobby Tyrell and The Everly Bros.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
A record chart, also called a music chart, is a ranking of recorded music according to certain criteria during a given period of time. Although in the UK, the official chart has only included physical sales and paid-for streaming, many different criteria are used in worldwide charts, including record sales, the amount of radio airplay, and since the popularity of online consumption of music, the number of downloads and the amount of streaming activity.
EMI Group Limited was a British Transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.
Johnson's songs "Happy Days" and "Merry-Go-Round" (both written by Berry Gordy) were his last chart successes for the United Artists label. Although they did not reach the US Top 40, they performed well on the R&B charts, peaking at number 7 and number 26, respectively, in 1961. Further significant chart action proved elusive, and his contract with United Artists was eventually dropped. He then re-signed with Motown in 1964, writing and producing as well as recording. "Why Do You Want to Let Me Go" was his first Motown single after he rejoined the company, released by Motown's Gordy subsidiary in May 1965. Johnson's final US chart appearance was "I Miss You Baby (How I Miss You)", which was a minor hit, reaching number 39 on the R&B chart in April 1966. His next release, "I'll Pick a Rose for My Rose", issued in 1968, failed to chart; it was his last American single.
In the UK, however, "I'll Pick a Rose" became a hit after it reached the number 10 in early 1969, thanks to its popularity from the Northern soul scene. Motown dug into its vaults for tracks to create an album for the British market, I'll Pick a Rose for My Rose, released by Tamla Motown in 1969, which contained many of Johnson's songs recorded since he had signed there in the mid-1960s, including "Why Do You Want to Let Me Go", "I'm Not a Plaything" and "I Miss You Baby (How I Miss You)". The latter was also reissued as a single by Tamla Motown and was a hit in Britain, reaching number 25 on the UK charts in November 1969.He also toured the UK with Martha Reeves & the Vandellas.
Northern soul is a music and dance movement that emerged in Northern England in the late 1960s from the British mod scene, based on a particular style of black American soul music, especially from the mid-1960s, with a heavy beat and fast tempo.
Johnson remained with Motown, working on sales and promotion, in the 1970s. He also wrote songs for Tyrone Davis and Johnnie Taylor.He co-wrote the Dells’ R&B hit "Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation", which peaked at number 3 on the R&B chart and number 34 on the Hot 100 in 1973. Johnson continued to write songs at Motown way into the 1970s. He eventually separated from the label.
Tyrone Davis was an American blues and soul singer with a long list of hit records over more than 20 years. Davis had three number 1 hits on the Billboard R&B chart: "Can I Change My Mind" (1968), "Turn Back The Hands Of Time" (1970), and "Turning Point" (1975).
Johnnie Harrison Taylor was a three-time Grammy-nominated American recording artist and songwriter who performed a wide variety of genres, from blues, rhythm and blues, soul, and gospel to pop, doo-wop, and disco.
The Dells were an American R&B vocal group. Formed in high school in 1952 by founding members Marvin Junior, Verne Allison, Johnny Funches, Chuck Barksdale, and Mickey and Lucius McGill, under the name the El-Rays. They released their first recording in 1954 and two years later had their first R&B hit with "Oh What a Night". After disbanding due to a near-fatal car crash in 1958, the band reformed in 1960 with Funches being replaced by Johnny Carter. This lineup remained together until Carter's death in 2009. In 2004 The Dells were inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. The group performed until illness forced longtime lead singer Marvin Junior and bass vocalist Chuck Barksdale into retirement, ending the group's 60-year run.
Johnson continued singing into the 1990s, releasing a solo album on the London-based Motorcity Records label, owned by Northern Soul DJ and Motown lover Ian Levine. Johnson was one of the first and, according to Levine, one of "the most loyal and the most grateful" of all the former Motown artists he recorded.Two singles were released, "By Hook or by Crook" in 1988 and "Run Like a Rabbit" in 1989.
Johnson died of a stroke on 16 May 1993,in Columbia, South Carolina, at the age of 54. He was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit. His headstone reads "Motown Pioneer".
In 2011, a compilation album featuring all songs recorded by Johnson during his second stay at Motown was released. I'll Pick a Rose for My Rose: The Complete Motown Recordings 1964–1971 was an authorised reissue of his Motown recordings, released under the Kent Soul label, an Ace Records subsidiary that releases Northern Soul music. The first eleven tracks are from his 1969 album, I'll Pick a Rose for My Rose, which includes the title track, its original B-side ("You Got the Love I Love") and "I Miss You Baby (How I Miss You)". It also contains several previously unissued songs, such as "Farewell Is a Lonely Sound" (originally recorded by Jimmy Ruffin), and mono mixes of his three Gordy singles.
In 2015, Marv Johnson was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame.
|Peak Chart Positions||Label|
|1959||"Come To Me"|
(Berry Gordy, Jr. / Marv Johnson)
|"I'm Coming Home"|
(Berry Gordy, Jr.)
|1960||"You Got What It Takes"|
(Berry Gordy, Jr. / Gwen Gordy / Tyran Carlo)
|"I Love the Way You Love"|
(Berry Gordy, Jr. / Mikaljohn)
|"Ain't Gonna Be That Way" (A-Side)|
(Berry Gordy, Jr. / Marv Johnson)
|"All the Love I've Got" (B-Side)|
(Bradford / Berry Gordy, Jr. / Holland)
|"(You've Got to) Move Two Mountains"|
(Berry Gordy, Jr.)
(Berry Gordy, Jr. / T. McKnight)
(Berry Gordy, Jr.)
|"How Can We Tell Him?"||—||—||—|
|"Johnny, One Stop"||—||—||—|
|1962||"With All That's in Me"||—||—||—|
|"Let Yourself Go"||—||—||—|
|"Keep Tellin' Yourself"||—||—||—|
|1963||"Another Tear Falls"||—||—||—|
|"Come On and Stop"||—||—||—|
|"Congratulations, You've Hurt Me Again"||—||—||—|
|"The Man Who Don't Believe in Love"||—||—||—|
|1965||"Why Do You Want to Let Me Go?"||—||—||—||Gordy (Motown)|
|1966||"I Miss You Baby (How I Miss You)"||—||39||—|
|1969||"I'll Pick a Rose for My Rose"||—||—||10|
|"I Miss You Baby (How I Miss You)" (UK reissue)||—||—||25||Tamla Motown|
|1970||"So Glad You Chose Me" (UK only)||—||—||—|
|1988||"By Hook or by Crook" (UK only)||—||—||—||Motorcity|
|1989||"Run Like a Rabbit" (UK only)||—||—||—|
|Dash denotes a single that was not released in that territory or did not chart.|
William "Smokey" Robinson Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and former record executive. Robinson was the founder and frontman of the Motown vocal group the Miracles, for which he was also chief songwriter and producer. Robinson led the group from its 1955 origins as "the Five Chimes" until 1972 when he announced a retirement from the group to focus on his role as Motown's vice president.
Motown Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group. It was originally founded by Berry Gordy Jr. as Tamla Records on January 12, 1959, and was incorporated as Motown Record Corporation on April 14, 1960. Its name, a portmanteau of motor and town, has become a nickname for Detroit, where the label was originally headquartered.
Brenda Holloway is an American singer and songwriter, who was a recording artist for Motown Records during the 1960s. Her best-known recordings are the soul hits, "Every Little Bit Hurts", "When I'm Gone", and "You've Made Me So Very Happy." The latter, which she co-wrote, was later widely popularized when it became a Top Ten hit for Blood, Sweat & Tears. She left Motown after four years, at the age of 22, and largely retired from the music industry until the 1990s, after her recordings had become popular on the British "Northern soul" scene.
This article presents the discography of Motown group The Temptations. It is a complete listing of all their singles and albums. Thirty-seven of their singles reached the Billboard Top 40 in the US, with four of them reaching #1. On the R&B singles chart, the group scored a record seventy-one Top 40 singles, with fourteen of those reaching #1.
"Money " is a song written by Tamla founder Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford that became the first hit record for Gordy's Motown enterprise. The song was recorded in 1959 by Barrett Strong for the Tamla label, distributed nationally on Anna Records. It went on to be covered by many artists, including the Beatles in 1963 and the Flying Lizards in 1979.
The Originals, often called "Motown's best-kept secret", 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 baritone singer Freddie Gorman, tenor/falsetto 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, Spencer having been an original member of The (Detroit) Spinners and Hunter having sung with The Supremes member Scherrie Payne in the group Glass House. Spencer, Gaines, Hunter, and Dixon were also members of The Voice Masters. As a member of the Holland–Dozier–Gorman writing-production team, Gorman was one of the co-writers of Motown's first number 1 pop hit "Please Mr. Postman", recorded by The Marvelettes. In 1964 The Beatles released their version and in 1975 The Carpenters took it to number 1 again. This was the second time in pop history that a song had reached number 1 twice as "The Twist" by Chubby Checker, reached number 1 in both 1960 and 1961. In 2006, "Please Mr. Postman" was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
That Stubborn Kinda Fellow is the second studio album by Marvin Gaye, released on the Tamla label in 1963. The second LP Gaye released on the label, it also produced his first batch of successful singles for the label and established Gaye as one of the label's first hit-making acts in its early years.
Diana & Marvin is a duets album by American soul musicians Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye, released October 26, 1973 on Motown. Recording sessions for the album took place between 1971 and 1973 at Motown Recording Studios in Hollywood, California. Gaye and Ross were widely recognized at the time as two of the top soul and pop performers, respectively.
"Shop Around" is a song originally recorded by The Miracles on Motown Records' Tamla subsidiary label. It was written by Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson and Motown Records founder Berry Gordy. It became a smash hit in 1960 when originally recorded by The Miracles, reaching number one on the Billboard R&B chart, number one on the Cash Box Magazine Top 100 Pop Chart, and number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was The Miracles first million-selling hit record, and the first-million-selling hit for the Motown Record Corporation. This landmark single was a multiple award winner for The Miracles, having been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2006, inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of The 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, and honored by Rolling Stone as #500 in their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The Miracles were the Motown Record Corporation's first group and its first million-selling recording artists. During their nineteen-year run on the American music charts, The Miracles charted over fifty hits and recorded in the genres of doo wop, soul, disco, and R&B. Twenty-six Miracles songs reached the Top Ten of the Billboard R&B singles chart, including four R&B number ones. Sixteen of the Miracles' songs charted within the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, with seven of those songs reaching the Top Ten and two – 1970's "The Tears of a Clown" and 1975's "Love Machine" – reaching number-one. A third song,the million-selling "Shop Around", reached #1 on the Cash Box magazine Top 100 Pop chart. The Miracles also scored 11 U.S. R&B Top 10 Albums, including 2-#1's. According to several websites, the Miracles are one of the most oft-covered groups in recorded history and the most covered Motown group ever. Their music and songs have influenced artists all over the world – in every major musical genre – over the last 50 years. They also have the distinction of having more songs inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame than any other Motown group.
Greatest Hits from the Beginning is a compilation double LP by The Miracles released in 1965. This was the first double album ever released by the Motown Record Corporation. It covers most of the group's hits from their pre-1965 albums, such as "Shop Around", "Who's Lovin’ You", "You've Really Got A Hold On Me" and "Mickey's Monkey", as well as the non-album singles from 1964: "I Like It Like That" and "That's What Love Is Made Of". The album was a success, reaching #21 on the Billboard Pop Album Chart. It was also the first Miracles album to chart on the Billboard R&B Album chart, where it was an even bigger success, peaking at #2.
"If You Can Want" is a 1968 single recorded by R&B group Smokey Robinson & the Miracles for Motown Records' Tamla label. Written and produced by Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson, "If You Can Want" was the most successful of the three singles included on the group's 1968 album Special Occasion. This single just missed the U.S. Top 10, peaking at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and was a Top 5 R&B hit, peaking at number three on Billboard's R&B singles chart, and was also a minor hit in England, peaking at number 50 on the United Kingdom singles chart.
"I'll Try Something New" is a song written by Smokey Robinson and originally released in 1962 by The Miracles on Motown Records' Tamla subsidiary label. Their version was a Billboard Top 40 hit, peaking at #39, and just missed the Top 10 of its R&B chart, peaking at #11. The song was released later as a joint single by Diana Ross & the Supremes and The Temptations, also becoming a charting version on the Billboard 100 pop singles chart, peaking for two weeks in April 1969 at number 25.
"Way Over There" is a 1960 Motown soul song and single, written by William "Smokey" Robinson, produced by Berry Gordy, and first performed by The Miracles for the Tamla (Motown) label. It was one of The Miracles' earliest charting singles, reaching #94 on the Billboard Pop chart. Motown president Berry Gordy, Jr. had The Miracles record the song several times during its chart run. The first version had minimal orchestration. The second version added strings, and this is the version played by most oldies stations today. Claudette Robinson had several lead parts on this song, answering Smokey's leads with chants of "Come to me, Baby". The song's B-side, "(You Can) Depend on Me", while not charting nationally, did become a popular regional hit in many areas of the country,and Smokey still sings it in his live shows today. "Way Over There" has inspired cover versions by Edwin Starr, The Temptations, The Marvelettes, The Royal Counts, The Spitballs, and Eddie Adams Jr, while "(You Can) Depend on Me" has inspired cover versions by The Temptations, The Supremes, Mary Wells, and Brenda Holloway. The song was also used for the title of Hip-O Select's 2009 compilation: The Miracles – Depend on Me: The Early Albums, which collects the first five LP releases by the group.
"Everybody's Gotta Pay Some Dues", was a 1961 R&B song by Motown Records group The Miracles released on the label's Tamla Records subsidiary. It was taken from Cookin' with The Miracles, the group's second album, and was written by Miracles members Smokey Robinson and Ronald White. It entered the Billboard Pop and R&B listings that year, and reached #52 and #11 respectively.
Richard Wayne Wylie, often known as Popcorn Wylie, was an American pianist, bandleader, songwriter, occasional singer, and record producer who was influential in the early years of Motown Records and was later known for his work on many records in the Northern soul genre.
A Pocket Full of Miracles (TS306) is a 1970 album by Motown Records R&B group The Miracles, issued on its Tamla subsidiary label, one of three albums the group released that year. This album charted at #56 on the Billboard pop albums chart, and reached the top ten of the magazine's R&B albums chart, peaking at #10. It was released on September 30 of that year. Hit singles on the album included "Point It Out" and the topical Ashford & Simpson written-and-produced song "Who's Gonna Take the Blame", a sad, dark song about a girl that is turned out as a prostitute. Also included is the charting flip side "Darling Dear", B-side of "Point It Out", which reached #100 on the Billboard pop chart, and spawned a cover version by The Jackson Five.
"Come to Me" is the debut single by American singer Marv Johnson. It is notable as the first ever single to be released by what would eventually become known as Motown, on the newly formed Tamla Records label. It also became Johnson's first hit single after the song was nationally distributed by United Artists. It was recorded at United Sound Systems.
James T. Woodley, who performed as Singin' Sammy Ward, was an American rhythm and blues singer who recorded for Motown Records and had a R&B chart hit with "Who's The Fool", written by Smokey Robinson and produced by Berry Gordy, Jr., in 1961.
"Pops, We Love You " is a 1978 single recorded and released by Motown stars Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder, as a tribute to the late Berry "Pops" Gordy, Sr., father of Motown founder Berry Gordy, who had died that year after a long battle with cancer.