Esther Edwards

For Such a TIME as This (Esther Song w/ Lyrics) #OfficialMV | Shawna Edwards | Christian Music 2022

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Esther Gordy Edwards Esther Gordy Edwards was Berry Gordy’s eldest Sister and part of ‘Berry Gordy’s Sisters’. She managed the administration at Motown. Esther also organised the Motown Tours of  the USA, England and Japan in 1965.

In England the Motown tour was featured on the TV show Ready Steady Go, which devoted an entire hour show to Motown. The tour lost money for its UK promoters but the Motown artists got valuable exposure.

Esther gave the eulogy when Paul Williams of the Temptations committed suicide. Esther received a million Dollars worth of shares in Motown stock  from Berry around 1974. It was Esther who commissioned the strange painting of Berry dressed as Napoleon; was it a joke or was he as tyrannical as the French emperor?  

Wikipedia: Esther Edwards

Berry Gordy Sisters

Berry Gordy Family Tree | Jimmy Carter's Motown Cousins

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Berry Gordy – Sisters Berry Gordy had four brothers and four sisters: Gwendolyn, Esther, Anna and Loucye Gwendolyn set up a record company with her sisters and with help from her husband: Harvey Fuqua And the Chess brothers – the label was Anna-Tri-Phi Records. This label distributed Barret Strong‘s Money which became a hit after this the company merged with Motown.

Esther and Loucye set up and managed Motown’s day-to-day business affairs. Esther took charge of the administration and accounts. So enabling Berry to give full attention to production. Loucye was the first of the sisters to die, and Berry set up a charitable scholarship fund in her name.

Wikipedia: Motown

Correc Tone Records

Betty's Date Nut Bread

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(backing on this track was by The Supremes)











Correc-Tone Records – Fred Bridges

CHESS Records

Chess Records Documentary

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The Chess brothers, Phil and Leonard Chess started Chess Records. 2120 South Michigan Avenue is now a City Tourist Landmark.Marshal Chess inherited the company.

Now recognised for its value to R ‘ n B, Soul and especially the blues. When the Rolling Stones turned up in the early sixties to visit Howlin’ Wolf the place was not well known. The Stones put it on the international map by having Howlin’ Wolf on their TV show and recording the instrumental 2120 South Michigan Avenue as a tribute to Chess.

Rumours abound that a recording test at Chess could result in losing your song as your demo became their property!

Anyway, just about all the Chicago Blues came through 2120. A lot of Monkey business most probably, but a lot of great blues and soul.

Chess had its own style and sound – tracks like the Radiants Ain’t No Big Thing capture it. Fontella Bass had a major hit with Rescue Me, a typical Chess sounding track.


The CHESS Record company was located at 2120 South Michigan Avenue Chicago USA

The Rolling Stones made a record: “2120 South Michigan Avenue ” a brilliant instrumental on thier first LP as homage to CHESS.

The biggest hit that CHESS had was “RESCUE ME” by Fontella Bass

In Manchester at the Twisted Wheel Club – the birth place of what would later be known as ‘Northern Soul’ turned it over and also made a hit of the Blusey flip side “The Soul Of The Man”.

Cousins at Chess

ETTA JAMES was just one of the amazing artists at Chess. The record labels shows an early sixties Chess UK release by Sugar Pie Desanto (Etta James’s cousin) on the Pye International label. By 1966 Chess was releasing on its own UK label.
They combined their talents on two releases; ‘Do I Make Myself Clear’ 1965 and in 66′ with the fantastic ‘In The Basement’ which became a Soul anthem at the Twisted Wheel Club in Manchester.

All the best clubs are in a cellar!

In the case of the Twisted Wheel the dance floors were in the ‘basement’ lower level of a cellar. in Brasennose Street Manchester. However what Etta and Sugar Pie are singing about are basement parties in housing projects, in Chicago.


Chess had almost all the great blues artists recording at 2120 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
The Rolling Stones were named after this great recording and they did an instrumental on their first LP in homage to 2120 South Michigan.
Avenue. When the Stones toured the USA they made a beeline to visit the Chess studio and almost forced Ed Sullivan to have Howlin’ Wolf on their first TV appearance in the USA.
Chess had a huge impact in England almost everything on the Pye International Chess label was a collectors item for blues fans in the early sixties when there was a boom in blues music in the country. England appreciated the Black American ethnic music which was not recognized by the white dominated music industry in the USA. Black artists were played on Black Radio Stations and on the white stations their music was ripped of by cover artists. England wanted the real thing and sought out the originals. Chess had a plethora of originals.

When the English Mods moved towards Soul music Chess was there too.

Chess was run by two Jewish brothers and the Chess story has been told adequately by others in books and film, its the British side of the story that is little understood in the USA. Where most of the British groups in the sixties were well into Stateside Blues and R&B.


Chess Pieces: The Very Best of Chess Records

Complete Introduction To Chess

Cadillac Records [Blu-ray]

Wikipedia: Chess Records

CHESS at 50

A brief history of chess - Alex Gendler

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This release is the largest release of R ‘ n B, Blues and Soul, recordings at one single time.
Of course who else could do this but CHESS!

Mainly Blues artists – but this is the real foundation of Soul and Northern Soul music.

Every artist has been re-released at the same time. The samplers shown here contain a cross section of most Chess Artists.

  4 W's:  Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson & Little Walter

Chess Fiftieth Anniversary –

Chess – History of Rock

Wikipedia: Chess records

Carla Records


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Carla Records – Discography

Carla 2526
A Deon Jackson Love Makes The World Go Round Jan-66
First issue on the Carla label. 25XX series distributed by Atco Records.
Carla 2526
B Deon Jackson You Said You Loved Me Jan-66
Carla 2526
B Deon Jackson Hello Stranger (Instrumental) Jan-66

Released with two different B-sides. “Hello Stranger” released as 803K 2526
Carla 2527
A Deon Jackson Love Takes A Long Time Growing Apr-66
Carla 2527
B Deon Jackson Hush Little Baby Apr-66
Carla 2528
A Barbara Paul Don’t Let The Party End 1966
Carla 2528
B Barbara Paul Loving You Baby 1966
Carla 2529
A Excels Gonna Make You Mine, Girl 1966
Carla 2529
B Excels Good Bye Poor Boy 1966
Carla 2530
A Deon Jackson I Can’t Do Without You 1966
Carla 2530
B Deon Jackson That’s What You Do To Me 1966
Carla 2531
A Four Pro’s Just Another Girl 1966
Carla 2531
B Four Pro’s There Must Be A Reason 1966
Carla 2532
A Four Pro’s Everybody’s Got Some Soul 1966
Carla 2532
B Four Pro’s You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down 1966
Carla 2533
A Deon Jackson Hard To Get Thing Called Love 1966
Carla 2533
B Deon Jackson When Your Love Has Gone 1966
Carla 2534
A Excels I Wanna Be Free
Carla 2534
B Excels Too Much Too Soon
Carla 2535
A Jimmy Delphs I’ve Been Fooled Before
Carla 2535
B Jimmy Delphs Almost
Also issued on Karen 1538B.
Carla 2536
A Excels California On My Mind
Carla 2536
B Excels The Arrival of Mary
Carla 2537
A Deon Jackson Ooh Baby Nov-67
Carla 2537
B Deon Jackson All On A Sunny Day Nov-67
Carla 1900
A Deon Jackson I Need A Love Like Yours 1968
First isssue on the 1900 series also distributed by Atco Records.
Carla 1900
B Deon Jackson I Can’t Go On 1968
Carla 1901
A Excels Little Innocent Girl 1968
Carla 1901
B Excels Some Kind Of Fun 1968
Carla 1902
A Milton Wright & The Terra Shirma Strings The Gallop (Instrumental) 1968
Carla 1902
B Milton Wright & The Terra Shirma Strings Like A Rolling Stone (Instrumental) 1968
Carla 1903
A Deon Jackson You Gotta Love 1968
Carla 1903
B Deon Jackson You’ll Wake Up Wiser Baby 1968
Carla 1904
A Jimmy Delphs Dancing A Hole In The World
Carla 1904
B Jimmy Delphs Dancing A Hole In The World (Instrumental)
Carla 101
A Riley Hampton Hello Stranger
Carla 101
B Riley Hampton My Tune
Carla 103
A Excels It Isn’t So
Carla 103
B Excels Run Girl Run


Carla Records – Soulful Kinda Music

Cameo Parkway

Cameo Parkway 1957-1967 (Box Promo Video) | ABKCO

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Cameo Parkway records were based  in Philadelphia and help to make what became known as the Philly Sound.

Cameo had many fine soul artists, and writers such as Kenny Gamble. The company was founded in 1956 in Philadelphia by Bernie Lowe and Kal Mann. Dave Appell joined the label early as A & R director. Parkway, a subsidiary label, was formed in 1958 based at  1405 Locust Street in Philadelphia.

Cameo was one of the mid-1950s Philadelphia labels. It was the home of classic Doo-Wappers the Silhouettes Bobby Rydell, Dee Dee Sharp, and the Orlons  Bunny Sigler. Chubby Checker, the Dovells, Dee Dee Sharp, the Tymes.

The company collapsed in 1964 and Allen Klein of Apple fame gained control. By the early 1970s the name had become Abkco (Allen B. Klein Co.).

Everyone is waiting for Abkco to reissue the Cameo/Parkway material on CD as Klein has promised to put out a Cameo/Parkway box set since 1989 – we are still waiting.

Thelma Gordy

Thelma Records were formed by Berry Gordy‘s first wife, Thelma Coleman who  set up her own record label after her divorce from Berry. One of their best known artists was Emanuel Laskey.

Some of the Thelma Records Artists/Tracks:-

Tamla Motown


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Tamla Motown
Tamla Motown Information Page

In the UK it was Fontana Records who first released Motown singles. This was followed by OrioleStateside and finally Motown in its own right through EMI. In the early 1960’s it was Oriole Records that pressed and distributed all the Tamla Motown recordings.

John Schroeder was an executive at Oriole Records in London. Apparently he wined and dined Berry Gordy on a UK visit with the first Motown Review show and got the contract for the releases of Tamla Motown tracks in the UK. (Later John Schroeder was to make a great soul version of Agent 00 Soul).

Tamla Motown Records

Long before it was re-classified as Northern Soul Motown was incredibly popular in the U.K. with the underground youth movement of the MODS.

Before Motown Berry Gordy’s sister Paula had started her own record label: PAULA Records

She started her record company with her husband, before her brother Berry. she was married to ex Moonglows lead singer Harvey Fuqua, who’s record label: HARVEY, had Junior Walker and others signed to it that would later be immortalized by Berry Gordy’s Motown record company.

Berry Gordy wrote for Jackie Wilson ‘To Be Loved’ , but got little out of it as there were undercurrents of Mafia involvement in the record industry (PAYOLA etc) – his experiences of being cut out of his due royalties made him want more control so he formed his own label.

ANNA was another label within the sphere of the Berry family named after another sister; Anna (married to Marvin Gaye).

The Jobette Publishing company was so named after Berry Gordy’s children with his first wife and co-Motown founder: Raynona Gordy Singleton. They formed RAYBER – joining both their names, but Raynoma has been almost eradicated from the Motown Story!

Miss Ray or Mother Motown has had very little recognition in the story of Motown.
She was instrumental in setting up the company owning half of it, but loosing it all through divorce and almost arrested at one time for selling copies of ‘My Guy’ by Mary Wells!

The first company they formed together was “The RAYBER Music Writing Company” – RAY-BER
Shortly after Raynoma formed the Rayber Voices, who would become backing singers for many future Motown recordings. Mabel John was one of the Rayber singers and also drove Berry around as his Cadillac chauffeur.
Berry got his entire family to chip in with loans to make a record – “Come To Me” with Marv Johnson in 1959 on Tamla Records the first record company owned by the Berry family and Raynoma named after the hit at that time ‘ Tammy’ by Debbie Reynolds and Berry became Marv Johnson’s manager. This was the beginnings of Tamla Motown.

Berry, Me and Motown : The Untold Story – by Raynoma G. Singleton

The book that tells it like it was, Raynoma’s story that allegedly Berry didn’t want published, and the story goes that he had people buy all the copies they could find and burn them.

Best Ever Motown Record? Helpless Kim Weston Number ONE on our own TOP 500

HELPLESS by KIM WESTON is my favourite Motown record and it might describe how Raynoma felt when she was squeezed out of Motown.

Soul Reflections

The Ferris Wheel @ The Wheel

Where Northern Soul Began


There are many internet radio stations that play Motown, most play only the popularized tracks. Motown left its roots behind when it left Detroit, it left behind its beginnings, it left all that love behind and erased its memory and headed for L.A.

Was this Berry Gordy’s way of burying memories, or just a commercial decision?

2648 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan is all that remains of the Motown links with Detroit.

Berry went to L.A. to get into films with Diana – starring in ‘Lady Sings The Blues’.

Many years before, at the start of Motown, Berry Gordy was writing songs for Jackie Wilson (Reet Petite). He was joined by Raynoma Liles with whom he formed Rayber publishing; the Motown Music publishing and marketing company that copyrighted all Motown recordings. The name says it all: Ray + Ber, interestingly with RAYnoma’s name first. RAYBER over time morphed into JOBETE after Berry’s break up with Raynoma. She wrote songs, assisted Berry’s writing and did back up vocals for a multitude of early Motown hits. She became Berry’s wife, she even became a prostitute to bring in needed cash to get the company established!

Its all in her biography, which much of it is denied by the Gordy family, but history and recollections of bits and pieces of quotes and memoirs do point to Raynoma’s version of events holding a lot of truth.

Diana Ross called her: “Mother Motown”.

It was reported that Berry attempted to buy up all the printed copies of the book; Berry Me And Motown, from the publishers: Contemporary Books Inc.

The article tells how Berry got Raynoma to give up her rights to ownership of the entire Motown company as it was better to make it a new construction rather than a ‘family’ operated firm.
(Publishers Weekly article by Robert Gallagher).

1957 was the start of Motown – The MOTOR TOWN: DETROIT. Its not widely known that it was one of Berry’s sisters; Gwen Gordy, who had the original concept of forming a record company after she married Harvey Fouqua, lead singer with the Moonglows and Marvin Gaye together had already formed Tri-Phi Records. Harvey also owned Harvey records who had already discovered and signed the Spinners, Junior Walker and The all Stars and others who would later join Motown. Harvey, Gwen and Marvin found it very difficult to get paid by the white ruling cartel that was run like a Mafia in the music distribution business. Being ‘in-laws they joined Berry & Raynoma’s fledgling Motown to become a more focused collective in tackling cash flow, issues that were problematic in the music recording and distribution business in the USA in those days: Payola etc. Chess records in Chicago reported similar issues but had the advantage of two white guys heading up the image for a company that was also based upon black artists. Motown became one of the first significant black operated businesses in the USA and a proud statement for Detroit as Motown simply started out in a house in the suburbs, when most if not all record companies had recognizable office’s to give a businesslike image.

Berry formed and built a significant black operated music empire and generated a fantastic musical genre in the process, but he owed much to others.

Berry’s biography ‘To Be Loved’ leaves out all of this information including his concerns about selling out Motown to Herb Alpert’s MCA, a deal in which he pocketed most of the proceeds, whilst the lead singer of the Marvelettes, who actually saved the company by having hits had become a ‘bag lady’ roaming the streets of Detroit and ignored by her now very rich ex boss.

The early Motown Review that showcased many of the subsequent stars, played at many USA Theatres. One of the originals was the Brooklyn Fox Theatre.

Brooklyn Fox Theater


The Vinyl Guide - STAX Record Label Variations

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Started By Al STewart and Estelle AXton, the combination of their names made the word STAX.

STAX records, any STAX recordings that we could find were played at the Blue Note Club in Manchester.

it specialised in a wide range of mainly black American soul music and with particular emphasis on Stax and Stax Atlantic releases, whereas the Twisted Wheel by 1968/69 was more into Motown soundalikes – the rarer the better.

It was Roger Eagle who started off as the first Blue Note DJ and played sounds such as  Grab This Thing by the Mar-Keys and Marching Off To War by William Bell. The Stax sound was underpinned by Booker T and the MG’s and for the Blue Note DJ’s they were major league, especially Steve Cropper the group’s guitarist and song writer for many Stax recording artists.

The Stax record company has been a major influence in the music industry and a big contributer to the genre of Soul music.

But how much does the wider world know the contribution made to the popularity of STAX made by Roger Eagle the legendary D.J. at Manchester’s Twisted Wheel Club?

Roger wrote to Stax owner Jim Stewart and Jim responded by sending him a Stack of Stax records to promote at the club.
The Mods (English style youth movement of the 1960’s) who attended the club became firm fans of all the Stax output.

Booker T and the MG’s:

Virtually every recording at Stax had Booker T. And The MG’s, supporting, backing, sometimes writing and producing for the other house artists.

As part of the Mar-Keys the original line up plus the ‘Memphis Horn’ section had a USA hit with ‘Last Night’ and in their own right with the world famous ‘Green Onions’. The fantastic catalogue of Stax music stands as a monolithic musical achievement to Booker T. And The MG’s.

Unlike the invisible house band at Motown (The Funk Brothers; all fine musicians) where only a few became better known i.e. Earl Van Dyke and Choker Cambell: Booker T. And The MG’s Steve Cropper lead guitar, Duck Dunn bass guitar, Al Jackson Jr. drums, and Booker T. Jones on Hammond Organ; each in their own right became ‘personalities in the music world and especially well known in England, where ‘Soul’ music found generations of devoted fans. Appreciation of the ‘Stax’ sound went hand in glove with appreciation of Booker T. And the MG’s.

At the Blue Note Club in Manchester the DJs that followed in Roger Eagles footsteps kept up that Stax tradition plus much of the Soul play list that was covered at The twisted Wheel but with many more. STAX always featured heavily in every playlist/night at The Blue Note.



The first Stax records to be heard publicly in Manchester were played by Roger Eagle.

Roger continued at the Blue Not Club in the city then fulfilled his dream and love of STAX by opening his own club called STAXX
He put in an extra ‘X’ to be different.

Stax Musicians included:

The Mar-Keys
The Bar – Kays
The Bo Keys
Booker T and The MG’s

Staxman – UK Stax Information Site

STAX artists

Wikipedia: Stax Records