The black music scene in post war America was dominated by the emerging urban, electrified R&B scene in Chicago. Nearby Detroit was musically dwarfed, with much of its talent being drawn to the Windy City, but as the 50s drew to a close, things began to change. Detroit’s population bulge coincided with the consumer boom, making its age profile younger than its neighbour’s. Thousands of southern black migrants were joined by many immigrants from Europe come to work in the automobile industry. Henry Ford’s pay was good, and with plenty of disposable income available for its inhabitants, Detroit became the goodtime capital of the USA.
Hundreds of bars, clubs and backroom record labels emerged, hosting a tidal wave of new talent. By 1960, although it was still too early for any definitive Detroit sound to be identifiable, the city was developing a lighter, more popular style than neighbouring Chicago. It was spearheaded by a young man from Gladstone Street, whose distinctive Motown sound went on to dominate the 60s pop charts.
The tracks on these CDs represent the cream of this transitional pre-Motown era, when various labels, artists and producers were putting out popular music that they hoped might get noticed and sell enough to make them rich and famous. In 1963, Detroit had by far the fastest growing black music industry in the USA, not just recorded music but a live gig scene just as prolific. Back then no one knew that Berry Gordy Jr would emerge victorious and define the Detroit sound for the decade that followed.
Sit back and enjoy another batch of Detroit gems.
In the 32 page booklet, each track is given a quarter-page with details of the release plus label shots, period photographs and interesting notes from Keith Rylatt…Overall this is terrific music with great presentation and is a real source for discovery…This compilation should appeal to all readers who have soul in their system… An excellent release and worth investigating.
Blues & Rhythm Keith Scoffham
As with previous History Of Soul product reviewed on this site, the selection has been well thought-out and the presentation is top-notch, appeal here going well beyond the core niche of Detroit devotees.’
Basement Group David Cole. STAR PICK*****