The Temptations & Funk Brothers...In Studio Session Rehearsal (1967)

Given the fact that Motown had not been conducting Live sessions with the vocalists and instrumentalists recording at the same time since at least 1963, this session was clearly staged for the CBS News cameras that were doing a brief piece called The Motown Sound.

Pictured in the studio are songwriters Lamont Dozier (Standing on the steps at the back of the studio), Brian Holland (The guy who cuts in on the band), Ivy Jo Hunter (Does the countdown), Russ Terrana (The engineer standing up), James Jamerson on Bass, Earl Van Dyke on piano, Bobbye Hall on congas, and from left to right on guitars Robert White, Joe Messina and Eddie Willis. The arranger, wearing headphones and conducting the band, is William Witherspoon.

To the best of my knowledge this incredibly rare piece of film is the only one of two pieces of footage ever shot at a session inside the studio known as the Snakepit.

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Comment by Edie Antoinette on November 14, 2009 at 7:21pm
Please! Ain't nobody even noticed child. You look comfortable and that's all that counts! If I have on some torture chambers I will take them bad boys off and walk bare-footed if I have to. Shooot! LOL
Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on November 14, 2009 at 5:45pm
Mama Edie, i don't know what i was thinking that day, ain't no telling how many people laughed at me....ROFLMBO
Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on November 14, 2009 at 12:44pm
Russ Terrana (The engineer standing up) is The Moderator at The Soulful Detroit Site i belong to
Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on November 14, 2009 at 12:40pm
Everytime i see this i am reminded of my visit to Hitsville USA 13 years ago, i remember walking around The Snakepit, being at the microphone acting like i'm singing....LOL, going into the control booth, going up front where the offices were at, going upstairs where Berry and his family lived in the early days of Motown....It was magical seeing that place and all that history, my only regret is of the hundreds of pics i took that day, these were the only ones that came out good

Comment by Edie Antoinette on November 14, 2009 at 12:39pm
At least you have these--wonderful memories! I know why you got them sandals on, too! LOL
Comment by KnightD12 on November 14, 2009 at 8:26am
I agree, this is clearly staged for the cameras. Notice when Brian Holand cuts in to give instructions to the band, when they restart, they play the song exactly as they had before. He just wanted some camera time. I ain`t mad at him. LOL And notice how high Davids mike is .. wow. This studio is way to small for ll these people at once. They could never record good Stereo like that. This is a marvelous find Brotha Sole. You are Da Man! Loved it.
Comment by Edie Antoinette on November 13, 2009 at 2:26pm
*clicking timer* Hurup and find the otha one--as only YOU can! LOL
Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on November 13, 2009 at 1:28pm
"To the best of my knowledge this incredibly rare piece of film is the only one of two pieces of footage ever shot at a session inside the studio known as the Snakepit"......HMMMMMMM, you know what i'm wondering don't you....LOL
Comment by Edie Antoinette on November 13, 2009 at 1:24pm
Unbelievable! She sure was getting down! I love it and thanks for the info. I was wondering who she are the best!
Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on November 13, 2009 at 1:10pm
Yeah, she was getting down with The Fellas

Bobbye Hall - began her career playing in jazz clubs in Detroit when she was too young to buy the drinks served to the patrons. Her talent was soon recognized throughout the Motor City and led to a busy career recording in sessions with a number of Motown legends, including Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Temptations, Mary Wells, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Patti La Belle and the vast majority of the Motown recording artists.

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The history of the Butlers/Raw Soul is dense, but for all of us music nerds, that's normal. It is not totally clear what year the Butlers actually formed but they released their first single in 1963 on Liberty Records. That single was "She Tried To Kiss Me" and another single followed on Guyden entitled "Lovable Girl." After the Guyden single the Butlers took a break not recording another record until the single "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" was released on the Phila label in 1966. The group also backed Charles Earland and Jean Wells on one Phila single ("I Know She Loves Me"). 

As you might be noticing, the Butlers were doing a fair amount of recording but not achieving much success. The group's recordings sold regionally but never had the promotion to make an impact on the national scene. After the single with Phila, the Butlers moved to the Fairmount label (part of the Cameo-Parkway family) and released a handful of singles, some being reissued singles of the past. The Butlers were with Fairmount for 1966-67 and then moved to Sassy Records. Sassy released the group's greatest single (in my opinion) "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" b/w "If That's What You Wanted." A copy of that 45 sold for just under $500 last summer on eBay. Even though that isn't that much in the world of record collecting--it's still a hefty sum. The Butlers released another single on Sassy ("She's Gone" b/w "Love Is Good") that appears to be even 
harder to come by then the "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" single.


The true history become a bit blurred here as the AMG biography states that the Butlers last record was released on C.R.S. in 1974 (". However, between 1971 and that single, Frankie Beverly formed a group called Raw Soul and released a number of singles. Some of the songs recorded by Beverly during this period are "While I'm Alone," "Open Up Your Heart," (both on the Gregor label) and "Color Blind." "Color Blind" was released by the Eldorado label and rerecorded by Maze. Beverly's big break came when Marvin Gaye asked Raw Soul to back him on a tour. Gaye helped Beverly/Raw Soul get a contract at Capitol. Beverly decided to take the group in a different direction, a name change occurred, and Maze was created. 

The above isn't the most complete history of Beverly but hopefully someone will know a way to get in touch with the man or his management because a comprehensive pre-Maze history needs to be done on Frankie Beverly (his real name is Howard, by the way). Below you'll find every Frankie Beverly (pre-Maze) song available to me right now ("Color Blind" will be up soon). 

If you have a song that is not included below, shoot it over to funkinsoulman (at) and it will go up in the next Frankie Beverly post (later this week--highlighting Maze). Also, if you have any more information please share your knowledge. The Butlers material has been comp-ed sporadically (usually imports) but the entire Maze catalog has been reissued and is available. 

Enjoy.  "She Kissed Me" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967) 
 "I Want To Feel I'm Wanted" (not sure which label or year) "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" (Phila, 1966) "Because Of My Heart" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967)
 "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" (Sassy, 1967)
 "If That's What You Wanted" (Sassy, 1967)

Frankie Beverly is one of those cats that has lasting power. He started in the music business doing a tour with doo wop group the Silhouettes and then formed his own group called the Blenders. The Blenders never recorded a single, Beverly wouldn't appear on wax until forming the Butlers a few years later. Along with Beverly, the Butlers included Jack "Sonny" Nicholson, Joe Collins, John Fitch, and Talmadge Conway.

Beverly would later enjoy great success fronting Maze and Conway would become a
well-known penning Double Exposure's
"Ten Percent" and the Intruders' "Memories Are Here To Stay." 
 While Maze is a phenomenal group, Beverly's work before that group will always stand out as his best (imo).

The Butlers produced tunes that most Northern Soul fans would kill for and Raw Soul gave the funksters something to pursue. If, by chance, you know of a way to get in touch with Frankie Beverly or his management, please drop me an e-mail. It would be absolutely great to do an interview with him about his pre-Maze work. He's still playing out, most recently doing a New Year's Eve show in Atlanta.
:: Funkinsoulman ::

Power...Through Simplicity ♪♫♪



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