August 11th, 2005



I'm the biggest old school R&B/soul fan that a li'l white girl can possibly be. I grew up with it. The cover of a Spinners record (along with a Neil Young record) are some of my fondest early memories. My grandmother used to say to me, "When your parents were teenagers, they always danced to the black music." And when I asked my Mom who her favorite Beatle was, she said, "Well, I always liked George [also my favorite Beatle], but I was more into black music." So it comes as no surprise that I would tape the recent PBS Motown special (official title: "Motown: The Early Years").

Levi Stubbs is MY MAN. You don't know how hard it is for me to pick a favorite song of all time, but the Four Tops' "Bernadette" is unequivocally IT. And to see him being honored on this program (and by the remaining Tops) meant a lot. I only just found out that he had suffered a stroke a few years ago and is still recovering. I'm just so glad he could attend the show!

The absolute show stopper for me was the archival footage of Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye doing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". Oh my god, Tammi was SO gorgeous -- she's the goddess of soul!!! Such a pure (but edgy) voice...and I loved how Marvin's voice was getting rougher here (a bit like Levi!). I can't believe Tammi was only 24 when she died (not to mention Marvin's premature exit). What a crime.