“The Originals” were Motown’s best-kept secret among the R&B circuit. “The Originals” got their start in 1969 in Detroit, Michigan. Members were Lead singer Freddie Gorman, C.P Spencer,Joe Stubbs(Brother of Four Tops Singer Levi Stubbs and former singer with The Contours and Falcons),Ty Hunter, Walter Gaines and Henry “Hank” Dixon.
“The Originals popularize the R&B world in 1969. They worked at Motown for years as invaluable background vocalists. Gorman recorded and co-wrote “Please Mr. Postman” for the Marvelettes. “Baby I’m for Real,” an RB chart-topper in 1969 was written and produced by Marvin Gaye. The same combination also produced “The Bells,” another major hit in 1970. Former solo act Ty Hunter joined the group in 1971, and the Originals continued to chart into the next decade”
The group found modest success in the latter half of the 60s, often working as backup singers for recordings artist such as Jimmy Ruffin (“What Becomes of the Brokenhearted”, 1966), Stevie Wonder‘s “For Once In My Life” in 1968 and David Ruffin(“My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)”, 1969). The Group found their biggest success under the guidance of Motown legend Marvin Gaye, who co-wrote and produced two of the group’s biggest singles, “Baby I’m For Real”, and “The Bells”. This latter disc sold over one million copies and received a gold disc awarded by the R.I.A.A. Both songs became seminal soul music recordings, and both songs have since been covered: 1990s R&B group After 7 re-recorded “Baby I’m For Real” and made it a hit again in 1992, while another 1990s R&B group Color Me Badd re-recorded “The Bells” for one of their albums. While the group went on to have more modest success in both the soul and disco fields near the end of the decade, including “Down To Love Town,” a #1 dance chart hit, the songs they made with Marvin Gaye are their most memorable and notable. Both songs are the most popular and requested in their repertoire. Henry Hank Dixon is now the only original surviving and active member of the group.