- Did you know the “Four Tops” were originally named ‘The Four Aimes’ when they started out in 1954 singing at a Detroit party? “They signed a contract with Chess Records and then changed their Name to ‘The Four Tops’. They had no successful recordings with Chess Records. Over the next few years, they had signed various contracts with Red Tops, Columbia and Riverside Records and all proved unsuccessful as well. The group signed with Motown Records in 1963 and had such hits as “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “Reach Out (I’ll be There),” “I Can’t Help Myself” and “Standing in the Shadows of Love.” The group was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. One of Obie Benson’s (An original member) greatest songwriting accomplishment was when he, along with Al Cleveland co-wrote with Marvin Gaye the 1971 hit “What’s Going On.”
- Lead singer Billy Henderson and co-founder of the Detroit vocal group, “The Spinners” was working on a new group “Spinners Part Too” prior to his death. He passed away February 2, 2007.
- Singer Tammi Terrell died on this day in R&B History March 16, 1970, and for three years following her death, Marvin Gaye stopped performing.
4) Did you know, three months after Sam Cooke’s death, 21-year-old Bobby Womack married Cooke’s widow, Barbara Campbell, who was ten years older than him. Their marriage was considered a dishonor by some in the music business, and Womack found himself alienated in the music world. His brothers turned against him, as did his devoted fans, and he was assaulted by Sam’s brother. Womack stated ” he initially went to Barbara’s side to console her following Cooke’s death for fear that, if she were left alone, she would “do something crazy.” Then in 1970, Bobby and Barbara divorced after she found out that he had an affair with his 18-year-old stepdaughter, Linda. She was the daughter of Sam and Barbara Cooke. Linda later married Bobby’s brother Cecil and the two eventually paired up to become the songwriters Womack & Womack.
5) Did you know “Freda Payne” was once married to R&B Artist Gregory Abbott? Abbott is best known for his singles in the 80s including his 1986 platinum single, “Shake You Down”, that spiraled to #1 in the US.