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Sunday, May 20, 2012


We can all thank brilliant producer Bert Berns for introducing the Latin beat into American rhythm & blues music, as heard on such records as "Under The Boardwalk" (The Drifters) and "Cry To Me" (Solomon Burke). Berns spent a number of years in Cuba, where he became fascinated by the rhythms he heard, and was seduced by a cultural build around dance. By 1963, this sound was reverberating throughout the soul scene, and it's heard to great effect here, on this debut release from Detroit's Velvelettes.

Beautiful harmonies, dreamy piano, Latin rhythms and a young Stevie Wonder on harmonica are the ingredients that make up this lovely record. The Velvelettes SHOULD have been one of the biggest groups at Motown (thanks to records such as "Lonely Lonely Girl Am I" and "A Bird In The Hand (Is Worth Two In The Bush"), but sadly their records only scraped the charts between '63-'66.

from 1963...


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