Tag Archives: Motown

Nice to Meet and Hear You, Smokey Johnson

SKF NOTE: There’s always one more drummer to learn about, isn’t there? This morning, scrolling through online news I stop at this provocative headline about New Orleans drummer Smokey Johnson: “His playing wasn’t just hot; this New Orleans drummer was … Continue reading

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Drummers Played a Major Part Creating Motown Music

SKF NOTE: This is part of a phone interview on May 12, 1982 with Motown’s Brian Holland. It’s important readers understand how little information existed at this time on Motown’s drummers. Their identities were not well-known. Once the principal drummers … Continue reading

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Living with Great Sounds of Unknown Drummers

SKF NOTE: There was a moment, after deciding in 1982, to write a History of Rock Drumming, I realized how huge a task was ahead of me. Much later, there was a moment I knew there probably would always be … Continue reading

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Freddie Waits: Drummer on ‘Dancing in the Streets’

SKF NOTE: Freddie Waits is the drummer on Martha and the Vandellas’ Dancing in the Street? Neither had I seen Freddie Waits spoken of as one of Motown’s legendary “Funk Brothers.” I learn something everyday. Here is a snippet of … Continue reading

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Who’s the Drummer? Tell the Truth

SKF NOTE: When I was a kid there was a popular t.v. show called To Tell the Truth. Three mystery guests would sit facing a panel of celebrities. Two of the mystery guests were imposters. The celebrities had a short … Continue reading

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Armin Steiner: Recording Motown in L.A.

SKF NOTE: My Carol Kaye transcript, and other of my backgrounder interviews, prompted questioning from some readers about West coast musicians recording early Motown records. Several musicians and other music industry people told me some (many?) of those Motown recordings … Continue reading

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Carol Kaye: I Never Really Wanted to Do Studio Work

SKF NOTE: In the early 1980s, when I spoke with musician Carol Kaye, I felt incredibly fortunate. I still feel that way. I was working to put together a history of rock drummers that, at times, was tough to piece … Continue reading

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