|Posted on May 18, 2020 at 11:40 AM|
It's Mo'Music Monday ... "Do You Love Me?" ... The Contours! Who didn't dance to that record? Not only was it a hit for the Contours in 1962 but it was a hit for them again in 1988 after it appeared in the classic movie, "Dirty Dancing". Let's take a look at this Motown Group that kind of lived in the shadows of the Temptations and Four Tops. The Contours actually began as a singing group called the Blenders in Detroit, Michigan when Joe Billingslea and Billy Gordon added Billy Hoggs and Billy Rollins (who was soon replaced by Leroy Fair) and bass singer Hubert Johnson. Once the group was intact, they changed their name to the Contours. The story goes something like this: in 1960 the Contours auditioned for Berry Gordy and were turned down but Berry suggested they get together with Herbert Johnson's Cousin, Jackie Wilson. Jackie Wilson got the group another audition with Gordy and were signed to a contract. Their first record, "Whole Lotta Woman" did not chart and the group went through more personnel changes, Martha Reeves Brother, Benny Reeves replaced Leroy and soon Sylvester Potts replaced Benny. The group released their next record in 1962 "Do You Love Me" and the rest is Motown History. There were a lot of changes in the group over the years and some of the new members went on to be solo artists, the likes of Joe Stubbs (Brother of Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops) and Dennis Edwards (who went on to join the Temptations replacing David Ruffin). I/we had the pleasure of working with the Contours a few times and I even brought them into the Emerald Room to work with us. Through the years the group stayed with the Motown tradition of perfect choreography and style while perfoming on stage. Joe started the group and worked with the group as a Contour thru 2015. One fond memory I have of the Contours happened when my friend Shaun Pierce and I went to a re-union at the Rooster Tail to see the Contours perform. It was like a who's who of Motown and a soulful day that I will never forget. Through our friendship we had the pleasure of hanging with the group back stage and talking about the good old days of Motown ... I would go back to those magical days in a heartbeat. Till tomorrow stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, God Bless!