With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

“Red light, green light, speeding through the dark night” December 7, 2011

We’re up to the letter G in my ABC of Motown Christmas Advent Calendar, which means that today is December 7th. Todays song is from the, in my opinion, very much underrated Richard Dean Taylor. He is better known. He is a Canadian and was born in Toronto in 1939, which makes him 72, just like yesterday’s featured artist Jimmy Ruffin.

Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, R. Dean Taylor, Don Gooch

Taylor signed with Motown in 1964 as a songwriter. His first single was scheduled to be”My Ladybug (Stay Away From That Beatle)” which was deemed unworthy of release. His biggest success as a writer or cowriter at the label was with songs such as “I’ll Turn To Stone” by the Four Tops and “I’m Livin’ In Shame” from Diana Ross and the Supremes. One of his biggest hits was actually one that he didn’t have a hand in writing. It was “There’s A Ghost In My House” which was written by the classic Tamla Motown writing team of Brian and Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier aka Holland Dozier Holland.

Strangely enough todays song in the advent calendar is “Gotta See Jane” which Taylor wrote with Brian Holland. It reached number 17 in the UK charts in 1968. It has been covered by both the Fall and Golden Earring (enjoy those versions below). The song was released on Motown’s Rare Earth subsidiary in the USA.


“As you board the train, you feel the pain That starts as you depart, yeah” December 6, 2011

Can you believe that it’s now less than 20 days until the big bearded weirdy in red arrives? Yes it’s December 6th and time to rip off todays flimsy cardboard flap on my Advent Calendar which regular readers know has an ABC of Motown theme in 2011. Today is celebrating the letter F in the Motown lexicon and it’s a Jimmy Ruffin classic “Farewell Is A Lonely Sound” which reached the UK top 10 in 1970. Like many of his contemporaries he is the son of a minister. He is also the older brother of the sadly departed David Ruffin, formerly a member of the classic Temptations line-up. Neither of them are related to reggae singer Bruce Ruffin. This was a popular misconception in the 1970s; well certainly to me and my teenage friends!

Jimmy and David began their careers by singing gospel songs in church. Jimmy had a stint in the US Army and when he returned home in 1964 he was asked to audition for a place in the Temptations. Which he may well have got had his brother not auditioned as well. David sadly died aged just 50 in 1991 after an alleged accidental cocaine overdose.

Jimmy is now 72 and his 10-year-old granddaughter may well be on the verge of a successful career as a singer too. Aiyana-Lee Anderson recorded a song “As One” earlier this year to raise money for victims of the Japanese earthquake. Aiyana-Lee has been given the chance to record an album in LA as a result of the on-line success of “As One”. She lives with her moth in North London (Kingsbury) and attends the Sylvia Young Theatre School.


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