The Phase 2 line-up includes:
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313 The Hard Way (DJ Seoul b2b DJ Psycho b2b T.Linder)
Carl Craig featuring Mad Mike Banks – live
Darkcube – live
Dink & TK
DJ Godfather featuring Good Money
Earl “Mixxin” McKinney
Gaiser – live
JETS (Jimmy Edgar + Machinedrum) – live
Kenny Larkin – live
Kevin Saunderson b2b Derrick May
Loner.9 – live
Marissa Guzman – live
Mark 8EN Moss
MCs Bombscare & Flow
Model 500 – live
Octave One – live
PHUTURE – live
Shawn Rudiman – live
Squarepusher – live
The Saunderson Brothers
The Valley and The Mountain
Eric and the Vikings added soulful flavor to the Detroit music scene via Soulhawk records in the late 1960s and 1970s. The Soulhawk label was owned and operated by Richard “Popcorn” Wylie, who had been influential with Motown from the beginning and now operated as a producer, songwriter, and supporter of Northern Soul. Members Eryke McClinton, Cliff Moore, and Phil Taylor recorded their biggest hit for the Soulhawk label, titled “Vibrations (Made Us Fall In Love)” which was released in 1970 to large success in the city of Detroit and around the metro area. The single released by Eric & The Vikings helped propel the group, as well as the Soulhawk label, to achieve success with local Detroit radio stations and “Vibrations” was steadily featured on WKNR/Keener 13. Eric & The Vikings even opened up for Isaac Hayes during a performance at the University of Detroit event center back in 1970, cementing their local influence and their smooth soul success.
Take a listen to Eric and the Vikings with their best-known hit, “Vibrations (Made Us Fall In Love)” below.
Originally formed in Detroit in 1958, The Contours started out as a quartet consisting of lead singer Billy Gordon, Billy Hogg, Joe Billingslea and Sylvester Potts. Their original name was The Blenders, but after the addition of guitarist Huey Davis and Hubert Johnson (cousin of Jackie Wilson), they became The Contours and auditioned with Berry Gordy at Wilson’s suggestion and were signed to Motown in 1961. Most Motown acts at the time upheld an image of style, sophistication, and smooth choreography…which is why The Contours, with their leaps, splits, rowdy R&B style, and refusal to contain their energy during performance, fell out of sorts with Motown early on and were most known for their 1962 hit “Do You Love Me?,”originally written by Berry Gordy for The Temptations. “Do You Love Me?” was the only Contours single to hit the top 40 on the Billboard charts, however, the single achieved this feat not once, but twice — for the first time in 1962 when the song was released, and again in 1988 thanks to Patrick Swayze and a film called Dirty Dancing.
Please enjoy The Contours’ biggest hit below!
Music and boxing may not quite go together like peanut butter & jelly, but in Detroit’s long history of both, there is one figure who became a legend in music and fought on the same bill as a legend in boxing. Berry Gordy Jr. is the name that put Motown on the map and brought the soul and spirit of Detroit music to the masses, but before he founded the Motown sound, he tried out a career as a professional boxer. Dropping out of high school in eleventh grade to pursue this dream, Berry Gordy Jr. was in the featherweight division and fought 17 professional matches, winning 12 of them with 5 KOs total before he ended his boxing career in 1950. In 1948 at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium, Berry Gordy Jr. fought on the same bill that another well-known Detroiter was on, “The Brown Bomber” Joe Louis. Following his boxing career, Berry Gordy Jr. joined the Army and served in Korea for 3 years, and then returned to the U.S. to pursue music and songwriting…the rest is Motown history.
The song “War” has been through quite a battle itself — after the original Motown recording of the song by The Temptations was deemed too controversial for the group to release as a single (even after fans were writing to Motown asking for that very thing), the song was re-recorded at Hitsville USA Studio A by Edwin Starr. Starr was born in Nashville and moved to Detroit in the 1960s where he was recording at Ric-Tic Records, a label that was eventually bought out by Berry Gordy Jr. and Motown in 1968 and absorbed Starr as a result. Starr volunteered to re-record The Temptations’ song, and the outcome was a version which, unlike The Temptations’ original, was backed by a soulful, affecting power that resonated with listeners. The song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown in 1969 as a straight-forward protest song against United States involvement in the war taking place in Vietnam. For as weary as the label was about how the song would mar the image of The Temptations, Edwin Starr reached the peak of his Motown career with the single. On August 29, 1970, “War” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for three weeks.
Watch a video of Edwin Starr belting out his biggest hit, and the number one protest song to ever hit the charts below.
Martha Reeves wore duel hats when she started at Motown records, being their secretary and also recording demos with other artists on the label. When she and her two friends Rosalind Ashford and Annette Sterling were asked to sing back-up on Marvin Gaye’s ‘Stubborn Kind of Fellow’ in 1961, the trio sang with such verve and conviction that some joked they were ‘vandalizing’ Gaye’s sound. Very shortly after, Martha & the Vandellas were formally signed as their own group to Motown and began their recording career. Dancing In The Street was written by Marvin Gaye & William Stevenson and originally conceived for Stevenson’s soon-to-be wife and fellow Motown member Kim Weston. Weston turned the song down, and when Reeves was summoned to record a demo, Stevenson is quoted as saying that “When Martha got into the song…that was the end of the conversation!” The song was released in July of 1964 (with Betty Kelly taking over vocals for Annette Sterling) and first charted on August 22, 1964. The song was written by Gaye & Stevenson as they observed Detroit on the hot days of summer when the fire hydrants would be spraying water into the street with people gathering and lining up to “dance through them.”
Please enjoy this performance by Martha & the Vandellas on the UK show ‘Ready Steady Go!’ and feel encouraged to get up and groove to this summertime Motown classic!
The Spinners were an influential group of 5 Ferndale natives on the Motown label who regularly played inside the lounge at the legendary 20 Grand Nightclub in Detroit. In the late 1960s, the club had a house band which boasted a fellow Detroit guitarist so impressive to The Spinners, that he was added to their touring group. The guitarist was Ray Parker Jr. In addition to working with The Spinners, Ray Parker Jr. would also go on to do session work for fellow Detroiters Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and The Temptations.
Now go back to 1984 and get this classic theme song stuck in your head all over again!