Category: soul music

Albums Released In 1971

R.I.P. Tammi Terrell  (April 29, 1945 – March 16, 1970)

Tammi Terrell was a Motown songstress best known for her duets with Marvin Gaye. They released 3 albums together:

United (1967), You’re All I Need (1968), and Easy (1969). Tammi released her only solo album Irresistible in 1969. 

Tammi was discovered by Luther Dixon at 15 and signed to Wand Records in 1960. By 17, she was signed to James Brown’s Try Me label. He wrote her first charting single “I Cried,” which he later reused for his 1966 hit “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” She became involved in an abusive relationship with James, and left him while they were on the road after he beat her for not watching his entire performance.

Tammi enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in pre-med for two years before signing with Motown Records on her 20th birthday in 1965. She opened for the Temptations and began dating the lead singer David Ruffin. This relationship was also abusive, but she accepted a marriage proposal from David. She later discovered that he already had a wife and children as well as another girlfriend. Tammi ended their relationship after he hit her in the head with his motorcycle helmet.

In 1966, Tammi recorded the future classic “All I Do (Is Think About You),” written by a teenaged Stevie Wonder. Her version wasn’t released until 2010 on the compilation album Come On and See Me: The Complete Solo Collection.

In 1967, Tammi achieved success when she was partnered with Marvin Gaye. Their first recording “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” was a hit on the charts, followed by many hit more hit records, including “Your Precious Love” “If I Could Build My Whole World Around You,” “If This World Were Mine,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” “You’re All I Need to Get By,” “What You Gave Me,” and “The Onion Song.” Their last single together, “California Soul,” was released after Tammi succumbed to brain cancer at the age of 24 in 1970.

In 2015, it was announced that Kat Graham was cast to portray Tammi in a biopic about her life, but the project has been shelved.

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David Ruffin and

Tammi Terrell

After escaping an abusive relationship with James Brown, Tammi began a volatile relationship with David Ruffin, the lead singer of the Temptations, in 1965. In 1966, David surprised her with a marriage proposal.

However, when she announced their engagement on stage Davis became upset. Tammi was devastated once she discovered that he had a wife, three children and another girlfriend in Detroit. His drug use and infidelity led to them having public fights. Tammi was portrayed in the Temptations movie during the Motown picnic scene. It was claimed that

David

hit

Tammi

with a hammer or a machete, though this was denied by

Tammi’s family. Earl Van Dyke, leader of Motown’s Funk Brothers band, recalled seeing David beat up Tammi at the Motown

“Hitsville U.S.A.” headquarters. Her sister Ludie Montgomery also confirmed a story that David hit Tammi in the face with his motorcycle helmet, leading to the end of their relationship in 1967. Tammi went on to record classic duets with Marvin Gaye, but she unfortunately died from a brain tumor at the age of 24 in 1970. David died of a drug overdose in 1991.

Blues & Soul Magazine Covers – 1971

Curtis Mayfield photographed by Norman Seeff, 1974.

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Ike & Tina Turner performing in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas in 1964. 

Isaac Hayes circa 1971

Vintage R&B Concert Posters

Memorial Auditorium (Chattanooga, Tennessee) – November 6, 1956

W.C. Taylor High School (Warrenton, Virginia) – March 8, 1962

Toldeo Sports Arena (Toledo, Ohio) – November 5, 1963

Memorial Auditorium (Chattanooga, Tennessee) – June 21, 1965

Cinnamon Cider (Long Beach, California) – August 18, 1965

Memorial Auditorium (Chattanooga, Tennessee) – September 20, 1965

Apollo Theatre (Harlem, New York) – February 11, 1967

Civic Auditorium (Knoxville, Tennessee) – November 25, 1967

Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, North Carolina) – June 9, 1968

Roberta Flack photographed by Jack Robinson, November 1969. Photos from this session were used for her her second album Chapter Two (1970).

Bobby Womack photographed by Ebet Roberts in New York City on December 9, 1985.