Harvey Fuqua

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A Tribute to Motown


Paying Tribute to Harvey Fuqua

This Biography is from on All Music Guide:

Harvey Fuqua founded the seminal R&B/doo wop group the Moonglows, was an early mentor of Marvin Gaye (co-producing "Sexual Healing" and Gaye's hit duets with Tammi Terrell), helped to develop several Motown acts, and helped to launch the careers of '70s soul-pop group New Birth and disco superstar Sylvester ("Dance (Disco Heat)," "You Make Me Feel Mighty Real"). Born on July 27, 1929, in Louisville, KY, Harvey Fuqua (the nephew of Charlie Fuqua of the Ink Spots) started the Moonglows with lead singer and fellow Louisville native Bobby Lester (January 13, 1930 October 15, 1980), Alexander Graves (born April 17, 1930, Cleveland, OH), and Prentiss Barnes (April 12, 1925, Magnolia, MS). Mentored by legendary rock & roll DJ Alan Freed, the group appeared with Freed on his radio show, concerts, and with him in the movies Rock, Rock, Rock (1956) the soundtrack was issued on CD by MCA and Mr. Rock and Roll (1957). Originally called the Crazy Sounds, Freed christened the group the Moonglows. The 1978 movie American Hot Wax featured a fictional group that was based on the Moonglows and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. The Moonglows' first releases were for Freed's Champagne label in 1953. The following year, the group signed with Art Sheridan's Chicago, IL-based Chance label, scoring a regional hit with a cover of Doris Day's "Secret Love." When Chance folded that same year, label exec Ewart Abner suggested they try to get a deal with another Chicago label, Chess Records. Their Chess single "Sincerely" parked at number one R&B for two weeks, number 20 pop on Billboard's charts in late 1954. The group's "blow harmony" can be heard on other Chess hits: Most of All (number five R&B, spring 1955), "We Go Together" (number nine R&B, summer 1956, later covered by Jan & Dean), the double-sided hit "See Saw" (number six R&B, b/w "When I'm With You," number 15 R&B, fall 1956), a cover of Percy Mayfield's 1950 gold hit "Please Send Me Someone to Love" (number 5 R&B, summer 1957), and "Ten Commandments of Love" (number nine R&B, fall 1958), credited to Harvey and the Moonglows, whose lineup consisted of former members of the Washington, D.C., doo wop group the Marquees: Marvin Gaye, Reese Palmner, James Knowland, Chester Simmons, and Chuck Barksdale on loan from the Dells. The group also recorded under the "pun" name the Moonlighters, having a regional hit with "Soo-doo-Bedoo," which was inspired by the Chords' "Sh-Boom." In 1958, Fuqua left the Moonglows and label owner Leonard Chess suggested that he join Anna Records in nearby Detroit, MI. Retaining Gaye, he gave the other three Marquees members tickets back to DC and traveled to Detroit where he began working with "See Saw" co-writer Billy Davis not to be confused with the Fifth Dimension member of the same name and Anna Gordy, whose brother Berry he had met when he came to Chess to lease the rights to the Miracles' "Bad Girl." Anna Records was having a huge hit with Barrett Strong's "Money." While with Anna, Fuqua recorded Lamont Anthony (aka Lamont Dozier) and Johnny Bristol, two talents who would later have huge success with Motown. Fuqua came to the attention of Berry Gordy when he observed Fuqua's marathon practice sessions while Fuqua rented a room at the home of his sister Esther Gordy and her husband George Edwards. Fuqua was still working with Chess producing sides on Etta James. In 1961, he started his own labels, Tri-Phi and Harvey Records. On their rosters were the Spinners (the Fuqua-lead "That's What Girls Are Made For" on Tri-Phi, number five R&B, summer 1961), Junior Walker & the All Stars ("Good Rockin' Tonight"), and Shorty Long. Tired of the rigors of running a small independent label with no distribution or manufacturing edge against major-label competition, Fuqua was glad when Motown founder Berry Gordy hired him to head the label's Artist Development department, basically a charm school for the label's artists. He was assisted by Gordy's sisters Gwen (Fuqua's wife) and Anna, Maxine Powell, and Cholly Atkins and brought the Spinners and Johnny Bristol to Motown. Fuqua co-produced several hits with Bristol, all having a sprinkling of the Moonglows' sound: Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "Aint No Mountain High Enough" (written by Ashford & Simpson, number three R&B, number 19 pop, summer 1967), "Your Precious Love" (number two R&B, number five pop, fall 1967), and "If This World Were Mine" (number two R&B, number ten pop, late 1967), in addition to former Temptations member David Ruffin's "My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)" (number two R&B, number nine pop, early 1969). Around 1971, Fuqua left Motown and signed a production deal with RCA Records. Two acts signed to Fuqua's talent agency were signed to the label: The Nitelighters ("K-Jee," "Afro-Strut" b/w "(We've Got To) Pull Together") and New Birth (a cover of Perry Como's 1971 hit "It's Impossible," a cover of Bobby Womack's "I Can Understand It," "It's Been a Long Time"). New Birth group members Lester & Melvin Wilson recorded as Love, Peace and Happiness covering Gladys Knight and the Pips' "I Don't Want to Do Wrong," number 41 R&B, summer 1982. The Moonglows reunited in 1972 with Fuqua, Lester, Graves, Doc Williams, and Chuck Lewis. They recorded an RCA LP, The Return of the Moonglows, and a remake of "Sincerely" which charted number 43 R&B. Fuqua reunited with Marvin Gaye in summer 1982, collaborating on the singer's Midnight Love LP which hit number seven pop in late 1982, sold two million copies, and included the gold single "Sexual Healing," number one R&B for ten weeks, number three pop, fall 1982. The single "Sanctified Lady," from Gaye's posthumously released 1985 LP Dream of a Lifetime, parked at number two R&B for three weeks in the spring 1985. Ed Hogan

Harvey Fuqua's Credits:

Bo Diddley Rare & Well Done (1991) Vocals
The Flamingos & the... Flamingos Meet the Moonglows on... (1953) Vocals
The Four Tops Motown Superstar Series, Vol. 14 (1981) Producer
Marvin Gaye Tribute to the Great Nat King Cole (1965) Producer
Marvin Gaye I Heard It through the Grapevine (1968) Producer
Marvin Gaye w/ Tami... United/You're All I Need (1968) Producer
Marvin Gaye & Tammi... Greatest Hits [Tammi Terrell] (1970) Producer
Marvin Gaye Moods of Marvin Gaye/That's the... (1970) Producer
Marvin Gaye w/ Tammi... Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell:... (1971) Producer
Marvin Gaye Anthology [1974] (1974) Producer
Marvin Gaye Midnight Love (1982) Vocals (bckgr), Editing, Mixing, Production Advisor
Marvin Gaye Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin... (1983) Producer
Marvin Gaye Dream of a Lifetime (1985) Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Drums, Vocals (bckgr), Producer
Marvin Gaye Marvin Gaye & His Women Classic... (1985) Producer
Marvin Gaye Very Best of Marvin Gaye (1986) Producer
Marvin Gaye Marvin Gaye & His Women (1986) Producer
Marvin Gaye That Stubborn Kinda Fellow/How... (1987) Producer
Marvin Gaye Musical Testament 1964-1984 (1988) Arranger, Producer
Marvin Gaye Marvin Gaye Collection (1990) Producer
Marvin Gaye I Heard It through the Grapevine/I (1991) Producer
Marvin Gaye Love Starved Heart: Rare and... (1994) Producer
Marvin Gaye Master 1961-1984 (1995) Producer
Marvin Gaye Classics Collection (1995) Producer
Marvin Gaye Forever Yours (1997) Producer
Marvin Gaye Midnight Love & the Sexual Healing (1998) Vocals (bckgr), Editing, Mixing
Marvin Gaye Lost and Found: Love Starved Heart (1999) Producer
Marvin Gaye Midnight Love [Super Audio] (2000) Vocals (bckgr), Editing, Mixing, Production Advisor
The Isley Brothers Greatest Hits & Rare Classics (1991) Producer
Etta James At Last (1961) Vocals
Etta James Essential Etta James (1994) Vocals
Janice My Brothers and Sisters (2000) Vocals, Vocals (bckgr), Producer
Joey and Norman Jay Good Times (2000) Producer
Gladys Knight & the Pips Anthology (1974) Producer
Gladys Knight & the Pips Ultimate Collection (1997) Producer
The Moonglows Moonglows (1964)
The Moonglows Blue Velvet: The Ultimate... (1993)
The Moonglows Their Greatest Hits [MCA] (1997)
The New Birth Very Best of the New Birth: Where... (1995) Arranger, Conductor, Producer
New Birth Greatest Funk Classics (2001) Arranger, Conductor
David Ruffin Ultimate Collection (1998) Producer
David Ruffin 20th Century Masters - The... (2000) Producer
Ruffin Brothers Motown Superstars Series, Vol. 8 (1969) Producer
The Spinners Best of the Spinners [Atlantic I] (1978) Producer
The Spinners One of a Kind Love Affair (1991) Producer
Edwin Starr Motown Superstar Series, Vol. 3 (1980) Producer
Edwin Starr Very Best of Edwin Starr [Motown] (1998) Producer
The Supremes Merry Christmas (1965) Arranger, Producer
The Supremes Anthology (1974) Producer
Diana Ross and the... Christmas Hits Back to Back (1995) Arranger
The Supremes Supremes [2000 Box Set] (2000) Producer
Sylvester Sylvester (1977) Vocals (bckgr), Producer, Prophet Synthesizer
Sylvester Living Proof (1979) Producer
Sylvester Stars (1979) Producer
Sylvester Greatest Hits: Non-Stop Dance... (1983) Producer
Sylvester Greatest Hits (1983) Producer
Sylvester Original Hits (1989) Producer
The Temptations Back to Basics (1983) Producer
The Temptations Anthology [1995] (1995) Producer
The Temptations One by One: The Best of Their Solo (1996) Producer
Two Tons Megatonnage: The Best of Two Tons (1985) Producer
Two Tons: Martha Wash... Get the Feeling (1993) Vocals (bckgr), Producer
The Velvelettes Very Best of the Velvelettes (1999) Producer
Junior Walker & the All... Home Cookin' (1969) Producer
Junior Walker & the All... Greatest Hits [Motown] (1982) Producer
Junior Walker & the All... All the Great Hits (1983) Producer
Junior Walker & the All... Shotgun/Roadrunner (1986) Producer
Junior Walker & the All... Ultimate Collection (1997) Producer
Martha Wash Collection (1997) Producer
Stevie Wonder Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 (1971) Producer
Stevie Wonder At the Close of the Century (1999) Producer
Stevie Wonder Song Review: A Greatest Hits... (2000) Producer
Original Soundtrack Rock, Rock, Rock (1956)
Original Soundtrack Young Soul Rebels (1992) Producer
Original Soundtrack Cooley High (2000) Producer
Various Artists Tribute to Black Entertainers (1919) Horn
Various Artists Have a Merry Chess Christmas (1989) Vocals
Various Artists Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles... (1992) Producer
Various Artists Christmas in the City [Motown] (1993) Producer
Various Artists Chess Rhythm & Roll (1994) Bass (Vocal), Baritone (Vocal)
Various Artists Motown Christmas [1995] (1995) Arranger, Producer
Various Artists Motown Classic Hits, Vol. 4 (1995) Producer
Various Artists Baddest Love Jams, Vol. 1 (1995) Producer
Various Artists Motown Christmas Carol (1995) Producer
Various Artists Motown Year By Year: The Sound of... (1995) Producer
Various Artists In Loving Memory [PSM] (1995) Arranger, Adaptation
Various Artists Groove On!, Vol. 3 (1996) Producer
Various Artists Who's That Soul (1996) Producer
Various Artists Brand New Bag: #1 60's Soul Hits,... (1997) Producer
Various Artists Jumpin': Original Full Length... (1997) Producer
Various Artists Soul Classics [Irma] (1998) Producer
Various Artists Jumpin' 2 (1998) Producer
Various Artists Motown Celebrates Sinatra (1998) Producer
Various Artists Disco Nights, Vol. 2 (1998) Producer
Various Artists Disco Box (1999) Producer
Various Artists Disco Fever, Vol. 2 (1999) Producer
Various Artists R&B: From Doo Wop to Hip Hop (1999) Vocals (bckgr), Production Advisor
Various Artists Motown: The Classic Years (2000) Producer
Various Artists Best of Chess Rock & Roll, Vol. 1 Vocals
Various Artists Best of Chess Rock & Roll, Vol. 2 Vocals
Various Artists Best of Chess Vocal Groups, Vol. 1 Vocals
Various Artists Best of Chess Vocal Groups, Vol. 2 Vocals
Various Artists Flintstones Motown Christmas Producer

Paying Tribute to Harvey Fuqua