The Contours - First I Look At The Purse





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Uploaded on Apr 5, 2007

This is our 1989 remake of The Contours classic Motown single, "First I Look At The Purse". The Contours were one of the earliest Motown groups, coming hot on the heels of The Miracles and The Satintones. Founded by Joe Billingslea and joined soon after by Sylvester Potts. Until recently Joe and Sylvester have been the mainstay of the group, with others changing the lineup over the years, especially the lead singers, including Billy Gordon, Joe Stubbs, Dennis Edwards, and Daryl Nunlee, but always Joe Billingslea and Sylvester remained, which is why I find it so painful to learn that now they've gone their separate ways. Their first record on Motown was "Whole Lot Of Woman" in 1959, and in the early 1960s, they stole those old Motortown Revues at The Apollo Theatre in New York, with their spins and backdrops, something later adapted and adopted by the Northern Soul scene. Their biggest hit was "Do You Love Me", which was an even bigger hit in 1987 when it was featured in the Patrick Swayze film, "Dirty Dancing". But having said that, it was always for those joyous, stomping, mid Sixties classics, that England, and in particular the Northern Soul scene, hero worshipped the group, "Just A Little Misunderstanding", "It's So Hard Being A Loser", and "Baby Hit And Run" in particular. But it was the success of "Dirty Dancing", which gave the Contours an entire new lease of life and made them tremendously in demand. And this was the period when we recorded them for Motorcity, and had them star at the Motorcity Revue on the roof of the Pontchartrain Hotel in Detroit in 1990. We also arranged with agent Barry Collings for them to do a tour of England, during which we recorded their second album for us. We released two singles on the Motorcity label, "Face Up To The Fact'" and "Running In Circles", and two albums, "Flashback" and "Revenge", although the second album was pulled at the last minute because of a disastrous distribution deal with Morgan Khan, and in the end was repackaged in its entirety, along with half of the tracks from the first album, as "The Best Of The Contours". The Contours third single for Motorcity, "Heaven Sent", was also pulled because of the collapse of the same deal. Joe Billingslea still performs regularly with his Contours, and they appeared for T.J. Lubinski at his legendary Pittsburgh Oldies TV Spectacular, "Motown The Early Days", along with Brenda Holloway, Kim Weston, Frances Nero, and Martha Reeves. I was very very proud of my work with this amazing group.

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