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Uploaded on Mar 25, 2007
This particular song is a stomping piece of eighties High Energy by The Andantes. Louvain Demps is singing lead vocals, but most of our other recordings by The Andantes had Pat Lewis on lead. Jackie Hicks tended to be the organiser and what I would term as the lead member, but she never aspired to be the lead vocalist. The Andantes were Motown's famous backing girls. From the beginning of the sixties, right up to the early seventies, across about thirteen years, they managed to sing backing vocals on a staggering estimated twenty thousand songs. There were five members throughout the years, Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow, Louvain Demps, Pat Lewis, and Ann Bogan. Their one single on the V.I.P. label, "Like A Nightmare", is one of the rarest and most sought after Motown singles of all time. When we came to Detroit in 1989, they hadn't sung together for several years, but we got four of them back togather again and recorded several songs, as well as them doing the backing vocals on everybody else's records. Their brilliance lies in their speed. They are able to work out an arrangement and lay it down within half an hour, meaning that we had a second studio on the go, and used it for just backing vocals. These were mainly supervised by Rick Gianatos, while I was doing the lead vocals in the main studio. They were knocking out twelve or fifteen sets of backing vocals in a day. Louvain came back specially to Detroit from Atlanta and the other three still live in Detroit. The Andantes appeared in England a few years ago, but Louvain was the only original member and she had Karen Pree doing lead vocals. Karen was a wonderful singer who we recorded for Motorcity ourselves, but certainly never with The Andantes. It somehow felt wrong to me. But Pat joined Louvain for the Motown concert in Pittsburgh, but surprisingly not for the UK Andantes appearance, which, if Jackie and Marlene weren't going to do it, felt wrong again. My favourite Andantes memory is when Mary Wells flew into Detroit to do a TV appearance for us and she re-recorded "My Guy", but refused to do so unless the Andantes were on backing vocals, just like the original, and she made such a fuss of them. Memories.