Hitsville USA! Stay In The Blue Groove

As is well known, the late Dave Godin was an early champion of the Motown Sound.

After hearing Mary Well’s ‘You Lost The Sweetest Boy’ in 1963, he wrote to Berry Gordy asking for permission to form a fan club for her and the labels’ other artists. From the initial typed newsletter it grew into the Tamla Motown Appreciation Society, with upwards of a thousand members who helped to spread the word leading up to the Motown Revue’s acclaimed tour of the UK in 1965. The story behind this influential network of Motown fans is the theme of Keith Rylatt’s forthcoming book with the working title taken from the masthead of the society’s newsletter Hitsville USA!

Planned for publication next year, the book includes many photographs taken by founding member Clive Stone, that had been kept unseen in the loft since the mid 1960s.And it was only by chance that the pictures came to light, when Clive’s younger brother Mel met Keith at a small village club in Kent.

Aware of Keith’s interest in Motown, Mel arrived one day toting a supermarket carrier bag with the aforementioned photographs and negatives, alongside an array of Motown-related ephemera ranging from a novelty key to the Motor City to an autographed programme for the 1964 Motown Christmas party held at the Graystone Ballroom in Detroit. Such a find had to be seen by Motown fanatics and the outcome will be Keith’s book.

We’ll keep you regularly updated on the book’s progress through the blog, and if you would like to register for a discounted copy on publication please register at info@groovesvilleusa.com.