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The Honorable J.C. Watts

Political leader J.C. Watts was born on November 18, 1957 in Eufaula, Oklahoma to J.C. Watts, Sr. and Helen Watts. Watts originally attended Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Eufaula, but became one of two children to integrate Jefferson Davis Elementary School in 1964. Watts graduated from Eufaula High School in 1976. Watts attended the University of Oklahoma and was starting quarterback for the football team in 1979, and led the team to two Orange Bowls victories and two Big Eight championships. Watts graduated in 1981 with his B.A. degree in journalism.

In 1981, Watts joined the Ottawa Rough Riders, a team in the Canadian Football League. He led the team to the Grey Cup the same year and was named Most Valuable Player. In 1985, Watts joined the Toronto Argonauts, where he played his final season in the CFL. In 1987, Watts became a youth minister at Sunnyvale Baptist Church in Del City, Oklahoma. In the same year, he founded Ironhead Construction and Watts Energy. In 1990, Watts was elected to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. In 1992, he became the commission’s chairman and served until his term ended in 1995. In 1994, Watts was elected to the House of Representatives from Oklahoma’s 4th District. Watts was reelected as representative in 1996, 1998, and 2000. During his tenure in the House of Representatives, he served on the Armed Services Committee, the Banking and Financial Services Committee, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. In 1997, Watts was chosen by House Speaker Newt Gingrich to deliver the Republican Party’s response to President Clinton’s State of the Union address. In 1998, Watts was elected as House Republican Conference Chair. After serving in U.S. Congress, Watts founded J.C. Watts Companies in 2003 and the J.C. & Frankie Watts Foundation in 2005. In 2017, Watts announced the 2018 launch of the Black Television News Channel.

Watts served as director of companies such as Dillards, Inc., CSX Corporation, and ITC Holdings. He also served as the CEO of Feed the Children in 2016. In 2002, Watts published his autobiography, What Color is Conservative?: My Life and My Politics. Watts was also recognized for his athletic ability. In 1992, J.C. Watts was inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

J.C. Watts and his wife, Frankie Watts, have five children: Kesha, Trey, Jerrel, Jennifer, and Julia.

J.C. Watts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 1, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.196

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/01/2017

Last Name

Watts

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

J.C.

Birth City, State, Country

Eufaula

HM ID

WAT19

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Florida Panhandle

Favorite Quote

Take the Bitter with the Sweet

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/18/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Cooked & Authentic

Short Description

Political leader J.C. Watts (1957- ) served as a commissioner on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Oklahoma’s 4th District from 1995 until 2003.

Favorite Color

Blue

Sarann Knight Preddy

Sarann Knight Preddy was born on July 27, 1920, in the small town of Eufaula, Oklahoma, to Carl and Hattie Chiles. Knight Preddy married her first husband, Luther Walker, just out of high school. In 1942, she and her family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, settling in the black community on the West Side. Preddy took her first job at the Cotton Club as a Keno writer and later became a dealer.

In 1950, Preddy moved to Hawthorne, Nevada, where she was offered the opportunity to purchase her own gambling establishment; her purchase made her the first African American woman to own a gaming license in Nevada. Preddy then purchased the Lincoln Bar, which she later renamed the Tonga Club; the club was successful in the small booming town, and she operated the establishment until her return to Las Vegas in 1957.

Preddy then worked as a dealer until a new ordinance prohibited women from being employed as dealers. During that time, Preddy operated several businesses including a dry cleaner, a dress shop, and a lounge. Once the ordinance was repealed, Preddy returned to work as a dealer at Jerry’s Nugget where she remained for seven years.

In 1990, Preddy turned her focus to restoring the previous glamour of Las Vegas’ first integrated casino; she and her third husband, Joe Preddy, purchased the Moulin Rouge. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to secure the financing needed and eventually sold the Moulin Rouge to a developer. Preddy made many contributions to the state of Nevada through her involvement with the NAACP; she also worked to preserve the history of Las Vegas through her efforts to place the Moulin Rouge on the National Register of Historic Places.

Preddy passed away on December 22, 2014 at the age of 94.

Sarann Knight Preddy was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 4, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.121

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/4/2007

Last Name

Preddy

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Dunbar High School

First Name

Sarann

Birth City, State, Country

Eufaula

HM ID

PRE03

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

Always Treat People The Way You Want To Be Treated.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Birth Date

7/27/1920

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweets

Death Date

12/22/2014

Short Description

Gaming entrepreneur Sarann Knight Preddy (1920 - 2014 ) was the first African American woman to own a gaming license in Nevada, and dedicated the latter part of her career to trying to preserve the historic Las Vegas establishment, the Moulin Rouge.

Employment

The Cotton Club

The Tonga Club

The Louisiana Club

Town Tavern

Jerry's Nugget Casino

Sarann's Fashions

Sarann's Cleaners

Ruben's Supper Club

Playhouse Lounge

Moulin Rouge Hotel

People's Choice Casino

Favorite Color

Bright Colors, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sarann Knight Preddy's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sarann Knight Preddy lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her maternal great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about her parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about changing her name

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her father's occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her home life

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her community in Eufaula, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sarann Knight Preddy reflects upon her upbringing on a Native American reservation

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about the Great Depression

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers Dunbar High School in Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her teachers at Dunbar High School in Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her first marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers moving to Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes segregation in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her start at the Cotton Club in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers Pearl Bailey

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes the entertainers of Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers the Moulin Rouge Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls purchasing the Tonga Club in Hawthorne, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about nonrestrictive gaming licenses

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her decision to sell the Tonga Club

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers the growth of Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes the history of the Moulin Rouge Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers Joe Louis

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes the Westside neighborhood of Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls the difficulty of moving to Las Vegas, Nevada, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls the difficulty of moving to Las Vegas, Nevada, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes career as a dealer in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls working at Jerry's Nugget Casino in North Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls campaigning for city council in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her transition from keno writer to dealer

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls opening the People's Choice Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sarann Knight Preddy reflects upon the Civil Rights Movement in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about her ownership of the Moulin Rouge Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers the deaths of her family members

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls being injured in a car accident

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes Sarann's Fashions and Sarann's Cleaners in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls the obstacles to acquiring a gaming license, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls the obstacles to acquiring a gaming license, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her experiences of discrimination as a business owner in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her decision to close the Moulin Rouge Hotel

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her organizational involvement

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about organized crime in the gaming industry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes the transition from silver dollars to chips in casinos

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about corruption in the gaming industry

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sarann Knight Preddy reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers her fifth husband, Joe Preddy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sarann Knight Preddy shares a message to future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls continuing her education

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about religion and the gaming industry

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls lessons from the gaming industry

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Sarann Knight Preddy reflects upon her spirituality

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Sarann Knight Preddy remembers Pearl Bailey
Sarann Knight Preddy describes her role in the Civil Rights Movement
Transcript
Before we go on to how people left from the Westside [Las Vegas, Nevada] to come to the Strip [Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada], I was asking you about other people that you knew. You talked about Sammy Davis [Sammy Davis, Jr.] and his family and what about Pearl Bailey?$$Pearl Bailey was playing on the strip but she used to come--well she had to come on the Westside all the time. She liked to party and gamble but she was a very down to earth person 'cause I remember this friend of mine was serving her some champagne and she wanted to put it in a glass and she wouldn't accept it out of there she said, "Just give me a water glass or something, I don't need this champagne glass." She had a friend just a casual friend and they used to gamble all the time and she was over at one table gambling and he was at the next table. So, you know, people back in the day and they even do that now they get so serious when they're gambling, "Don't bother me and if you talk to me that's why I lost because you talked to me." So this friend hollered over and told her, "Give me some money I'm broke." So she just--it was all silver during that time--she reached into her stacks and got a handful of silver and threw it to him like this and when she did and she didn't mean to do it but when she threw it, it hit him in the eye. They were really close friends and he sued her and well after that they weren't ever friends anymore. That was one incident that happened that I remember. During that time the Cotton Club [Las Vegas, Nevada] had a boat and it was on wheels and whenever on Sundays some days they would decide to go to the lake and everybody would have a picnic and we'd all go to the lake and everybody would ride in this boat on wheels but me. Not everybody but my little gang and I would always go in a car 'cause when you go to the lake and you get there the car didn't stop, it just went on in the lake 'cause it was a boat on wheels. I always afraid of water anyway, so I'd never get on this boat. But Pearl Bailey used to go with the gang whenever she was in town also. She was a regular and she was a very good entertainer, very congenial person. She was one of the ones that stand out in my mind and that she was a super person to be around and a number of others that I know--$Did you have any involvement in civil rights in 1950, '55 [1955] and '60 [1960] starts some civil rights action?$$Yes because when I--I worked very close with the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and I was involved with all the things that they did here when they got the consent decree and when they were integrated for Las Vegas [Nevada] to be integrated, I worked along with that and I have a lot of history back on a lot of the things I did do and I worked with it when I was in Hawthorne [Nevada]. I was the president of the NAACP when I was in Hawthorne and I worked along--the chapter up there along with Las Vegas and you know I guess it's okay to skip and go back. When I was in Hawthorne and I had the club there [Tonga Club, Hawthorne, Nevada] I was kind of like the halfway point to Carson City [Nevada] and people used to come to my place and meet up and then we'd go to Carson City when we was fighting for integration and so forth. I remember when we went to Carson City they had a little room about a fourth big as this and they called it the Buzzard Roost [ph.] and this is where when we went to the legislation session it would hold about ten or twelve people and that's where we had to sit. You had to bend over to get in this little place to sit to watch the legislation session. 'Cause I was young and cocky and I used to say all the time, they can go down and pass a law to run all of us out of town and we can't do anything about it. We're sitting out here looking, we don't have no voice, we didn't have no people involved in politics or anything. But then that's why we were working to change things and finally we got someone was elected to the legislation session and it was a long story behind getting integrated in Las Vegas 'cause Dr. McMillan [James B. McMillan] was the person that really spearhead this and I worked closely with him at NAACP, I was his vice president for a long time. He was the head of everything but I organized a lot of clubs. I was the first person to organize a women's NAACP women's club throughout the country they hadn't even done that in other places. And then we were like a support group too, the NAACP and then when I organized I included a lot of white groups and we used to have teas and fundraisers together out at the convention center, because during that time blacks couldn't do anything out there but just work. And, and I remember I was a member of Gamma Phi Delta Sorority when it first started and that's been about thirty-nine years ago. We used to have our Ebony fashion show [Ebony Fashion Fair] on the Strip [Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada] and I think we were the first persons to go out there that could use something in the hotels 'cause we used to have for the NAACP convention we used to have to use the convention center and then we used a place up at the country club. We used the churches and I had another business and we used to use my business. I had a cleaners and this is where everybody met at my place so that's why I would come to be so well known, I guess because I was always in the mix. And I would always make trips to Carson City and load busses of people to go up there to do whatever we were doing trying to get that legislation passed on certain things so it could be integrated in Las Vegas.

Martha Reeves

Martha Reeves, the earthy alto voice of Martha and the Vandellas, was born July 18, 1941, in Eufaula, Alabama. The eldest of eleven children, Reeves moved with her parents to Detroit, Michigan, before she was a year old. Reeves attended Russell Elementary School where Emily Wagstaff taught her vocals. A cheerleader who loved composition and music, Reeves studied voice with Abraham Silver at Northeastern High School. She was chosen to sing Bach’s Aria and she competed in talent shows. After graduating in 1959, Reeves worked in sales while performing with Rosalind Ashford and Annette Sterling as the Del-Phis and solo as Martha LaVille.

In 1961, William “Mickey” Stevenson, head of the Artists and Repertoire department for Motown Records, noticed Reeves at Detroit’s Twenty Grand Club. Reeves, along with Ashford and Sterling, sang back up for Marvin Gaye’s hits, “Stubborn Kind of Fellow” and “Hitch Hike” in 1962. In 1963, Berry Gordy signed the three to a recording contract as Martha and the Vandellas. Named by Reeves for Van Dyke Street and Della Reese, her favorite singer, the group’s first hit was “Come and Get These Memories”. The million selling “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” led a string of hits, including 1964’s “Dancing in the Streets”, “Nowhere to Run”, “Quicksand”, “My Baby Loves Me”, “I’m Ready for Love” and 1967’s “Jimmy Mack” and “Honey Chile”. Though they toured the United States and Europe to the acclaim of millions, they were the first group released by Motown when the company moved its operation to California in 1971. In 1974, Reeves sang for the film Willie Dynamite. That same year, her solo album for MCA, Martha Reeves, set a record for production costs, but did not match her earlier success.

Performing in 1983’s Motown 25th Anniversary Special and numerous other television shows and concert tours, Reeves is also featured in the film, Standing in the Shadows of Motown. Reeves’ 2004 album is titled Home to You.

Accession Number

A2005.022

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/20/2005

Last Name

Reeves

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Russell Elementary School

Northeastern High School

First Name

Martha

Birth City, State, Country

Eufaula

HM ID

REE03

Favorite Season

July 18 (Her Birthday)

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Rio De Janiero During Carnivale

Favorite Quote

Lord have mercy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

7/18/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Tomatoes

Short Description

Motown singer Martha Reeves (1941 - ) was the lead singer of the musical group Martha and the Vandellas, which recorded several hits for Motown Records, including "Dancing in the Streets”, “Nowhere to Run”, “Quicksand”, “My Baby Loves Me”, “I’m Ready for Love” and 1967’s “Jimmy Mack.”

Employment

Stanley Home Products

Citywide Cleaners

Motown Records

MCA Records

Arista Records

Universal Studios

Itch Records

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Martha Reeves interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Martha Reeves's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Martha Reeves recounts her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Martha Reeves remembers her father's musical talent

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Martha Reeves recalls her father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Martha Reeves shares stories from her family's past

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Martha Reeves discusses her parents' courtship and life in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Martha Reeves describes her father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Martha Reeves talks about family life during her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Martha Reeves recalls her early passion to become a singer

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Martha Reeves shares memories of her childhood in Detroit

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Martha Reeves remembers experiences in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Martha Reeves describes her personality as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Martha Reeves recounts her early involvement in music

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Martha Reeves lists her childhood musical idols

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Martha Reeves discusses her various jobs after high school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Martha Reeves details her introduction into the entertainment business

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Martha Reeves recalls the first Martha and the Vandellas recordings

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Martha Reeves remembers her first hit single

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Martha Reeves discusses radio stations that helped popularize her music

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Martha Reeves comments on backing musicians that recorded with her

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Martha Reeves shares her thoughts on becoming an internationally-known performer

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Martha Reeves explains her choice to make more danceable music

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Martha Reeves shares how she continues to produce her signature sound

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Martha Reeves laments the demise of Motown

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Martha Reeves recounts her career after her contract with Motown

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Martha Reeves discusses mentoring young artists

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Martha Reeves explains how Motown artists were trained

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Martha Reeves recalls Maxine Powell's influence on Motown

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Martha Reeves comments on popular music of today

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Martha Reeves discusses her current relationship to Detroit

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Martha Reeves shares her hopes for the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Martha Reeves reflects on her career

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Martha Reeves describes her family's reaction to her success

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Martha Reeves shares how she would like to be remembered

DASession

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Martha Reeves recalls the first Martha and the Vandellas recordings
Martha Reeves explains how Motown artists were trained
Transcript
Now are you telling us this--you're right--?$$Yeah, I'm in, I'm in the, in the A & R [Artists and Repertoire] department minding my own business answering the phone and this was like three months into my employment. I worked nine months as a secretary. And this panic was stricken at the front door. "The union man's coming! The union man's coming! Martha, go in the studio and sing this song." "What song?" "Sing this song." "What's the name of it?" "I have to let him, let him go," and he sings a little bit of it for me. So I have to go and place myself on the mike. They play the music and the union man takes his time so I have to sing it maybe one or two times to get to know it. And, this is all because Berry [Gordy] had been given rules that he could not record any music unless there was an artist on the microphone. And the union man made a surprise visit trying to catch Berry off guard. Maybe they'll shut him down or maybe, you know, just catch him off so he could fine him or some kind of way involve the union. And, I did a good job--to the point where when Berry heard it he said put this out on her. She sounds good on it.$$Okay, so that was, so that record came out as the first--.$$Yes, it did, called "I'll Have to Let Him Go."$$--as Martha Reeves.$$Martha Reev-, Martha and the Vandellas.$$Martha and the Vandellas, okay. So the backup singers were there.$$I had called Rosalind [Ashford] and then had--and Gloria [Williamson] in to sing behind this drummer. My boss, Mickey [William Stevenson], had told me that they were going to record this drummer who was on the list maybe fourth down. And, he had been going on the road playing for Smokey Robinson. And, he was always disguised. He would wear a hat on his head, pipe in his mouth, glasses on his eyes, even had a beard one time. And he didn't know him, but when Mickey said he was going to record him we were all surprised. So I called The Andantes--Jackie Hicks, Louvain Demps, Marlene Barrow, who were the regular girls that sang behind everybody, and they were in Chicago [Illinois]. They weren't supposed to be in Chicago. They were supposed to be at Motown's beck and call 'cause they were under contract. So instead of busting my girls, I called in people that I knew I could sing with, the Del-Phi's--Rosalind Holmes, Annette [Beard] Helton, and Gloria Williamson. Gloria Williamson decided in the first of negotiations that she don't, didn't want to be on Motown, that she ne-, was going to keep her job with the city. So she didn't continue us, with us when the group changed to the Vandellas. But as Del-Phi's we sang behind Marvin Gaye, "A Stubborn Kinda Fellow," in the days of four tracks. That was all the singers were recorded at the same time on one mike. When this man pulled that hat off of his head, those glasses off his eyes, and that pipe out of his mouth, we looked at somebody who was as fine to me as any movie star could ever be. He even reminded me a little bit of Sam Cooke, who I met briefly before he was killed--very good-looking young man. And he could really sing. We didn't know he was a s-, I didn't know he was a singer. I just thought he was a drummer, session drummer. And then Marvin Gaye was discovered. Couple months later he married Berry's sister, Anna.$$Okay. And we heard Marvin Gaye the drummer first.$$(Simultaneously) Yes, he was. Yes, he--he, he was a drummer at Motown because he could do that, he could play drums. But he came there with Harvey Fuqua to be a singer. He just had to wait his turn to sing.$$Okay. So tell me about the Vandellas now. I mean, the--okay, now who are the other two and how did--you knew them from the Del-Phi's?$$Yes, they were the Del-Phi's.$$Okay.$$And when we came to--when I called them to do the session with Marvin Gaye, which was my job to call the different artists and the singers, Mickey liked our harmony right away and considered us as artists for the company right away.$Can you tell us some more detail about how, how the Motown look and attitude and all that was formed by Mrs. [Maxine] Powell and the other people that worked with the, the artist?$$The first girls' group that I remember meeting at Hitsville was The Marvelettes. And they had a record called 'Mr. Postman' that went to number one immediately. They were chosen from a, from a talent show in Inkster [Michigan]. They were the winners. And the prize to WCHB's contest was a recording contract with Motown Records. And when they went on the road the first time Mrs. Edwards traveled with them and found out that there's a lot of things that artists need to know before you just expose them to other countries and, and different cultures. And when they returned Berry [Gordy] said, well, we'll get some people to train them. And the first thing they did was hire chaperones. These were lovely ladies who'd--Bernice Morrison was my mentor. They would simply would tell us things like etiquette, you know, protocol and keep us kind of calmed down in gatherings and make sure that none of the men took advantage because that was something very, very dangerous to do--have young ladies traveling with different older men and married men. And so we had to have some sort of control taken. And after the chaperones Mrs. Edwards realized there should be more. And Berry said there's, there's someone who has done this before who could probably show them how. And he hired Maurice King. Maurice King taught us to sing ballads and to work the Twenty Grand and to go from the R & B [rhythm and blues] to the standards, graciously--vocally to be able to sing songs like "All the Way" and "People" and then come back and sing our hits and, and have shows that were interesting and, and entertaining--to increase our boundaries. Then the idea came that we should not just do the street dances 'cause The Temptations were the dancin-est people you ever saw and their choreography was made up by Paul Williams. And The Marvelettes could really, really dance and they made up their own routines. But Berry wanted it smoother. They wanted it, us to go to Broadway. He wanted us to play the Copacabana. He wanted us to be on the 'Ed Sullivan Show.' So he hired [Charles] Cholly Atkins from vaudeville. And Cholly, who had previously worked with Gladys Knight and the Pips and had them already in that state--they were the smoothest R & B group out on the road. He wanted more of that style, so they hired the man who was responsible for Gladys Knight and the Pips being that grateful, graceful, and that was Cholly Atkins, himself, of Cole and Atkins dance team from vaudeville. And then Maurice King hired Johnny Allen who played very, very good keyboard to sit with us--two- to three-hour sessions and teach us songs, teach us the proper way to vocalize. And the--there's an art with two-part harmony background singing 'cause usually a background is three parts. But he taught us the art of singing with two parts and blending the third voice around the vocals. And all of that was necessary. But when we weren't on the road, we were in the studio. There was always a session going on--always something or some instruction that you had to catch up with and to be a part of when you were not on the road.