The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon

Search Results

Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Joe Billingslea, Jr.

Singer and performer Joe Billingslea, Jr. was born on November 14, 1937 in Hamtramck, Michigan. Before his first birthday, his parents moved to Detroit, Michigan where he was raised. He sang with the boys' choir while attending Chadsey High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. While stationed in the State of Maine, Billingslea formed a vocal group with four other airmen called the Revere Tone Five. After receiving an honorable discharge following his four-year stint, he returned to Detroit.

Upon his return, Billingslea was invited by an old high school friend, Billy Gordon, to join his singing group, The Majestics. In 1958, the group disbanded, so Billingslea and Gordon decided to form a new vocal group. Billingslea placed a want-ad in the local newspaper looking for singers. Billy Hoggs responded to the ad and became the group's third member. At Hoggs' recommendation, his friend Billy Rollins, became the fourth member of a group they named The Blenders. Within weeks, Rollins was replaced with another friend of Hoggs, Leroy Fair. In 1959, Hubert Johnson was added, making the group a quintet. At Billingslea’s suggestion, the group renamed itself "The Contours."

Within days of the name change, The Contours signed a recording contract with Motown Records. The group's first two records in 1960 and 1961 on the Motown label didn't receive much airplay outside the Midwest. However, in 1962 the group made music history with the million-seller, "Do You Love Me", recorded on Motown's newest label, Gordy. Billingslea continued to sing with The Contours for two more years, racking up a number of chart hits on the way. In 1964, every member of The Contours, except Billy Gordon, left the group over creative differences with Motown.

Billingslea took a job for Chrysler Corporation at the Dodge Truck Plant in Warren, Michigan. A year later, he was elected UAW Chief Steward; a position he held until he resigned in 1968 to join the Wayne County Sheriff's Department. In 1977, he joined the Detroit Correctional Department (DeHoCo), and eventually reached the rank of Sergeant.

In the early 1970s, Billingslea reconstituted The Contours and the group began playing weekends in the greater Detroit area, with occasional dates outside Michigan, including a few international dates. While leading The Contours, he continued to work his day job and in November 1985 he was assigned to the Detroit Police Department, 9th Floor Lockup.

In 1987, the release of the movie, "Dirty Dancing" created a renewed interest in The Contours’ music. The 1988 re-release of "Do You Love Me" from the movie's soundtrack soared on the charts, eventually going multi-platinum at level 4.0. The movie's success prompted the ten-month "Dirty Dancing Tour," in which The Contours participated.

In 1989, Billingslea decided to resign from the Detroit Police Department to devote all of his time to The Contours and his singing career. He is married and has eight children - five boys and three girls.

Joe Billingslea was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 22, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.206

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/22/2014

Last Name

Billingslea

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Sill School

Condon Intermediate School

Chadsey High School

First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

Hamtramck

HM ID

BIL04

State

Michigan

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

11/14/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

USA

Short Description

Singer and performer Joe Billingslea, Jr. (1937 - ) was a member of the musical group The Contours, famed for their 1962 Motown hit “Do You Love Me.” The Contours have been inducted into both the Rock ‘n’ Roll Walk of Fame and the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame.

Employment

The Majestics

The Contours

Chrysler Corporation

United Automobile Workers

Wayne County Sheriff's Department

Detroit Correctional Department

Detroit Police Department, 9th Floor Lockup

Frederick Terrell

Investment banker Frederick O. Terrell was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1952. He was raised in La Puente, California. Terrell graduated with his B.A. degree from La Verne University in 1976; after graduation, he was selected by the Coro Foundation for its public affairs fellowship program for 1977. Terrell attended Occidental College, where he earned his M.A. degree in urban studies before enrolling in the Yale School of Management, where he received his M.B.A. in 1982.

Prior to rejoining Credit Suisse in June 2010, Terrell was managing partner and chief executive officer of Provender Capital Group, LLC, a private equity investment and advisory firm based in New York and focused on investments in financial services, consumer and retail products, business services and media. Prior to founding Provender in 1998, Terrell was a managing director with Credit Suisse First Boston, where he began his career as an associate in 1983. In addition to serving as head of the Mortgage Finance department, he gained broad interdisciplinary experience at senior levels within investment banking and fixed income.

Terrell is a former member of the board of directors for the New York Life Insurance Company, where he served as chairman of the Investment Committee and as a member of both the Compensation and Operations committees. He is also a former member of the board of directors of Wellchoice prior to its sale to Wellpoint in 2005, and Carver Bancorp, Inc. where he served as chairman of the board. He is currently a member of the University Council of Yale University, and is a member of the board of advisors of the Yale School of Management, at which he gave the commencement address in 2002. Terrell is a past chairman of the board of the Coro New York Leadership Center, a national leadership training institute. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Partnership for the City of New York, New York City Investment Fund and Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York. In 2011, Terrell was re-named as one of Black Enterprise magazine’s “75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street,” and in 2012 named as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America” by Savoy magazine.

Frederick O. Terrell was interviewed for The HistoryMakers on July 14, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.189

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/13/2013

Last Name

Terrell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

O.

Schools

Occidental College

California Elementary School

La Puente High School

Yale School of Organization and Management

University of California, Los Angeles

First Name

Frederick

Birth City, State, Country

Hamtramck

HM ID

TER07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

I Get It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

11/29/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Cream Corn

Short Description

Corporate chief executive Frederick Terrell (1954 - ) was instrumental in the development of collateralized mortgage obligations at the First Boston Corporation. He went on to serve as the CEO of the Provender Capital Group LLC.

Employment

Credit Suisse Group AG

Provender Capital Group, LLC

First Boston Corporation

United States Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

President James Earl Carter Jr., Administration

Los Angeles City Council

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:240,10:880,20:5920,157:7840,189:8160,194:8640,201:14240,263:16160,292:17040,313:17920,325:18400,332:30175,437:30978,450:31489,458:34190,502:34628,509:35212,519:35723,528:36672,548:39665,643:48338,703:50410,739:52926,785:53666,796:63530,1006:63842,1011:65714,1050:68160,1069:69810,1096:70734,1113:71790,1134:73242,1149:74892,1224:77070,1288:77928,1305:83680,1386:83920,1391:84640,1405:85120,1415:85420,1421:85840,1437:86320,1446:89370,1459:90000,1470:91960,1504:92520,1513:93010,1522:93570,1531:93990,1538:94270,1543:96370,1597:98890,1657:107302,1708:107995,1720:109444,1756:110011,1767:113539,1832:114106,1843:114547,1851:119250,1873:122754,1941:123119,1947:123411,1952:123849,1959:124141,1964:125017,1979:125382,1985:126331,2004:130430,2027:135063,2112:135477,2119:136926,2154:138444,2200:139617,2223:140514,2250:141135,2260:141756,2271:147866,2315:152399,2355:156720,2368:159460,2421:163219,2469:163633,2476:164047,2483:164530,2491:164944,2498:165427,2506:165841,2513:175363,2726:175777,2733:176122,2739:180044,2751:180660,2759:181804,2774:182244,2780:182860,2789:183740,2799:189666,2867:191326,2898:192156,2910:195144,2998:195725,3007:200534,3063:200877,3071:202830,3093:204160,3124:208334,3166:208602,3171:209138,3183:212086,3253:212555,3261:213024,3269:213493,3277:217379,3370:217848,3378:218384,3391:224000,3437:224438,3446:228234,3527:228526,3533:231373,3597:233271,3637:242505,3765:243030,3773:243630,3784:244980,3814:245430,3821:249690,3867$0,0:880,12:1200,17:22501,336:23425,356:39264,617:39540,622:40920,655:41265,661:41541,666:41817,671:42369,683:44922,725:47130,769:48303,800:48786,808:52236,861:62166,1117:67248,1190:69294,1249:85922,1421:86498,1432:87778,1455:88482,1477:88738,1482:92706,1569:93090,1576:93474,1583:93986,1592:104224,1702:104632,1710:105584,1731:106196,1740:108576,1826:109188,1836:109596,1844:110004,1851:110548,1860:116958,1918:117253,1924:123037,2030:123402,2036:125738,2079:129548,2128:130340,2141:131852,2166:132140,2171:132428,2176:137070,2229:140260,2254:140980,2265:141700,2275:142020,2280:152486,2375:153102,2383:156285,2403:158776,2432:162660,2472:168752,2537:169082,2543:169874,2559:170600,2571:174098,2658:174560,2671:177662,2793:181172,2798:184968,2837:189864,2940:190512,2950:192672,3015:196776,3104:211880,3327:212288,3334:214328,3375:218472,3421:221512,3475:224552,3538:225236,3558:232237,3642:232572,3648:233711,3682:239741,3806:240277,3816:242844,3828:247668,3951:260233,4251:262880,4301
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Frederick Terrell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell remembers his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell recalls lessons from his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Frederick Terrell talks about his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Frederick Terrell recalls his family's frequent moves

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Frederick Terrell describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell remembers the effects of white flight in La Puente, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell recalls his experiences of police brutality in La Puente, California

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell remembers his family's political discussions

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell recalls his family's road trips to the South

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell remembers lessons from his father

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell talks about his high school band

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell talks about his schooling in La Puente, California, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell talks about his schooling in La Puente, California, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell remembers La Puente High School in La Puente, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell talks about the influence of the Black Power movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell remembers being diagnosed with scoliosis

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell talks about his brother, Emmett Terrell, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Frederick Terrell talks about his brother Emmett Terrell, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Frederick Terrell remembers his father's death, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Frederick Terrell remembers his father's death, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell remembers La Verne College in La Verne, California

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell recalls his internship in the City of West Covina, California

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell describes his experiences of discrimination in the City of West Covina, California

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell recalls his fellowship from Coro Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell remembers working for Los Angeles City Council President John Ferraro

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell remembers working for President Jimmy Carter's administration

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell recalls lessons from his time in politics

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Frederick Terrell recalls his admission to the Yale School of Organization and Management in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell remembers his summer internship at the First Boston Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell recalls meeting the CEO of the First Boston Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell describes how he came to work at the First Boston Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell remembers the invention of interest rate swaps

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell talks about the first African Americans on Wall Street

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell remembers the savings and loan crisis

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell describes his work in the First Boston Corporation's Federal Finance Group

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Frederick Terrell describes his role in the invention of collateralized mortgage obligations, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Frederick Terrell describes his role in the invention of collateralized mortgage obligations, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Frederick Terrell talks about the merger of Credit Suisse and the First Boston Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell talks about his team's revenue at Credit Suisse Group AG

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell remembers marrying Jonelle Procope

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell reflects upon his upbringing

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell remembers his wedding

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell talks about African American social organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell remembers integrating the Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell remembers being overlooked for partner at Credit Suisse First Boston, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Frederick Terrell remembers being overlooked for partner at Credit Suisse First Boston, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Frederick Terrell remembers inventing the shifting interest mechanism

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell recalls his decision to leave Credit Suisse First Boston

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell talks about starting his own investment banking firm, Provender Capital Group, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell talks about his early investments at Provender Capital Group, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell recalls returning to Credit Suisse

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell talks about his board memberships

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell remembers becoming vice chairman of Credit Suisse

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell reflects upon his life

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell shares his advice to future generations, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell shares his advice to future generations, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell reflects upon the legacy of his generation

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

8$9

DATitle
Frederick Terrell describes his role in the invention of collateralized mortgage obligations, pt. 1
Frederick Terrell remembers inventing the shifting interest mechanism
Transcript
I want to provide a little conte- or help you, help--I want you (simultaneous)-$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, please.$$--to help me provide some context so, really, while you had decided not to go into public finance and in many ways the work that you are doing with the federal government relied on your, there are some interesting things because, you know, investment banking if I'm, you know the silk stocking, whatever, were really a lot of business and private transactions, but that sort of unlocked the public sector in terms of Wall Street, seeing that there is real money to be (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I think that's right. I think that and the emergence of the mortgage market. See, you're also seeing the emergence of a big, powerful mortgage market which we now know is incredibly powerful and--$$But why did it happen then and not before?$$I think it happened, well, Fannie Mae [Federal National Mortgage Association] and Freddie Mac [Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation] used bankers. They were a big force because they were the major conduits for securitization. They were buying loans and selling on loans and securities and First Boston [First Boston Corporation, New York, New York] was one of the major innovators; ourselves and Salomon [Salomon Brothers]. We were the two big firms, Lew Ranieri [Lewis Ranieri] and Larry Fink [Laurence D. Fink]. So we had that reputation as being the smart guys around the mortgage industry and Fannie and Freddie are sort of quasi-public, although they are publicly traded they really are sort of, you know, they're sort of neither fish or fowl, right? They're sort of government entity but they trade like they have stock, right? So, to be involved in that was sort of an intersection of public and private. When you work on Fannie or Freddie Mac, you are in the public and private domain in many ways. What, you know, I worked in interest rate swaps and remember I said about some things turn something new, don't have and want into something new, you now have, through the synthetic thing--I've been lucky in my career. I've worked in two things like that. Interest rate swaps do that, securitization does the same thing. It turns a loan that does this into a loan that does different things and investors want, it's, so it's really a very sophisticated, very analytically driven business and with the RTC [Resolution Trust Corporation] you were taking all that technology and applying it to a public sector problem around private sector companies that have gotten in trouble, but now they're backed by the federal government, so the federal government's problem.$$But, how are you making money, because you said there was money to be made--$$We were making money because the federal government had taken over all these bad banks, bad S and Ls [savings and loan]. They now own the loans, so when a big S and L goes out of business in L.A. [Los Angeles, California] or in Chicago [Illinois], the government seizes and they close it down. They own the loans. They're on the government's balance sheet, but they don't want the loans. They want the money so they have to sell the loans.$$So they sell the--$$Loans to.$$--back loans, but they sell them to whom?$$They sell it to private sector, private investors.$$And so, are you structuring a deal?$$I'm structuring those deals.$$Deals for the private sector. So, what percentage do you make off those deals?$$Well, it depends on the deal and how complicated it is, but we make a spread between, you know, what we buy it for. We first have to buy the loans and then we have to sell them. We buy them for one dollar and we sell them for, you know, or I should say if the loans are worth a dollar we buy them for eighty cents. We end up selling them for a dollar; you know, we make the spread between the two, and we're getting paid a fee.$So now, the fact that in ninety--so the next year is '94 [1994], right?$$(Nods head).$$And does the, the alliance, the strategic alliance with reinsur- that has nothing to do with you, okay. But it says that you pioneered an esoteric finance focus. Has that happened? See some of my chronology is--$$No, it's okay. I did a couple of deals. I did a tax lien deal for New Jersey. I did some stuff in securitization, which was kind of interesting. I did something pretty special for the RTC [Resolution Trust Corporation]. We did a lot of very esoteric, really brave new world stuff in securitization. We really were innovators, doing stuff that had never been done before that became commonplace.$$Okay.$$But it's, you know what, it's so in the weeds of, it's so technical that--$$But, can you explain just once during this interview, one technical thing that you--$$You really wanna hear--$$I do, because--$$Okay.$$Let's say this is business school student, you know, an M.B.A. student, someone out of Yale [Yale School of Management, New Haven, Connecticut], or whatever, who was interested in the history of that, wouldn't that be of interest to them?$$Uh, well, I'll tell you one because it came up the other day when I was talking to the woman I did it for, because she was in a different position then and she was reminding me of it. And I said, when the RTC was selling, you know when loans were originated around the country, if you borrow money, you can borrow with different indices; I mean, it can be a fixed rate loan, but it can also be a loan that floats around treasury bills, it can float around, revolve around LIBOR, London Interbank Offered Rate, it can be something called a cost of funds loan, which is around a district of the Federal Home Loan Bank [Federal Home Loan Bank System], but there are different ways of paying floating interest that adjusts. Well, now the government owns all these loans and there are all these different indices. This is really in the weeds, but you asked for it. All these different indices and these loans that pay different ways, now I wanna take all those loans together and create a common security that they support. But I can't, because they're all paying at different times. So, we designed a mechanism that allowed the RTC to combine very disperse, very diverse pools of loans that have very different payment mechanisms into one package and sell them as one security to the market place around one index, and we did it by setting up a separate floating pool that would make up for the differences between the rate on the security and the rate on the collateral; you know, I mean it's that kind of stuff. Now Saundra [Saundra Williams Cornwell], I was talking to today about it, she was telling me, remarking god, that that idea allowed the federal government to sell billions. It was a breakthrough idea because once they did that, because the problem they had is that they were requiring bad S and Ls [savings and loan] from all over the country, who had loans for that region that they liked to do, some this index, some that index, now the government owns them all. Now I want to sell them. I can't sell them unless I have a common thing to sell them around. I've got to turn them into something that's more homogenous. We figured out a way to create more homogeneity around something that's completely heterogeneous, and that was pretty remarkable. That was pretty good stuff. Now, that's commonplace. I was looking in the paper the other day about a deal that's come to market and they describe something called shifting interests, you know, which was a thing that we helped design around here around deals I worked on. There was a lot of innovation then, and I wasn't the only guy, but I was leading a team that was coming up with it and explaining it at the highest levels in government, how these deals were working, so it was pretty hot stuff. You know, at that time, you know, you know not unlike Ray [HistoryMaker Raymond J. McGuire] and the M and A [mergers and acquisitions] business or Bill [HistoryMaker William M. Lewis, Jr.] and the M and A, in the mortgage business, you know, I really had my act together and we were doing really big, the biggest transactions were and the most sophisticated ones.