EXCITEMENT Jul 13, 2004 3:20:18 GMT -5
Post by Motorcity on Jul 13, 2004 3:20:18 GMT -5
From left: Davis, Gordon, Billingslea, Johnson, Potts and Hoggs
In 1959, the group began as a quartet, called the Blenders, that included: Billy Gordon, Billy Hoggs, Joe Billingslea and Sylvester Potts. Later they were joined by Hubert Johnson, with Hubert Davis joining the group in 1962. In following years, Joe Stubbs, Dennis Edwards, Council Gay and Jerry Green were also Contours at one point.
As the story goes, the group visited Contour recording studios and afterwards changed their name to the Contours.
Hubert's cousin, Jackie Wilson, first introduced the group to Berry Gordy who was initially unimpressed and sent them packing. They then performed those same songs for Jackie Wilson, who worked with them and then called Berry Gordy to listen again and soon afterward the Contours had a recording contract with Motown.
The first song, "Whole Lotta Woman", did not fare well in the charts and Gordy was apparently ready to drop them from the label. Wilson again intervened and the Contours were given a song written specifically for the Temptations, with then lead singer, Paul Williams in mind. The song was "Do You Love Me". That became their first and most popular hit on both the R&B and Pop charts. They followed with six more hits, "Can You Do It", "Shake Sherrie", "Can You Jerk Like Me", "The Day When She Needed Me", "First I Look At The Purse", "Just A Misunderstanding", and the last an uncharacteristic ballad, "It's So Hard Being A Loser".
The Contours were the most energetic act on the Revues. They danced, did gymnastics, and little skits, and of course sang while performing. They even had friendly competition with their label mates, The Temptations and the Miracles.
By the time, Motown relocated to the west coast, the band decided to call it quits. But by the mid 70s, two of its founding members, Potts and Billingslea, reunited and with three other members began touring and continue to do so. The band now performs Contours' hits as well Temptations, Four Tops, Miracles and other classic Motown tunes in their shows.
In 1988, "Do You Love Me" again became a hit after being featured in Dirty Dancing.