Clarence Paul Dec 12, 2004 15:05:47 GMT -5
Post by Emerald City on Dec 12, 2004 15:05:47 GMT -5
Motown producer/songwriter Clarence Paul has an enviable list of hits to his credit, including classic sides by Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, the Marvelettes, and Marvin Gaye. Paul's musical roots run deep, as his father and brother were singers. Born Clarence Pauling on March 19, 1928, in Winston-Salem, NC, he began singing gospel music in North Carolina churches with his brother Lowman Pauling, with whom he formed the Royal Sons. After Clarence left, the group later became the "5" Royales (the number one R&B hit "Baby Don't Do It," the double-sided hit "Help Me Somebody," number one R&B) b/w "Crazy, Crazy, Crazy," number five R&B).
During the '50s, Pauling sang with the gospel groups the Coleman Brothers and Wings Over Jordan. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
When his stint was over, he returned to the States and began recording secular sides for various record labels including Federal, Roulette, and Hannover. To avoid confusion with his brother who had also began recording secular songs, he shorted his name to Clarence Paul.
Some his releases includes the single "I'm in Love Again" and "Operation Breadbasket" (by Clarence Paul and the Members on Chi-Sound). Becoming a songwriter, Paul co-wrote "I Need Your Lovin" with Will Jennings and Ardra Woods, a 1959 number 14 R&B hit for singer Roy Hamilton. Relocating to Detroit, MI, in the early '60s, Paul met a pre-stardom Stevie Wonder (he was still only known as Steveland Morris).
Those close to their relationship say that Paul and Wonder were like father and son and later when Wonder began having hits, he'd accompany him on tour. He would teach Wonder vocal techniques and standards like "Masquerade." He brought the multi-talented preteen to the attention of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy who signed Wonder to Motown subsidiary Tamla Records in 1961.
Paul was made a Motown staff producer/songwriter and assisted A&R head Mickey Stevenson. The duo produced 13-year-old Stevie Wonder's first single, "Thank You (For Loving Me All the Way") -- an ode to his mother in November 1962. The harmonica-flavored hit "Fingertips, Pt. 2" (written by Paul and Henry Cosby) originally on his LP The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie Wonder held the number one R&B spot for six weeks and the number one pop spot for three weeks on Billboard's charts in summer 1963.
More Paul/Wonder hits are the number nine R&B hit "Hey Love" (Wonder/Paul/Morris Broadnax) -- later a 1992 pop hit for R. Kelly -- and "Wondering" ((Paul/Joey Di Benedetto).
Stevenson and Paul produced and co-wrote "Hitch Hike" with Marvin Gaye, a number 12 R&B hit in early 1963, as well as Gaye's double-sided hit with Mary Wells, "What's the Matter With You Baby" b/w "Once Upon a Time" (Paul/Stevenson/Barney Ales/Dave Hamilton).