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Kim Weston's Detroit

Kim Weston's Detroit image Kim Weston's Detroit image
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The multi-taknted Kim Weston is one of the more special people ofthose who were made "stars" during the time Motown Records was based in Detroit. Kim had a flock of singles hits Whiie with the company during the early and mid-sixties, including "Love Me All The War, " "A Thrill Á Moment, " "Helpless, " "Just Loving You, " "It Takes Two " (with Marvin Gave), and the classic "Take Me in Your Arms. " Kim Weston surprised the music world in 1967 by leaving Motown, and the Motor Town itself, t'o resettle with her husband, Mickey Stevenson, the former Motown A&R Vice-President, in Los Angeles. She continued to record, for MGM and later fot Stax Records, and she branched out into televisión (appcarances with Johnny Carson, Joev Bishop, Merv Griffin, and Steve Allen), radio (a show on the American Armed Forces network), and theatre (the lead role in the musical "Hallelujah Baby, "later to become a hit on Broadway). She also had the distinction of heilig the fint person to make a commercial recording of the "black na tional antlwin, " "Lift Ev 'ry Voice and Smg. Folfowing severalyears as a nacional show-business pheiwinenort, "I started singing in the church at the age of four. I sunj with tlie church choir, and I sung with a gospel group. Basically, that's where 1 got my [ was with a group callea The Right Specials, and they were we were -a very dynamic group; all very, very young. Some excellent raices. I realfy consídered myseii the Icsscr ut the uve. "We had a yoimg man by the rumie of Foni Wiight, ivho was our ntanager, and lio was like a kínd ol 'crack-the-whip' type of manager. Asa matter ol faet.that's lie oniy real discipline I ve had as far as niaiiapeiiient sconccroeU, -iil thai ;osflnd it ni i ■ liim n't for me hut !:■ md, and Hi ia i ■ "In ■ iih Motown, and in 1 06 .' niuccd by Norman Whitiield. It wa led 1t Shouid've Been Me.' wh'icfi iliii nything :ii that particular time. Bul the 'B' si song called 'Love Me All that the record jocks in the South took to the song. llicy took the record and ed n over.and that Uiunched it."' SUN: Ii7w ny.v i'cii' biggesl hit for MotOYHl? "hulividuülly , Take Me In Your, Anus." wlueh is a song tlic bic Brothers just sold a coupio mi II i on on." SUN: f lew many did the original versión selt? and now separated from Mickey Stevenson, Kim Weston re turnad to her home in the Motor City to involve herself in a spectrum o} Communications projects cenwred in and directed toward Detroit 's nascent black community. The host (and "disc jockey") I of a popular afternoon radio program on WCHB-AM, Kim also serves as talent coördinator and m.c. for the popular Lowman 's Westside Club, and she is actively cngaged in helping to promote the careen of rising young Detroit musical and pcrforming artists, inchiding pianist-vocalist Ronnie McNeir. For the past two months she has also starred in Val Benson 's I.ittle Red. the children.'s musical which was rehearsed at Lowman 's and has run Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the Langston Hughes Theatrc on the west side since the beginning of November. On December 4th Kim made a tnumphant return 10 me stage as a projessional singer with a two-week run at Lowttian 's (sec review, this page). The . SUN took this happy opporttmity to talk with Kim atfoul her early eer, lier reasom Jor leaving Detroit, and Her current mvoivemeni m the Motor City scetiê, j "I haven't the faintest idea. I never got any it didn't matter." SUN: tfow did it tappen tlmt you and Marvin Gave team cd up' "Strangely enougli. I was like Marvin's co-star on I the stage, even when he wás reeouling duets wilh Mary Wells. She lef't the company and, since they I had had a couple of hits, Motown was [ooking for ■ someone to team him iip with on records. And m they picked me. Like when I let't. they picked lammi Terrell." SUN: Wl ■ "l lef i in Ddjti ■ I ] lic had ally . ti ' men Motowñ eventuáüy did, bul ;í; key . was talkins about . th. in. "One ut the things ? when I wem t hmi period oi time. When I cumc back i atea ná M lij. '! uueint to hc in a Broadway musical, litu?' I suid ''os," anil I lie said, "Well. wc 're in the recaní business.' " ï SUN: rccüixling un . '. n wils "l.ift Ft' n' I l't'h'c umi Sing." ifi'wdid that cnnw i ■"1 was living in Los Angeles ;ii heNtime and 1 sang ai a LakersKnioks game. I was singing The Star-Spangled Banner and i liad never done it j s. continued on page 15 Brooh Bentonllim Westen Jim my Wilhins Orchestra (ontiimctl jnm page IJ senting the cream ui ihc cmp ol Detroit 's a. iustrumentaüsts. backed í lio enTtre shuw.and !.■) the stai of tlie show was Brook Beatón, the jazzbaflad Iiitniakëf whose slickncss and si t-vtiicc are about unequalled . ,m'v. The slutw we cltecked oui Saturdaj . December 13 opened with Kim ntroducing the extremelj comper tem Jimniy VVilkins organizatioiv. Tlu" played iwo numbois of theii wn (wc JiJn'i catch titles) 10 start tliings off; quickly estabtisliing thai ihcli regula üviiy as tlie city's turemos! "big band" uis created a unit as sotid as. say, the tablèd Count Baste Orchestra. Kim Weston's purtion ol the slmw foliowed, with Kim offcring . sniuoth. yoi exciting version ol "Feel Like Makin' Love." wliich turned out ii be only a warm-up fot ihe Í ast -pa eed "Detroit." the tyrtcs ol which ure piintcd liere. Al ihis poinl tlie slmw idly seemed tobecoiie "'politia.ed" starting with Kim 's rap in the middle of "Detroit" which praised her in'luvcd "beautiful people o) this city" and favorably nienti u new adnunistration in city hal apparently had the support of the audience in all thisdliey oüied in y n ging the chorus of "Detroit") and when she bcgan hor closing tune the anihein "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" cveryoïie. almost toa person. stond in respect. T-o iliis reviewer iho visión - of an entire nigluctub crowd n its tooi. with liandsin-the-air salutes. turned oul u bo tmiv the Rrst surprising sigla involvtng the crowd ihai night. üur oniy complainl as that Kim's set wat over all too soon. Ms. Weston's rousing, positive energy proved to be r hc perfect complemeni to iho suave self-confidence and seasoned powei ot the evening star, Brook BentotL I Ie slid through a .serios o( hts own hits and othor silky standards wiih a etíol professionalism that oallod to mind tho bosi of Billy Eekstein, Nat King Colé, ni even Frdnk Sinatra. Mr. Benton seemed lo isily manipúlate severa! feniale me robe rs ot the audienee mu a siato ol frenzy, simply u i i h his voice and sexy on-stagc "karma" to the point that, during 'Miclniühl Traía to i;eoria.";i security guard and Chuck Lowman himsetl had to come tip to separate Brook From severa! women who liad come un siage - to, tih. kiNs hím. Have mercj . rhey certainQ do gei down ai Lowman's, and ii's too had more o! Detroit's music crines don't get down there, too. Chis particular show liad such a varié Iv pf inteest. from ihe eontemporaVy spiril Kim Weston to the exquisito charní oí Brook Benton. tt wuuld seew 10 appeal to inst aboul any (or all) of the local scribes that ti to say, jf they don't mind a black-owncd and 'operated club witli a brgely black clientèle. We don't' mind une bit. f that iai aíready obvious. In l'act. with this kind of entertainment, we'd havo to sa we likc it vety much. J