Top of Free Internet Radio content area

The Contours

Joe Billingslea (born November 14, 1937) and Billy Gordon founded a singing group called The Blenders in their native Detroit, Michigan in 1959. They completed the group with Billy Hoggs and Billy Rollins, who had responded to an ad placed in the local newspaper by Billingslea. The group soon added Leroy Fair (in place of Billy Rollins) and bass singer Hubert Johnson and changed the name to The Contours. In the fall of 1960, the group auditioned for Berry Gordy's Motown Records. Gordy turned the act down, prompting the group to pay a visit to the home of Johnson's cousin, R&B star and Gordy associate Jackie Wilson. Wilson in turn got The Contours a second audition with Gordy, at which they sang the same songs they had at the first audition, the same way, and were signed to a seven-year contract.

The group's first single, "Whole Lotta' Woman," was released in January 1961 and failed to chart. Within months of its release, Leroy Fair was replaced by Benny Reeves, brother of Martha Reeves. Shortly thereafter, Benny Reeves left to serve in the United States Navy and he was replaced by Sylvester Potts. In 1961 the group's second single, "The Stretch", was released and it also failed to chart. In early 1962, Gordy had The Contours record "Do You Love Me," a composition allegedly originally meant for The Temptations. But, in a 2008 interview for MOJO Magazine, original Contour Joe Billingslea stated that this was not the case. In the article, Billingslea stated to author Phil Alexander that the song's author, Motown founder Berry Gordy, offered the song to The Contours first, only intending to give The Temptations the song after he saw that The Contours were having trouble with it. However, after practicing the tune again, Gordy gave the nod—and the song—to The Contours.

The resulting record, with its shouted lead vocals from Billy Gordon, hit #1 on Billboard '​s R&B chart and crossed over to #3 on the Hot 100 in 1962. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc

The Contours were one of the early African-American soul singing groups signed to Motown Records. The group is best known for its singular Billboard Top 10 hit, "Do You Love Me," a song that peaked twice in the Top 20.

50s, 60s Hits

Do You Love Me

Members of this Group


EuroGirl

Goldenboy


Oilersrule

mr mustang

rosebud

Patrician

The Bee

al8tor

Comments

There are currently no comments.
Share The Contours! Tell your friends about The Contours on 977music - share the joy of on-demand artist playlists!

Albums