The Golden World Story
The Engineers

Russ Terrana and Ed Wolfrum - buddies then, buddies now
Photo courtesy of Ed Wolfrum

The shrewd move of bringing in Bob d'Orleans was obviously paying off. He had become Golden World's Principal Engineer.

Another engineer would follow, in John Rhys, who was born John Rhys Eddins in England.

He was mainly responsible for the Wingate label's second release, which was Sam Bowie's excellent "Think about the times we had together". The song was co-written with Popcorn, arranged by Gil Askey and produced by John himself.

He would also write and produce Wingate003 "Love is like a baseball game" for Dick Glass and Wingate007 "The tears came rollin" for The Pack. The Pack would go on to become Grand Funk Railroad.

In late '65, Wingate would launch another label in Volkano. It is significant that all four releases were written or co-written by John.

The first was by Little John and Tony "Beginning of the end". It was co-written and arranged by Dennis Coffey. Little John was John himself and Tony was Pete Saputo (aka Anthony Raye).

Other releases on the label were by the Classmen and Bob Santa Maria.

John would later move onto Impact Records where he famously laid down Shades of Blue's "Oh how happy." He would also write the legendary "Time will pass you by" for Tobi Legend (aka Tobi Lark).

Ed Wolfrum was only 21 years of age when he joined the engineering stable at Golden World and immediately proved his worth on the legendary "Back street" by Edwin Starr.

Ed recalls, "As I remember, I did the session, Bob did the OVD with Edwin, and both Bob and I mixed it, as I was a young engineer under Bob's instruction then. I also remember George McGregor (drums) on the session and Horns and Rhythm in the studio.

Although I worked at Motown prior to that I had a lot to learn. I owe a lot to Bob DeOrleans and Mike at Motown.

I have fond memories of working on that recording"

Ed later became Chief Engineer at Golden World and Chief Engineer at legendary United Sound Systems on Second Avenue. His recording work has earned numerous awards including two Emmys and seven Grammys. Yet another great signing by Wingate and Bratton.

Don Davis's name first appears on a Golden World (Ric-Tic) 45 in October 1965, when he co-wrote and co-produced J.J. Barnes "Please let me in".

Bob d'Orleans recalls "Don and Popcorn were independent producers. They would go to JoAnne with a record, or JoAnne would give them a project, that's the way it would work. Don would use whatever office space was available on the day, although eventually most of his time was spent in the Control Room. At first I showed him how things worked, but once he got a grasp of it, he would spend a lot of time with Ed Wingate who had also gone through the learning process. Don used to do a lot of his stuff early in the morning."

Some of that product would appear under Solid Hitbound, which was his collaboration with Lebaron and his WJLB colleague, George White.

It was clear too from talking to JoAnne that she had a lot of time for Don the Engineer and Don the Producer. He had already done a fantastic job with Ge-Ge and Thelma, and Golden World was another feather in his cap. For more on Don Davis see Groovesville Productions.

The talent didn't stop with these guys however. Russ Terrana was keen to join the Company after leaving the Sunliners.

Ed Wingate liked the Terrana brothers a lot and was pleased to offer Russ a job on the engineering team.

Ralph recalls, "Bob d'Orleans was quite a guy for the horse races and one day failed to return in time for an important Edwin Starr date. Russ was still a bit green and vividly recalls Edwin asking him if he could handle it. Russ went '(Gulp ) of course no problem'....and apparently it wasn't."

This was possibly the "It's my turn now" session.

Berry bought Golden World soon after and Russ would find himself an employee of the Motown Record Corporation.

Gordy would be the real winner, however, as Russ would rack-up eighty-odd number one hits throughout the rest of his career.



Notes by David Meikle

This website is dedicated to Detroit, Soul Music, 45 RPM, Northern Soul and the great Motown era of Detroit Musics. It covers Golden World, Tamla, Wheelsville, Robert West, Darrell Banks, Johnnie Mae Matthews, Rose Battiste, Tera Shirma, Fred Bridges, Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Edwin Starr, Funk Brothers, Dennis Coffey, Bob Babbitt, James Jamerson, Twisted Wheel, Wiggan Casino and many more Detroit Souls topics.