label had released about twenty records by late '66 and
musically it carried on where D-Town left off.
The Fabulous Peps'
great dancer, "Love Of My Life," is an in-demand example of
Wheelsville's uncomplicated, fired up, horn-driven sound.
Others include Lee Rogers' maelstrom of a song, "How Are You
Fixed For Love" and his storming "Cracked Up Over You" - two
recordings that sounded just too black to have made the pop
It's hard to
decide which is the best side of Silky Hargreaves' 45: "I'll
Keep On Trying" or "Love, Let's Try it Again." Perhaps I
should say the most fantastic, as "Trying" has a wonderfully
atmospheric track with Silky pleading as soulfully as it
gets while his self-penned "Love" has a punchy, Funk-Brother
arrangement courtesy of trumpeter Floyd Jones. Both these
songs have a higher fidelity sound than most of the label's
recordings and were possibly cut at Golden World's nice
studio on Davidson - Cody Black mentioned Silky did some
arrangers like Floyd Jones, McKinley Jackson and Dale Warren
started working for Wheelsville, while Rudy Robinson's
involvement waned. His name isn't credited on the labels and
Ziggy Johnson reported in his weekly Michigan Chronicle
column that Dale Warren was Pete Hall's musical director.
That was in August
1966 and Mike had probably backed out of the D-Town
subsidiary. His MAH'S publishing disappears from the labels
- replaced by "Group Four" or "Premium Stuff" - and
indicates he'd handed control to Pete.
As well as
appearing on big reviews - like the one at the 20 Grand
shown above - D-Town and Wheelsville's roster of talented
singers would also gig at some of the Motor City's smaller
nightspots. There were lots of them.
Pete and Mike had
been running the Stadium Lounge - a cozy club close to the
Pig Pen - since '65-ish. And Mike also managed the Webbwood
Inn, which was located on Woodward Avenue and Webb.
This popular place
boasted a massive dance floor and Cody Black helped to keep
the joint swinging, telling me:
days. those were great days. I had a job there. I was the
stockman. I handled all the liquor, took the inventory, made
sure all the machines were emptied, counted the money. There
were some great clubs back then, the Webbwood was one. Lee's
Sensation was another; it's gone. The Casino Royale; gone.
The Parrot, that's gone. And the Chit Chat on 12th.they
had some nice clubs on 12th. They're all gone."
Melvin Davis also
had fond memories gigging for Mike at the Webbwood: "It was
big. That's where he'd put on most of his shows. He'd have a
band there from Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and
Sunday. But at the Stadium it was just weekends. In the Club
Stadium we'd have a regular band, about five to six pieces,
but at the Webbwood sometimes there'd be maybe eight pieces.
maybe ten. sometimes a horn section."
The very last
Wheelsville USA 45 was a re-issue of Buddy Lamp's dancer, "I
Wanna Go Home," and came out in the summer of '67. And
Mike's key men - Rudy, Cody, Sam the engineer, plus The
Magic Tones - had started Ram-Brock Records. But Detroit
hadn't heard the last of Mike Hanks.
Notes thanks to Graham
image must not be
reproduced, used or copied photograph
credits at end of webisode