- 9415 Oakland
By 1964, Ed Wingate and JoAnne Bratton were
releasing material on their Golden World record label and gathering
capital to invest in a new studio.
It couldn't happen overnight however, so
while the studio was being built by Bob d'Orleans, the couple
were leasing premises up on Oakland at #9413-15, just
a couple of blocks north of one of Detroit's premier nightspots,
"It was JoAnne who
was the eyes and ears of the partnership. She had the musical
expertise and was a very shrewd business woman. Ed had very
little input in those early days and was more like the silent
JoAnne decided to place Production in the
hands of Bob Hamilton, whom I knew well, and who brought me
to the company to help write songs and sing backgrounds for
the new artists.
The rooms we used for
rehearsals were on the ground floor and there were some living
Don Mancha and Al Kent
also joined the team and we had a couple of pianos in there.
Don would work a lot with me writing songs and playing
Man, I spent a lot of time working with
the Adorables in that building."
When the studio finally opened in the Spring of '65, Ed and
Joanne unfolded another label called Wingate.
Their first release was a Fred Bridges/Bob Hamilton song called "Loving
you" which was recorded by one of Bob's brothers , Ronnie
Fred recalls Ronnie as a nice guy and a real talent who was
light skinned and who didn't look much like Bob or the other
brother Al who was also known as Al Kent.
Working with Bob was more of a challenge however as he was
a bit of a loose cannon.
"I got real mad with him on "Loving you" for
example. We sat down, wrote the song together,
then I find out that he has gone and cut it behind my back. "Loving
you" had a lot of potential and could have sounded so
One of the first tracks cut in the new studio was Edwin Starr's "Agent
Double-O Soul". Fred featured prominently
on that classic song but in a most unusual way.
"I played the slap-sticks on that
song. Listen to it. We hinged 4 strips of wood together
(2x2's). I held the sticks in both hands and slapped them
to that irresistible beat.
would stay in that studio all night, every night. Me, Mike
Terry, Don Davis, George McGregor, Eddie Willis, Pistol Allen,
James Jamerson. Trying to make those hits. JJ Barnes
was being pushed in particular and I remember working on
several of his songs.
were great days."
records his sadness at the demise of this historical
building - Golden World Studios aka Motown Studio B,
from Golden World, but In the same time-frame, Fred collaborated
with Don Mancha on one of the best songs of the year. It
was called “Don’t turn your back on me” by
Jack Montgomery, released on Barracuda and published by Travler
co-owned the Barracuda label with his partner, Don Montgomery,
who was a local motel owner and probably financier of the
project. Montgomery's motel was also called Travler.
The flip side, "Never
in a million years" was another excellent track, but
without vocals. It was written by Fred and one of his life
long friends, Richard Beasley.
Don Mancha also owned the Empire label and was responsible
for releasing another of his collaborations with Fred Bridges; "She
broke his heart" by The Just Brothers.
label picked up the Just Brothers and the Honeybees, the latter
providing vocals for "Never in a million years".
"She broke his
heart" gained a third release, this time on Wand in New York
City, showing the faith being placed in the song.
The Barracuda and Empire
sides were cut at United Sound Studios on Second Avenue.