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Motown stars turn out to celebrate new book

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Monday, September 12, 2016

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DETROIT -- Adam White found the situation he was in on Monday night, Sept. 12, "improbable."

The British music journalist -- co-author of the new "Motown...The Sound of Young America" -- was at the Motown Museum on West Grand Boulevard during an invitation-only reception for the book, standing two feet from Martha Reeves, whose 1963 hit "Heat Wave," he said, changed his life.

"I started as a Motown fan, and this is where it ends up," White said. "Unreal!"

White's co-author, former Motown executive vice-president Barney Ales -- a former Farmington Hills resident who now resides in Malibu, Calif. -- was unable to attend the event due to doctor's orders. His son Brett, who White credited with making the book happen in the first place, also spoke to the gathering, sending his father's regards and greeting family friends who attended the event.

"There are lots of family memories with (Motown), said the younger Ales, who also lives in California. "It's not he first time I've come here, and every time there's something different."

The Four Tops' Abdul "Duke" Fakir and Reeves' Vandellas Rosalind Ashford Holmes and Annette Beard Heaton also attended the reception, along with other Motown alumni from behind the scenes at the company -- appropriate since the book focuses on the Detroit music company's business operations and the people White refers to as "the backroom believers." "It was time for them to have that (story) told," White said during his remarks. "We wanted to add to the sum of knowledge about Motown."

White and Reeves both signed books at tables in the museum lobby, while the other Vandellas broke into impromptu renditions of their songs with fans in an upstairs gallery.

"Motown...The Sound of Young America" is formally published on Tuesday, Sept. 13, with a $60 retail price.

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