Queen of The Basement: Brenda Holloway’s unreleased gold


It seems the whole point of The Motown re-release series Cellarful of Motown is to make Brenda Holloway a cult goddess…

Each volume (3 of which over this decade have been released) has at least 1 gem from this woman that apparently never closed her mouth and stopped singing from her days as a teen recording for DelPhi records in LA in the early 1960s, to her letter of resignation to Berry Gordy in frustration in 1968.


Basically it seems between 1964 and 1967 she recorded just as much as The Supremes ( who, still have somewhere in the range of 100 or songs still unreleased). But while The Supremes released 10LPs and numerous hits in that same period, if Brenda was recording just as much… she only had 3 top 40 hits and One LP in the same period of time…

So… flash forward 40 years… and rabid Motown fans can’t wait for more little morsels of rarity…. and we harass the poor woman to perform songs she barely remembers cutting at the age of 18 around the same time Samantha gave birth to Tabitha on Bewitched

My Favorites include the epic dense “Crying Time” (sounding like one big tidal wave of tears that never washes ashore) the dance the heartaches away “You’re Walking Out With My Heart” and the advice song of not being like those other heffas that chase after that hot guy on “Make Him Come To You” (alright, it’s totally the opposite of the sentiment of another song as a gay man I’ve appropriated that I mentioned earlier…. “Wishin’ & Hopin'” but a dude’s gotta work all the angles til something catches right?).

It seems not to be over…. I by a whim typed “unreleased Motown” and I listened through a youtube video post…. imagine how I melted when I heard a 1965ish recording with Smokey Robinsonish clever lyrics called “After All You’ve Done”


The hunt begins… the wait becomes more torturous… until I have a little bit more of Miss Holloway’s gold in my collection… delighting me for years to come.

Honey it’s “coming home” to me… fo sho’


1 Comment

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One response to “Queen of The Basement: Brenda Holloway’s unreleased gold

  1. Brenda Holloway is probably Motown’s most under-rated artist. Her records were bold and often very unique.

    The Del-Fi recordings on their original vinyl have long been a acquisition that has eluded me. Bob Keen was a genius ( Ritchie Valens and Chan Romero) and I have always longed to own and hear them.

    Excellent tribute my friend.

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