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Heard on CultureShift

Sam’s Jams: A Rare Funk Single From a Teen Group Motown Rejected

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Promise’ “I’m Not Ready For Love,” recalls an era of teenaged youth groups forgotten in Motown’s mythology.

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This weeks pick is "I'm Not Ready For Love" by Promise. All picks are featured on the Sam's Jam's Spotify playlist (updated weekly).Discogs
Discogs

This weeks pick is “I’m Not Ready For Love” by Promise. All picks are featured on the Sam’s Jam’s Spotify playlist (updated weekly).

Promise is a four piece vocal group who began singing together when they were eight-years-old. By the time they were in middle school in 1969, they called themselves the Gerldets. The group began performing at parties, and started getting a lot of local attention.

One of the singers in the group, Janice Jones, had a connection to Motown. She was related to singer and member of The Temptations, Eddie Kendricks. Her family convinced Kendricks to ask Motown founder, Barry Gordy, to let the girls audition for a record contract.

Gordy helped the success of many vocal groups at Motown, like the Temptations and Supremes. With the success of other youth-based vocal groups like the Sylvers and the Jackson 5, the Gerldets were hoping for their big break. But Gordy rejected the group stating he didn’t want to manage another youth group at the time.

After the audition, the group continued to perform together, but changed their name to Promise.

While they were in high school, they recorded a few singles together, including the song “I’m Not Ready For Love” which they released when they were seniors in 1975. After gradation, the group split up and the song sunk into obscurity until record collectors revisited the song in the early 2000’s. You can now hear the song on a compilation titled “Homeschooled: The ABCs of Kid Soul,” which features other songs by obscure kid groups. 

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Discogs

Sam’s Jams is the weekly song selection of WDET’s creative producer Sam Beaubien, a longtime Detroit musician who also helms the soul-funk band Will Sessions.

From 70 years ago to contemporary releases today, Sam’s Jams is the musical equivalent of digging for hours in dusty record store bins to find forgotten-but-should-be-remembered deep cuts pulled from the genres of funk, jazz and soul genres.


Sam Beaubien, Creative Producer

Sam Beaubien is a musician, composer, producer, and educator in Detroit. He is also the founder and leader of the acclaimed ensemble, Will Sessions.

sbeaubien@wdet.org

This post is a part of Sam's Jams.

Each week, WDET creative producer and longtime Detroit musician, Sam Beaubien, digs through the archives to bring you a song you might not have heard before, but are sure to love! Catch it live Monday and Thursday on CultureShift.

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