• The Satintones(L to R) Vernon Williams, Sonny Sanders, Jim Ellis, Sammy Mack & Robert Bateman

    The Satintones (Detroit, Michigan)


    Personnel :

    James Ellis (Lead)

    Sonny Sanders (First Tenor)

    Sammy Mack

    Robert Bateman (Bass)

    Vernon Williams


    Discography :

    Singles :
    1960 - I'll Never Love Again / Solid Sender (Tamla 54024)
    1960 - Motor City / Going To The Hop (Tamla 54026)
    1960 - My Beloved / Sugar Daddy (Motown 1000) (No Strings)
    1960 - My Beloved / Sugar Daddy (Motown 1000) (With Strings)
    1961 - Tomorrow And Always / A Love That Can Never Be (Motown 1006) (Male Lead)
    1961 - Tomorrow And Always / A Love That Can Never Be (Motown 1006) (Duet Lead)
    1961 - Angel /  A Love That Can Never Be (Motown 1006)
    1961 - I Know How It Feels / My Kind Of love (Motown 1010)
    1961 - Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart / Fadder Letter (Motown 1020)

    Unreleased :
    N/A - Hungry Henry  
    N/A - You'd Make a Fine Son-in-law  
    N/A - Foot Stomping Time  
    N/A - You Cast A Spell on Me  
    N/A - Your Sweet Love  
    N/A - Boogie Woogie Heart  
    N/A - Because I Love You  
    N/A - The Feeling is So Fine  
    N/A - You Can't Beat My Lovin'   


    Biography :

    The Satintones were Motown's first group, recording for the company from 1960 through 1961 and releasing six singles. This was during Motown's blues and mundane R&B era, and before the arrival of the jazz-based rhythmic backing of the Funk Brothers; a time when Ivy Joe Hunter led the session musicians, not Earl Van Dyke; a period when Motown released nine bad records for every good one; and a time when disc jockeys cringed at 45s sporting the Tamla or Motown logo. The original group was a quartet consisting of Charles "Chico" Leverett, Sonny Sanders, James Ellis, and Robert Bateman. Chico sang with the Spinners for a minute, and recorded "Solid Sender" on Tamla Records.

    The Satintones
    The Satintones in 1961. Sonny Sanders (on the car), Vernon Williams, James Ellis, Sammy Mack and Robert Bateman. 

    They became a quintet in 1961, the new lineup consisting of James Ellis, Sonny Sanders, Vernon Williams, Sammy Mack, and Robert Bateman. Depending on who you talk to, Freddie Gorman (Originals) and Brian Holland (hall-of-fame songwriter) sang and recorded with them, but it's unclear if any sides they appeared on were released.  You won't find any of their single releases -- "My Beloved," "Motor City," "Tomorrow and Always," "Angel," "I Know How It Feels," and "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart" -- on any Motown compilation album. "Tomorrow and Always" created some controversy, and a lawsuit (which Motown lost); the answer song not only answered the Shirelles' hit, it ripped "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" off note for note.


    The Satintones   The Satintones

                                                                         (L to R) Jim Ellis, Sonny Sanders, Chico Leverett and Robert Bateman

    All the members enjoyed musical careers before and after the Satintones with the most distinguishing belonging to Sonny Sanders, who went on to become an arranger and songwriter at Ric Tic/Golden World Records then moved to Chicago, becoming a top arranger and co-writing "Love Makes a Woman" for Barbara Acklin. Bateman produced and wrote Wilson Pickett's early solo sides "It's Too Late" and "If You Need Me," jump-started the Marvelettes' career with "Please Mr. Postman" and "Playboy," and co-wrote Eddie Holland's "Jamie." (The Marvelettes' first album, Please Mr. Postman, featured two Satintones remakes, "Angel" and "I Know How It Feels," and one track, "The Feeling Is So Fine," became an obscure single for the Miracles.) Motown did schedule an album release (The Satintones Sing MT-602) in 1961, but it remains unissued; the label does have more than 20 unreleased Satintones tracks in the can, not counting the 12 issued on 45s. Around 1990, the Satintones recorded tracks produced by Ian Levine; surprisingly, Levine's productions of the Satintones are more pleasing than the originals.
    Andrew Hamilton, All Music Guide



    Songs :

    I'll Never Love Again                      Solid Sender                            Motor City          

    Going To The Hop                       My Beloved                           Sugar Daddy      

    Tomorrow And Always       A Love That Can Never Be                       Angel             

                    I Know How It Feels                   My Kind Of love        Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart

                      Fadder Letter                       Hungry Henry              You'd Make a Fine Son-in-law   
    Foot Stomping Time         You Cast A Spell on Me               Your Sweet Love  

    Boogie Woogie Heart              Because I Love You              The Feeling is So Fine  

    You Can't Beat My Lovin'   





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