SoulTracks Lost Gem: Long lost Levi Stubbs performance is a family affair

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    Every soul music fan knows the name Levi Stubbs. As the lead singer for the legendary Four Tops, he was the incredible voice behind dozens of classic Motown, ABC and Casablanca hits over four decades. But travel through the Motor City, and folks also know the names of The Stubbs Girls, five women from Levi’s family who have been doing their thing under various names since 1980, finally settling on the moniker The Stubbs Girls in 2005. They recorded their debut album in 2009 and been mainstays on the soul music scene since then.

    Back in 1999, two of the Stubbs Girls, Thelma Stubbs Mitchell and Sheila Stubbs Taylor, joined with Levi to record a song about the love of their hometown of Detroit. "Better Than Ever Before," was written by Sheila and her brother Gregory Levi Stubbs, and produced by Steven Jackson.

    Every soul music fan knows the name Levi Stubbs. As the lead singer for the legendary Four Tops, he was the incredible voice behind dozens of classic Motown, ABC and Casablanca hits over four decades. But travel through the Motor City, and folks also know the names of The Stubbs Girls, five women from Levi’s family who have been doing their thing under various names since 1980, finally settling on the moniker The Stubbs Girls in 2005. They recorded their debut album in 2009 and been mainstays on the soul music scene since then.

    Back in 1999, two of the Stubbs Girls, Thelma Stubbs Mitchell and Sheila Stubbs Taylor, joined with Levi to record a song about the love of their hometown of Detroit. "Better Than Ever Before," was written by Sheila and her brother Gregory Levi Stubbs, and produced by Steven Jackson.

    Sheila tells us about how she roped her famous Uncle Levi into the studio, along with his wife, Clineice Stubbs: “My uncle came home from Germany that same night. He's a night owl and explained that he is always up all night due to jet lag, so I seized the moment while he was in the mood, and he went in and did it in one take. I had to do several takes (smile), but it is my understanding that he's known for that one and done. Recording with my uncle was as unforgettable as he was.”

    The song was meant as a motivational song in support of the City of Detroit, but it was never made it out of the studio…until now. We’re proud to present this Lost Gem, a song of tribute featuring a legendary family, singing to their musical city.

    Check out “Better Than Ever Before,” and tell us what you think!

    By Chris Rizik

    The Stubbs Girls feat. Levi Stubbs
    “Better Than Ever Before”

     
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