July 31, 2016 Goodwill Wants Me

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R. Dean Taylor, I Think Therefore I Am, Rare Earth RS-522, 1970

It’s good to be Canadian.  R. Dean Taylor was a struggling young singer songwriter from Toronto who managed to get an audition with Motown records in the mid 60s.  He didn’t exactly impress as an artist, but was hired as a songwriter who “might” get a chance to record down the line.  He did manage ro get a few singles released on Motown’s VIP label that went nowhere, but he began to blossom with his songwriting.

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Among the Motown Sound hits he created were All I Need for The Temptations and Love Child for Diana Ross & The Supremes.  With successes like that, it was hard to say no when he approached Berry Gordy with a desire to resume recording as an artist.  Indiana Wants Me sounded like a hit in demo form, but it wasn’t exactly right for any Motown artists, so Taylor was able to record it.  There are two versions, one with police sirens and gunshots so realistic that people were driving erratically every time it came on the radio, and one without sound effects which was rushed out because California banned the first version.

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Motown even went all out in promoting the single, taking out ads in all the trade papers and doing a publicity tour of the upper midwest.  It wasn’t very successful until Canadian radio, always on the lookout for Canadian artists’ records to play to comply with content laws, jumped on the song and it quickly shot to #1 north of the border.  It hit #1 in Cashbox magazine, but only #5 in Billboard.  Still, it was a million seller and justified this album release.  As is true with many Motown albums, it was mined by soul music clubs in northern England for danceable tracks, and Gotta See Jane became a top 20 hit in the UK.

Today’s Summary:

Cost $2, $867 Remaining

July Summary: $80, $2.58 per record

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