I spoke with Ruby maybe six or seven years ago. The story was meant to capitalize on her music’s reemergence due to a Q-Tip sample that was making its way onto everyone’s playlists at the time. But Ruby’s own history and colorful career runs deep– and her stories were so magical. The piece was delayed because we couldn’t get the high quality images we wanted to. But the other reason is simply because the interview went so well and her memories were so epic, that I kept it close to my chest, hoping and waiting to find the ‘right time’ to drop it.
Well, years later, I’ve learned that there’s never a bad time to publish evergreen stories that will one day outlive us all– the earlier these are shared, the greater the chance more will learn about these incredible artists while they’re around to see its impact. Read my interview with Ruby HERE. Thanks so much Ms. Andrews. What an honor.
Tammi Terrell collapsed onstage in 1967, falling into Marvin Gaye’s arms while performing at Virginia’s Hampton-Sydney College. She was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and died shortly after. She was 24.
Born Thomasina Montgomery, she caught the eye (and ear) of Mr. James Brown in 1962, recording “If You Don’t Think” and “I Cried” for his short-lived Try Me imprint. A year later, a charmed Barry Gordy signed her to Motown records. This began her collaborations with Marvin Gaye, who, in a haze of depression, was said to have stopped recording for two-years after her death. But it would be their iconic duets (“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Your Precious Love”, “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”) that Terrell would be most remembered by today.
Tammi also recorded several 45s under the name Tammy Montgomery before her career took shape. It’s unsettling to know she passed so shortly after recording these killer songs.
CLICK TO HEAR “THIS TIME TOMORROW” , my favorite Tammi track.
**BONUS CUT: “HOLD ME MY DARLING (solo version)”