As any R&B enthusiast will attest, the name Gerald Alston has always been synonymous with soul, elegance, and sophistication. The one voice you never get tired of. Alston inherited some big shoes and has filled them admirably for over 17 years. Born in Henderson, North Carolina. Gerald will be joined with his band members Lawrence Newton and Troy May. You read more inside our summer issue featuring William Mickey Stevenson The First A&R man for Motown, and many more amazing talents, celebs, icons, and authors.
He was born William Stevenson and, after spending his formative years recording doowop and gospel music, joined Tamla/Motown in 1959, the year it was founded. He was head of the A&R department there during the company's "glory" years of the mid-1960s when artists such as the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Four Tops, Stevie Wonder and Martha and the Vandellas came to the fore. Stevenson was also responsible for organizing and establishing the company's in-house studio band, which came to be known as the Funk Brothers.
He wrote and produced many hit records for Motown, some with co-writer and producer Ivy Jo Hunter. They included his biggest successes, "Dancing in the Street", which he co-wrote with Hunter and Marvin Gaye; "It Takes Two" (Gaye and Weston), "Ask the Lonely" for the Four Tops, Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" (produced), "My Baby Loves Me" (Martha and the Vandellas), "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" (produced) for Stevie Wonder and Gaye's first hit, "Stubborn Kind of Fellow". He also wrote "Devil with a Blue Dress" in 1964 with Shorty Long, which became a hit for Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels in 1966. He also wrote under the pseudonym Avery Vandenburg for Jobete's Stein & Van Stock publishing subsidiary. Read more inside this issue for free.