Mike Terry (saxophonist)
|Birth name||Andrew Alexander Terry|
|Born||July 18, 1940|
Hempstead, Texas, U.S.A.
|Died||October 30, 2008 (aged 68)|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
|Occupation(s)||saxophonist, songwriter, arranger, producer|
|Years active||1959 - 1977|
|Labels||Motown, Giant, Ric-Tic, Okeh|
Andrew Alexander "Mike" Terry (1940 - 2008) was an American saxophonist, songwriter, arranger, producer and musical director. His baritone sax solos feature on the breakthrough hits of Martha and the Vandellas ("Heat Wave", 1963), and The Supremes ("Where Did Our Love Go", 1964). As a member of the Funk Brothers he performed on thousands of Motown recordings from 1960-1967, including at least seven US #1 hits. As was Motown’s policy at the time, none of the studio musicians were credited by name. Terry was the musical arranger of the 1966 hit "Cool Jerk" by The Capitols, and later became a record producer, with partners including George Clinton, Sidney Barnes, and Jack Ashford.
Terry was born in Hempstead, Texas, a suburb of Houston, where his father ran a music store. His mother also played piano, and when he was 8 the family moved to Detroit, Michigan. At Cass Technical High School he took up the baritone saxophone, and also met future Motown trombonist/arranger Paul Riser. Terry’s early musical influences included saxophonists Charlie Parker, Illinois Jacquet, King Curtis, and Bill Doggett. 
By the late 1950s, as a teen, Terry joined the group Popcorn and the Mohawks, which included future Motown staff musicians and producers Popcorn Wylie, Eddie Willis, James Jamerson, Lamont Dozier, and Norman Whitfield. The group recorded for Motown Records founder Berry Gordy with their first single, 1959's "Custer's Last Man/Shimmy Gully".
By 1960 Terry was a member of the Joe Hunter Band with Benny Benjamin, James Jamerson, Larry Veeder, and Hank Cosby, forming the basis of the ever-growing group of studio musicians contracted to Motown. Terry played in the horn section on Motown's first million-selling single, 1960's "Shop Around" by The Miracles. In 1961 he toured in Jackie Wilson's backing band, and in 1962 toured in Motown's first Motortown Revue, performing on the album Motor Town Revue Vol. 1: Recorded Live At The Apollo. Terry also played on John Lee Hooker’s 1962 single "Boom Boom", on Vee-Jay Records.
In 1963 his baritone saxophone solos and instrumental interludes were featured on hit Motown productions by Holland/Dozier/Holland including Martha and the Vandellas' breakthrough hit "Heat Wave" and Mary Wells' "You Lost the Sweetest Boy". In 1964 he soloed on the Supremes’ breakthrough hit "Where Did Our Love Go", and their follow up "Baby Love". As a member of the group of studio musicians known as the Funk Brothers, he made thousands of recordings, usually in the horn section, with tenor saxophonist Hank Cosby. Motown's practice at the time was to not credit the names of the studio musicians.
Jason Ankeny of Allmusic.com wrote:
[Terry's baritone sax] remains an indelible component of the famed Motown sound - his grunting, gutbucket solos electrified dozens of the most memorable hits... What Terry lacked in technical finesse he made up for in sheer rhythmic propulsion, maximizing the brief windows of opportunity afforded him by the Motown assembly-line production process.
Frustrated with a lack of opportunities to arrange or produce records at Motown, by the mid-60s Terry enrolled at the Detroit Institute of Performing Arts to further his musical studies. In 1966 he was the credited arranger and conductor of US#7 hit "Cool Jerk" by The Capitols, secretly recorded with the Funk Brothers for the Karen Records label.
By 1966 he and fellow Funk Brother Jack Ashford were planning a future collaboration as songwriters and producers, after playing sessions together for Ed Wingate at Golden World Records. In the mid-60s Terry worked with Wingate at Ric-Tic Records recording Edwin Starr, J. J. Barnes, Rose Batiste, and other artists. In 1966 Terry joined with George Clinton and Sidney Barnes to form the Geo-Si-Mik production team. Geo-Si-Mik produced records by acts including Clinton's group The Parliaments, Laura Lee, and The Adorables.
Also in 1966 Terry and Ashford formed Pied Piper Productions, writing, arranging, and producing records by acts including September Jones, Nancy Wilcox, Lorraine Chandler, Mikki Farrow, and Willie Kendrick.
In 1967 Terry left Motown and played on various soul recordings in Philadelphia and Chicago. In December 1967 he became a staff arranger and producer for Epic Records, and the Okeh Records imprint, where he worked on records by artists including Johnny Robinson, Sandra Phillips, The Little Foxes, and Maxine Brown.
From the late 1960s to the late 1970s he arranged or produced or worked as a musical director in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Las Vegas. He was the arranger and orchestrator for the 1969 Broadway musical Buck White, featuring Muhammad Ali, and for Bill Cosby in Las Vegas. He also worked closely with Jo Armstead at both Giant Records, and Bill Cosby’s label Tetragrammaton Records.
Terry worked on two blaxploitation films directed by Fred Williamson. He orchestrated music for Boss Nigger (1975), and wrote and produced music for No Way Back (1976), including songs by The Dells.
In the late 1970s he moved out of the music industry. Terry did not perform in the Funk Brothers reunion which led to the 2002 documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown, (though he is listed under Honorable Mentions on a two disc DVD edition of the film).
At one time Terry was married to singer and songwriter Mikki Farrow. He later married Liz, who predeceased him. He died in Detroit in 2008. He is survived by his children Bridgette, Michael, Matthew, and his step-children.
- In 2010 Mike Terry, as a member of the Funk Brothers, was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- In 2014 Mike Terry was inducted into the Northern Soul Hall of Fame.
Note: Though Terry was a Motown studio musician, He is not personally listed in the following honours, which were mostly awarded to the 13 Funk Brothers who took part in the 2002 reunion.
- In 2004 the Funk Brothers were awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
- In 2007 the Funk Brothers were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, in Nashville.
- In 2013 the Funk Brothers were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- In 2014 the Funk Brothers were inducted into the National Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame, in Cleveland.
|Year||Title||Artist||Chart||Mike Terry’s role|
|1960||Shop Around||The Miracles||US#2||Baritone sax|
|1962||Boom Boom||John Lee Hooker||US#60, UK#16||Baritone sax|
|1963||Heat Wave||Martha & the Vandellas||US#4||Baritone sax solo|
|1963||Quicksand||Martha & the Vandellas||US#8||Baritone sax solo|
|1963||You Lost the Sweetest Boy||Mary Wells||US#22||Baritone sax solo|
|1964||Where Did Our Love Go||The Supremes||US#1, CAN#1, UK#3||Baritone sax solo|
|1964||Baby Love||The Supremes||US#1, UK#1||Baritone sax feature|
|1964||Come See About Me||The Supremes||US#1, CAN#1||Baritone sax|
|1964||(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet||The Reflections||US#6||Baritone sax solo|
|1964||In My Lonely Room||Martha & the Vandellas||US#6||Baritone sax solo|
|1965||Nowhere to Run||Martha & the Vandellas||US#2, UK#26||Baritone sax|
|1965||I Can’t Help Myself||The Four Tops||US#1, UK#10||Baritone sax feature|
|1965||It's the Same Old Song||The Four Tops||US#5||Baritone sax feature|
|1965||Stop! In The Name Of Love||The Supremes||US#1, CAN#3, UK#7||Baritone sax|
|1965||Back in My Arms Again||The Supremes||US#1, CAN#1||Baritone sax feature|
|1965||I Hear A Symphony||The Supremes||US#1||Baritone sax solo|
|1966||Cool Jerk||The Capitols||US#7, CAN#9||Arranger|
|1966||Headline News||Edwin Starr||US#84, UK#39||Arranger|
|1966||This Old Heart of Mine||The Isley Brothers||US#12, UK#3||Baritone sax feature|
|1966||Love Is Like an Itching In My Heart||The Supremes||US#9||Baritone sax feature|
|1966||Don't Mess with Bill||The Marvelettes||US#7||Baritone sax|
|1966||(I'm a) Road Runner||Junior Walker & the Allstars||US#20, UK#12||Baritone sax feature|
|1967||(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher||Jackie Wilson||US#6, CAN#2||Baritone sax|
|1967||(I Wanna) Testify||The Parliaments||US#20||Arranger|
|1967||Baby Please Come Back Home||J. J. Barnes||US#61||Arranger|
|1968||The Horse||Cliff Nobles & Co||US#2||Baritone sax|
|1968||Light My Fire||Rhetta Hughes||Co-Producer, arranger|
|1969||Jealous Kind of Fella||Garland Green||US#20||Arranger|
|Year||Title||Artist||Chart||Mike Terry’s role|
|1963||Motor-Town Revue Vol. 1: Recorded Live At The Apollo||Various Artists||US#47||Baritone saxophone|
|1964||Where Did Our Love Go||The Supremes||US#2||Baritone saxophone|
|1965||More Hits by The Supremes||The Supremes||US#6||Baritone saxophone|
|1965||Four Tops Second Album||The Four Tops||US#20||Baritone saxophone|
|1966||I Hear a Symphony||The Supremes||US#8||Baritone saxophone|
|1966||The Supremes A' Go-Go||The Supremes||US#1, UK#15||Baritone saxophone|
|1968||Out of Sight||Maxine Brown||Producer, Arranger|
|1968||Workin' On A Groovy Thing||Barbara Lewis||Arranger|
|1969||The Many Grooves of Barbara Lewis||Barbara Lewis||Arranger|
|1969||Jealous Kind Of Fella||Garland Green||Arranger|
|1969||Re-Light My Fire||Rhetta Hughes||Co-Producer, arranger|
|1975||Loneliness & Temptation||Clarence Carter||Arranger|
|1975||Kickin'||The Mighty Clouds of Joy||Arranger|
|1975||Bad Luck||Atlanta Disco Band||Writer, Arranger, Musician|
|1976||No Way Back||The Dells||Writer, Arranger, Producer|
|1977||Here Am I||Dave Crawford||Arranger|
- Flory, Andrew. I Hear a Symphony: Motown and crossover R&B, University of Michigan Press, 2017, USA
- Moore, Dave. 'HOF: Mike Terry - Pre Production Inductee', Soul Source magazine, November 7, 2014
- Moss, Robb. 'Mike Terry, Sax God', Manifesto magazine, Issue 85, July 2007, UK
- Randle, Bill. 'Bill Randle in conversation with Mike Terry', Soulful Kinda Music magazine, June 1994
- Rylatt, Keith, Groovesville USA: The Detroit Soul & R&B Index, Stuart Russell, 2010, UK
- Thornton, Jason H. 'The Andrew "Mike" Terry Story', There's That Beat! The Rare Soul Magazine, Issue 4, 2007, UK
- White, Adam, and Bronson, Fred. The Billboard Book of Number One Rhythm and Blues Hits, BPI Communications, 1993
- Williams, Richard. 'Mike Terry Obituary', The Guardian, December 1, 2008, UK
- Williams, Richard (December 1, 2008). "Mike Terry Obituary". The Guardian.
- Moore, Dave (November 7, 2014). "HOF: Mike Terry - Pre Production Inductee". Soul Source magazine.
- Thornton, Jason H. (2007). "The Andrew "Mike" Terry Story". There’s That Beat! The Rare Soul Magazine, Issue #4. UK.
- Ankeny, Jason. "Andrew "Mike" Terry Biography". Allmusic.com. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- Murray, Charles Shaar (2002). Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century. New York City: St. Martin's Griffin. pp. 237–240. ISBN 978-0-312-27006-3.
- Moss, Rob (October 31, 2008). "Sad News Mike Terry - SAX GOD". Soul Source.
- Standing in the Shadows of Motown, DVD, Lions Gate, 2003, USA
- Whitburn, Joel (1988). Top R&B Singles 1942–1988. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 194. ISBN 0-89820-068-7.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 378.
- Sexton, Paul (July 10, 2019). "Martha & The Vandellas Turn Up The Heat". Udiscovermusic.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 398.
- Flory, Andrew. I Hear a Symphony: Motown and crossover R&B, University of Michigan Press, 2017, USA, p222
- Simpson, Dave (July 15, 2014). "The Supremes: How we made Baby Love". The Guardian.
- Flory, Andrew. I Hear a Symphony: Motown and crossover R&B, University of Michigan Press, 2017, USA, p56
- Sullivan, Steve (2017). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings, Vol. 3. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 383.
- Liner notes. The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 5: 1965, Hip-O Select – B0006775-02, USA, 04 Aug 2006
- Label credit, "Cool Jerk", The Capitols, Karen Records 1524, 1966, USA
- Label credit, "Headline News", Edwin Starr, Ric-Tic RT-114, 1966, USA
- "Groove Times : George Clinton - I Wanna Testify". Ejnord.com. 2007-03-17. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
- Label credit, "Baby Please Come Back Home", J.J. Barnes, Groovesville GV 1006, USA, 1967
- Label credits, "Light My Fire", Rhetta Hughes, Tetragrammaton Records T-1513, USA, 1968
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 259. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- LP Album credits, Jealous Kind of Fella, Garland Green, Uni Records 73073, 1969, USA
- Refer to credits for the lead single "Love Is Like an Itching In My Heart"
- LP album credits, Out of Sight, Maxine Brown, Epic Records BN 26395, 1968, USA
- LP album credits, Workin' On A Groovy Thing, Barbara Lewis, Atlantic SD 8173, USA, 1968
- LP album credits, Jealous Kind Of Fella, Garland Green, Uni Records 73073, USA, 1969
- LP album credits, Re-Light My Fire, Rhetta Hughes, Tetragrammaton Records T-111, USA, 1969
- LP album credits, Loleatta, Loleatta Holloway, Aware AA 20033, USA, 1973
- LP album credits, Kickin, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, ABC Records ABCD-899, USA, 1975
- LP Album credits, Bad Luck, The Atlanta Disco Band, Ariola Records ST-50004, 1975, USA
- LP Album credits, No Way Back, The Dells, Mercury Records SRM-1-1084, 1976, USA
- LP Album credits, Here Am I , Dave Crawford, LA Records LA-1909, 1977, USA