To be young, gifted and black, Oh what a lovely precious dream

Nina Simone

“We all know what it’s like to be told that there is not a place for you to be featured. Yet you are young, gifted and Black. We know what it’s like to be told there’s not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on. We know what it’s like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above. That is what we went to work with every day. Because we knew … that we had something special that we wanted to give the world. That we could be full human beings in the roles that we were playing. That we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see.”

Chadwick Boseman (1976–2020)

R.I.P. Tammi Terrell  (April 29, 1945 – March 16, 1970)

Tammi Terrell was a Motown songstress best known for her duets with Marvin Gaye. They released 3 albums together: United (1967), You're All I Need (1968), and Easy (1969). Tammi released her only solo album Irresistible in 1969. 

Tammi was discovered by Luther Dixon at 15 and signed to Wand Records in 1960. By 17, she was signed to James Brown’s Try Me label. He wrote her first charting single “I Cried,” which he later reused for his 1966 hit “It's a Man's Man's Man's World.” She became involved in an abusive relationship with James, and left him while they were on the road after he beat her for not watching his entire performance.

Tammi enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in pre-med for two years before signing with Motown Records on her 20th birthday in 1965. She opened for the Temptations and began dating the lead singer David Ruffin. This relationship was also abusive, but she accepted a marriage proposal from David. She later discovered that he already had a wife and children as well as another girlfriend. Tammi ended their relationship after he hit her in the head with his motorcycle helmet.

In 1966, Tammi recorded the future classic "All I Do (Is Think About You)," written by a teenaged Stevie Wonder. Her version wasn’t released until 2010 on the compilation album Come On and See Me: The Complete Solo Collection.

In 1967, Tammi achieved success when she was partnered with Marvin Gaye. Their first recording “Ain't No Mountain High Enough” was a hit on the charts, followed by many hit more hit records, including “Your Precious Love” “If I Could Build My Whole World Around You,” “If This World Were Mine,” “Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing,” “You're All I Need to Get By,” “What You Gave Me,” and “The Onion Song.” Their last single together, “California Soul,” was released after Tammi succumbed to brain cancer at the age of 24 in 1970.

In 2015, it was announced that Kat Graham was cast to portray Tammi in a biopic about her life, but the project has been shelved.

Vintage Blues & Soul Magazine Covers

  1. Roberta Flack (Jul 28-Aug 10, 1972)
  2. Diana Ross (April 27-May 10, 1973)
  3. The Staple Singers (Aug 31-Sep 13, 1973)
  4. James Brown (Jun 18-Jul 1, 1974)
  5. Barry White (Dec 3-16, 1974)
  6. Dionne Warwick & Thom Bell (Dec 23, 1975-Jan 5, 1976) 
  7. Gladys Knight (May 4, 1976)
  8. Al Green (July 16, 1976)
  9. The Three Degrees (Nov 7-20, 1978)
  10. Donna Summer (Jul 3-16, 1979)