Let me start this post by say; I simply ADORE all things Motown. And that includes any and everything that came from the short life, yet longlasting legacy, of the beautiful Tammi Terrell.
Known mainly for her sassy and sweet duets with Marvin Gaye, a legend in his own right, Tammi was one of Motown’s brightest stars just on the verge of breaking through… heading towards the same greatness as Diana & The Supremes, The Temps, Marvin, and many of the other highly successful acts.
Hearing all of the magic she and Marvin created when I was a young child; hearing them on the radio every morning on my way to school, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I found myself traveling back and delving into their catalogue. What I had not known as a child was that Tammi had so many songs on her own (some that were turned into now famous duets with Marvin). Her solo recordings, however, deserve just as much shine as those duets do.
From a cute rendition of “This Old Heart Of Mine” to the high spirited “What A Good Man He Is”, Ms. Terrell had a gift that she was only beginning to show the world before she left this world.
What I am most grateful for is whoever in the Motown camp took the time to get her into the studio with the lyrics and the astonishing instrumentation (from The Funk Brothers, I assume), and the backing vocals of who I assume are the Andantes (please correct me if you know, and if I am wrong).
Hauntingly beautiful, with vocals and strength from someone that you wouldn’t have imagined was in her late teens or early 20s (depending on the exact year the song was recorded). Depicting a woman in dire need for the love of her life to stick around, afraid to be alone, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely struck so many chords and personal feelings I didn’t even know I had the very first time I heard it.
I’ve been that afraid to be alone before (and not necessarily when dealing with a significant other), just from years of being let down and somewhat abandoned or ditched when I needed someone and their love the most.
There’s no other way I can explain this song, or how deeply I love and appreciate Tammi and her gift.
Take a listen, tell me what you think! And let me know what your favorite Tammi Terrell song is.