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Hodges, James & Smith – 1973 – Incredible

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Hodges, James & Smith (HJS) was the brainstorm of producer/writer William “Mickey” Stevenson, Motown‘s A&R Director during their glory years. All Detroit natives, Pat Hodges, Denita James, and Jessica Smith were handpicked by Stevenson, though they each took different routes to get there. Hodges played the clarinet in a local band, then attended college and earned a B.A. in music. James studied ballet and tap dancing, while Smith had a gospel background.

Mickey Stevenson had a great vision for HJS and groomed them to play the top, plush clubs. He created a snazzy nightclub act for them that rivaled the Supremes. They played the sweet gigs throughout Europe and recorded Incredible on 20th Century Fox in 1973, but the only thing incredible about it was the speed it reached cutout bins at discount record stores. Although a solid album, it just didn’t get a decent push.

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