INTERVIEW: Louvain Demps on Good Day Atlanta

Sometimes the most magical moments in life happen by accident; Louvain Demps of The Andantes remembers that being the case while recording “Love Child” in September of 1968.  As she recalls, there came a moment when groupmates Marlene Barrow and Jackie Hicks forget to sing a note, while Demps wailed it with all her heart.  Before they could do it again, she says Berry Gordy yelled, “I love it!”  And thus, Louvain Demps got her famous “solo scream” on one of the biggest hits in Motown history.

I was honored to sit down and chat with 79-year-old Louvain Demps for a two-part profile on Good Day Atlanta.  Not only was she gifted with one of the sweetest voices in soul music, she’s also a beautiful, genuine spirit who lights up when talking about the early days of Hitsville.  It’s no secret anymore that The Andantes were a major element of the Motown Sound, and Louvain’s high notes will forever ring out loud and clear from radios around the world.

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About Paul

Album-by-album, track-by-track, a look at the entire Diana Ross discography...
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10 Responses to INTERVIEW: Louvain Demps on Good Day Atlanta

  1. Lucas says:

    Great interview! Very informative! Thanks! I did question when you held up the first Diana Ross & The Supremes Greatest Hits LP cover as one The Andantes contributed to, because I’ve always seemed to think their Supremes-work was post Reflections & Love Child. In any case – more to happily explore! Thanks again! Much appreciated!

    • Paul says:

      Glad you enjoyed! The Andantes were actually adding vocals to Supremes songs from the very early days. For example, it’s them backing Diana Ross on the entire Christmas album, and it’s recently been revealed that Marlene Barrow of The Andantes sings with Mary on “You Can’t Hurry Love.” The Andantes added their vocals to “Stop! In The Name Of Love” to give the song a fuller sound.

  2. Lucas says:

    Excellent info! Motown (& good music in general) is a subject I find never tiring/always inspiring. Thanks again for your well-informed work. Here’s hoping writing a Motown and/or Diana Ross book is among your future projects. Really appreciate your passion for detailed accuracy. Thanks again!!

  3. Marcus says:

    I loved it, and I love all these posts. I have yet to read them all. But I am trying to catch up. Thanks again! Cheers!

  4. 60spopfan says:

    Great interview Paul! Never heard that before about the solo Love Child “scream”! BTW, future Marvelette Ann Bogan sang like in the only single credited to the Andantes, “Like a Nightmare,” and she’s supposed to live here in Cleveland!

  5. Pingback: COMING IN JUNE: The Summer of the (70s) Supremes | THE DIANA ROSS PROJECT

  6. I’m not sure how I missed this! And as any longtime fan know it’s always controversial who sang what when, but the thing that most stands out for me in the interview is that Motown was really looking for a bigger sweeter sound much like Phil Spector and why I didn’t think that would be much of the reason for The Andantes work I’m not sure…sometimes being a Supremes fan can blind you to not seeing the wood for the trees. A lovely interview, I love seeing you interact so respectfully with these Motown legends. 🙂

    • Paul says:

      It was such a pleasure to interview Louvain — she’s an incredible woman and such a beautiful spirit. For whatever reason, I think a lot of people misunderstand exactly what The Andantes were and why they were featured on Motown records. For years, “fans” have had this idea that Berry Gordy used The Andantes for nefarious reasons, such as using them to “teach a lesson” to people like Florence Ballard or try to minimize the contributions of actual group members. In truth, this doesn’t seem to be the case at all. The Andantes were put on songs because they were good, and because they worked fast. The Supremes were performing all over the country, all the time, and it was a lot easier for producers to get the track completely finished, with backing vocals, so that Diana could come in, quickly cut her lead, and songs would be finished. It was a matter of getting product done and getting it out to the public. Same with a group like The Marvelettes. The fact is, The Andantes were just better at singing in perfect harmony and creating smooth sounds…and it was easier to just use them to get the right sound on a recording. I don’t think there was ever a motive aside from making hits that would really pop, plain and simple.

  7. Pingback: Diana Ross (1970) | THE DIANA ROSS PROJECT

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