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Cameron, G.C. (21 September 1945-Present)

George Curtis Cameron was born in Mississippi and benefited from the sounds of gospel music that he heard before moving to another richly musical place, Detroit, Michigan, in 1955. The Cameron household was full of music: All nine of George’s siblings, plus his cousin Philippe Wynne, who lived with them, were musically inclined. Perhaps this is what inspired George’s gift of mimicry, and contributed to what would become his five-octave voice.

Whatever musical plans he may have had were interrupted by the Vietnam War, in which he served as a Marine and was wounded before returning to the Motor City. In short order, he aced an audition with The Spinners and within a few months they were opening for Marvin Gaye at the Apollo and touring the States. Their first recording with George was a cover of The Moonglows’ “In My Diary”, and it was released in 1969. A year later, they would enjoy chart success with their rendition of “It’s a Shame”, produced and co-written by George’s friend, Stevie Wonder. It went to #4 on the R&B chart in September 1970.

In spite of this success, Motown wasted little effort in promoting the group, and they eschewed Motown for Atlantic shortly thereafter. George, however, was romantically involved with Berry Gordy’s sister, and therefore stayed at Motown. Unfortunately, he got the same indifferent treatment as The Spinners and while his former group thrived at Atlantic Records, George floundered with a series of ill-fated singles. “Come Get This Thing”, featuring Willie Hutch, and “I’m Gonna Get You Parts 1 & 2”, were both shelved. “What it is, What it Is” was released with little fanfare.

As Motown expanded into the western market, George followed suit. After a brief stint on the Mowest label, he switched back to Motown but it did not equate with success. George’s biggest hit as a Motown solo act was 1975’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”, which made the cut on the soundtrack of Cooley High. His subsequent efforts went the way of his previous efforts, however, and even a self-titled album in 1976 failed to win him name recognition.

In 1977, he teamed up with Syreeta on Rich Love Poor Love and it yielded the single, “Let’s Make a Deal”. The album flopped. So did his marriage to Gwen Gordy. In 1983, George returned to his roots and released an album on the Malaco label in Jackson, Mississippi, entitled Give Me Your Love. Finally, the album gave him the kind of critical kudos he had been deprived of, toiling away in anonymity under the Motown umbrella.

In the mid-to-late 1980s, he found success on a pair of British labels, Ardent and Motorcity. Recordings for the latter were released on a CD compilations, Right or Wrong, in 1991, and The Very Best of G.C. Cameron, in 1996. In the late 1990s, he recorded “Walking Dr. Bill” with The Tams and its success led to some live dates with the group, as well as his own, aptly titled, G.C. Cameron Band. These concerts were mostly held on the Carolina beach circuit.

Around the turn of the millennium, he reunited with The Spinners and played concerts on the oldies circuit for about two years. In the meantime, he recorded another solo CD, Shadows, which he co-produced with Ben Obi. It was released in 2001. In 2003, he went to sing with another super-group, The Temptations, supplanting Barrington “Bo” Henderson. During his four-year tenure with them, he performed lead vocals on their remake of “How Sweet it is (to be Loved by You)” and it was nominated for a Grammy award. In 2007, he quit the band so he could concentrate on his own, aptly titled, G.C. Cameron Review.

He lent his time and talent to a Hold on to Education Foundation Inc. benefit on 17th May 2008. For his efforts, he was the recipient of proclamations from Senator Diane Allen and Mayor Jacqueline Jennings. Later that year, he sang “The Rubberband Man” on the PBS television event, Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia. On 14th July 2009, he received headline billing at the Blair Mansion Dinner Theater in Silver Spring, Maryland, for an “Intimate Night with The Spinners feat. G.C. Cameron”.

He has his own production and recording outfit named Daggerjacc and is in the process of authoring an autobiographical account of his experiences in the music biz. In his copious free time, he is devoted to the cause of youth education, which he supports through the efforts of his own DAGA-JACC Foundation.

Here he is singing “It’s a Shame”…