KB MIND OVER MATTER: The Myths & Mysteries of Detroit's Fortune Records (Kicks Books)
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MIND OVER MATTER : THE MYTHS AND MYSTERIES OF DETROIT'S FORTUNE RECORDS by Billy Miller and Michael Hurtt (Kicks Books KHB-1) ISBN: 978-1-940157-14-6 List price $100
Massive 576 pages - full color - hardcover - ltd first edition. MIND OVER MATTER was the brainchild and obsession of Billy Miller, who wanted nothing more than to share with the world his love for the independent Midwest label whose origins, development, roster, and output absolutely enthralled him. Friend and author Michael Hurtt joined the project and the idea of a book about Fortune Records took wing. We are finally here with the ultimate story about a defunct Detroit label that continues to inspire and excite the imagination. We hope this book will hold a treasured place in your home and that when you read it, you will flash to the "truly great music" of Fortune.
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Great addition to the blues literature
Posted by Bill Pearson on 13th Jan 2021
This is a fascinating book about Fortune records. It is beautifully produced hardback with a sewn binding and quality coated paper pages and many coloured illustrations. The contents appear to be well researched over many years and the whole thing is obviously a labour of love by the authors and a fitting tribute to the late Billy Miller. The cost is no more than many rare Fortune records which would be even more expensive and in my view this book is a bargain. Ordered from the UK on a Monday the book arrived on the Thursday. That's service for you. Buy before it goes out of print !
Highest quality - all over!
Posted by Wilhelm Wendt on 8th Jan 2021
Love this book! So much passion has gone into it + the design & production of the printed hard cover book - top notch paper quality, even the format is great!
Expensive, but well worth the money! Highly recommended!
PS. FedEx did a great job in shipping it fast and hazzle free from Cleveland to Stockholm, Sweden.
Posted by jonathan toubin on 7th Dec 2020
been waiting for this masterpiece for years and am so thrilled it finally appeared to save our souls in 2020! dazzled by its broadness and beauty! can't wait to indulge and keep it with me forever...
Posted by Unknown on 11th Nov 2020
Great complete information on the history of Fortune Records and the artists that recorded for them. It will take a while to read each chapter as the writers are through and enlightening. Will be a perfect addition to my collection.
Great Read! Could Not Put It Down.
Posted by Donald Sioma on 9th Nov 2020
The writers did an excellent job in compiling all this material in the book have archived a long-missing chapter of Michigan’s rich music history.
Fortune Studios stood behind a storefront on Third Street near Wayne State University in Detroit. It holds claim as being one of Detroit’s premier sonic sources of the garage sound; in the 1950's. There were a lot of independent owned record companies. However, Fortune focused on various types of music from R&B, blues, gospel, rockabilly and country, pressing big-band and polka records. This is where I began enjoying a variety of music sounds and becoming a record collector and musician. I remember driving my bicycle to the record store on Third Ave. Inside they had an old upright piano and four cinder block walls. A small room on the side had glass and I saw Jack and Devora. That day, they had a group called "The Fortunaires" and one guy playing on the piano honky type music. People were buying records and some were in the back recording. I did purchase several records that day and came back many times.
During another visit, Jack gave me a tour. The recording studio was located in a garage with partial dirt floor and carpeting. I was surprised how small the studio was in size. Egg crates on walls for sound proofing were attached to the walls. Some second hand recording equipment and several microphones and other equipment made this company a recording producer. I observed a closet size control room off to the side. I’m sure many of the musicians who recorded there look back at the company as the place that gave them their first start in business. That may have become an integral part of their lives.
I believe that Jack and Devora were unable to promote and distribute as well as other companies. Jack based everything around Nolan Strong and The Diablos. When the group broke up and Nolan went into the service, The Company could not recover Later on. Nolan Strong’s health problems began to increase and he realized that he might have benefited himself earlier when it became too late.
As years passed the small independent companies were out of business or sold to another company. The Mafia was now delving into the record business. Even Motown was controlled by the mob. They moved to their new offices indicating their growth. However, several years later they eventually left the business and went to California to venture the movie business.
One thing as collector I’ve noticed the original issues of Fortune albums is very confusing. The 1960s albums were reissued in the 1970s with the original label. I believe the first label was red with silver print, with "fortune" in silver above the center hole. Above the Fortune logo is the slogan "for TRULY GREAT MUSIC". This label was the original on LP-3001. The next label was purple with silver print, with the same graphics. This was the original label on the 8000 series. The third label was yellow with blue printing, again with the same graphics. The albums with the yellow and blue labels are reissues from the sixties. The problem with identifying original sixties pressings is that the original purple and silver label was used again on seventies reissues. I believe that the only way to tell an original from a reissue is that the originals have thicker wax and that's definitely not a science.
Over the years, I met and graduated from a Detroit high school with numerous recording artists. I still keep in touch with them.
In conclusion it’s unbelievable that Fortune Records a small entity had the string of hits and also the wild stories left behind by its roster of amazing talent. This book has archived a long-missing chapter of Michigan’s rich music history
Posted by Peter J Riley on 29th Oct 2020
I was simply stunned with I opened the box, this is one of the most beautiful books I've seen (on any subject) in quite a the while. Beautifully bound, incredible illustrations and photos with 1st class printing. While I have not read all of its 500+ pages what I have read is entertaining and informative. ALL serious record, R&B, blues and music fans need to own this book, there is no way this is not going to become a legendary and much sought after collectors item in the future. Truly magnificent, hats off to everybody involved
A Fortune (literally and figuratively.
Posted by BAINEE Patrick on 26th Oct 2020
Fantastic book, very well documented and full of pix.
Makes me swallow hhigh postage price (for France) and extra euros fortaxes / custom).
Brilliant, Comprehensive and Fun
Posted by Stephen J Gronda on 20th Oct 2020
Clearly a labor of love, this book defines the standards for the documentation of a record company. Countless previously unseen pictures help to fully illuminate the label histories, the artists and most importantly, the company owners, the Browns. Hundreds of label photos fully illumine the diversity of Fortune's musical roster. There is no stinting on the chaos behind the recorded output which miraculously produced classics in doo-wop, blues, country, rockabilly, surf and the uncategorizable. Clear writing, succinct quotes and attractive page layouts impel the reader to dig deeply into the story. This book is a must for any music lover.
Posted by Unknown on 14th Oct 2020
This is a wonderful trip through the history of Fortune Records. The eclectic label and its colorful assortment of artists was such an American treasure, and here it is in all its glory, with stories and amazing pictures to let you know what really took place in that funky little building in Detroit.
Norton/Kicks Crowning Achievement.
Posted by J Mankowski on 14th Oct 2020
This book is the absolute culmination of all things Norton. The care and detailed research into what is one of music history's last mystery appeals to die hard Nortonians and casual readers. If this isn't the book of the year I don't know what could compete! R.I.P Billy...