V.I.P. Album Discography
by David Edwards and Mike Callahan
Last update: July 30, 2012

The V.I.P. label was active from December, 1963, until 1972. It was much more a singles label than an album label, with only six albums issued against nearly 70 singles.

The Velvelettes The Velvelettes were the earliest success for the label, with "Needle in a Haystack" [V.I.P. 25007] reaching #31 r&b and #45 pop in the fall of 1964. The group was originally a vocal quintet (Mildred "Mille" Gill, Caldyn "Cal" Gill, Bertha Barbee, Norma Barbee, and Betty Kelly) from Kalamazoo, Michigan, where they met in 1962 at Western Michigan University. They auditioned for Motown in 1963, but failed; they ended up doing some background singing until they got their chance with the new V.I.P. subsidiary of Motown. They followed their first hit with "He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'" [V.I.P. 25013], which reached #21 r&b and #64 pop in early 1965. Both of these hits were recorded by just a trio, (Cal Gill, Bertha Barbee, and Norma Barbee), Kelly having joined Martha and the Vandellas and Mille Gill having dropped out. After these two singles, the lineup changed to Cal Gill, Sandra Tilley, and Annette McMillan, who recorded the later singles. Four more singles failed to chart, and the group moved to another of Motown's labels, Soul, where they had one more minor hit in late 1966. Cal Gill continued as leader of the Velvelettes with various backing members until 1969, when she married Motown artist Richard Street (of the Monitors, also on V.I.P., who would join the Temptations in 1971). At that time, she disbanded the Velvelettes, although the Gills and Barbees have rejoined for oldies shows since. A scheduled V.I.P. album was cancelled.

The Monitors The Monitors were a group from Detroit that included Sandra Fagin, John (Maurice) Fagin, Richard Street, and Warren Harris. They started recording for V.I.P. as the Majestics with a single "Hello Love"/"The Further You Look, The Less You See" [V.I.P. 25010] in the fall of 1964. Their next single, "Say You", was issued as a promo by the Majestics, but the group changed their name to the Monitors by the time the commercial single was issued. It reached #36 on the r&b chart in early 1966. Their next single, "Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam)" [V.I.P. 25032], released in April, was their biggest seller, reaching #21 on the r&b charts and making #100 on the pop side. Three more singles flopped, however, and the group was done. Their final single was reissued on Motown's Soul label, which also issued an album.

The Elgins The Elgins began recording for V.I.P. as the Downbeats, a group name that Cleo (Duke) Miller, Johnny Dawson, and Robert Fleming had used while recording for Tamla in 1962. Saundra Edwards also recorded a solo single for Tamla that year, and the four decided to get together as a quartet. Their first single, "Darling Baby"/"Put Yourself In My Place" [V.I.P. 25029] was first issued as by the Downbeats in December, 1965. It was quickly changed to the Elgins, and both sides charted starting in February, with "Darling Baby" reaching #4 r&b and #72 pop, while the flip reached #92 pop. Their next single was released in July, but took several months to catch on. "Heaven Must Have Sent You" [V.I.P. 25037] entered the charts in late September, eventually reaching #9 r&b and #50 pop. A third single, "It's Been A Long, Long Time" [V.I.P. 25043] proved tru to it's title, since it had been nearly a year since the last single when it was released in June, 1967. It reached #35 r&b and #92 pop, but proved to be the group's last chart success. The Elgins had the first V.I.P. album.

The second released album on V.I.P. was somewhat odd for Motown. Back in 1966, an Irish pub group called the Abbey Tavern Singers had a minor hit with "Off To Dublin in the Green" [HBR 498]. V.I.P. obtained a live album by the group, including the hit title, and planned to reissue the single as V.I.P. 25048 in May, 1968. The album was issued, but the single was cancelled.

Other albums on V.I.P. were by Chuck Jackson, the Spinners, King Floyd and Hearts of Stone. The Spinners, in particular, were successful with "It's A Shame" [V.I.P. 25057], which reached #4 r&b and #14 pop in 1970, which merited an album which also reached the LP charts.

Other singles artists on V.I.P. included Patrice Holloway, the Serenaders, Joanna & the aTriangles, the Hornets, R. Dean Taylor (who would later hit big with "Indiana Wants Me" for Motown's Rare Earth label), the Adantes, Oma Heard, Mickey McCullers, the Headliners, Ray Oddis, Hattie Littles, the Vows, the Lewis Sisters, Danny Day, the Isley Brothers (in one of their many label hops), Richard Anthony & the Bluenotes, Little Lisa, the Dalton Boys, Chris Clark, the Mynah Birds, Rick Robin & Him, the LaSalles, the Underdogs, Debbie Dean, the Honest Men, the Lollipops, Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers (who had more success on Gordy), Ivy Jo Hunter, P.J., the Stylists, Tony & Carolyn, and the Posse. Most of these artists had but one record.

The V.I.P. album label (far left) was yellow, white, orange and brown with black printing. The vertical V.I.P. logo is to the left of the center hole in black on an orange oval. The early singles labels (near left) were yellow with black print.
Later singles labels (far left) were similar to the album label. Promotional labels (near left) were white with black print.

We would appreciate any additions or corrections to this discography. Just send them to us via e-mail. Both Sides Now Publications is an information web page. We are not a catalog, nor can we provide the records listed below. We have no association with V.I.P. or Motown Records. Should you be interested in acquiring albums listed in this discography (which are all out of print), we suggest you see our Frequently Asked Questions page and follow the instructions found there. This story and discography are copyright 1998, 2012 by Mike Callahan.



Number - Title - Artist - [Release Date] (Chart) Contents

V.I.P. VIP-400 (mono)/VIPS-400 (stereo) Main Series:

VIP/VIPS-400 - Darling Baby - Elgins [10/66] Darling Baby/In The Midnight Hour/Heaven Must Have Sent You/I Understand My Man/Good Lovin'/It's Gonna Be Hard Times//Put Yourself In My Place/634-5789/No Time For Tears/How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)/Stay In My Lonely Arms/When A Man Loves A Woman

VIP/VIPS-401 - The Velvelettes - Velvelettes [Unissued]

VIP/VIPS-402 - We're Off to Dublin in the Green - Abbey Tavern Singers [1966] We're Off To Dublin In The Green (S)/The Boys Of Wexford (S)/Mick Maguire (S)/Tally Ho Hark Away (S)/Twenty Men From Dublin Town (S)/The Wild Rover (S)//The Captain Of The Gallant Forty Twa' (S)/The Oul Orange Fluet (S)/Carrig-Dhonn (S)/Whack For De Diddle Dee (S)/The Orange And The Green (S)/Cosher Bailey (S)

Note: At this point, releases become stereo only.

VIPS-403 - Teardrops Keep Falling on My Heart - Chuck Jackson [9/70] Let Somebody Love Me/I Can't Let My Heaven Walk Away/Is There Anything Love Can't Do/The Thrill Is Gone/Baby I'll Get It/Rainy Night In Georgia//Just A Little Love (Before My Life Is Gone)/I'll Fight ('Til I Win Your Love)/There's A Rainbow In Your Heart/Two Feet From Happiness/That's Me Lovin' You/Have You Heard About The Fool

VIPS-404 - Stop the World...We Wanna Get On - Hearts of Stone [10/70] It's A Lonesome Road/If I Could Give You The World/Would You Take A Dime From A Poor Man/Rainy Night In Georgia/You Gotta Sacrifice (We Gotta Sacrifice)/What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)//Yesterday's Love Is Over/Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin/He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother/You've Made Me So Very Happy/One Day

VIPS-405 - 2nd Time Around - Spinners [10/70] (11-70, #199) It's A Shame/I've Got To Find Myself A Brand New Baby/Together We Can Make Such Sweet Music/Bad Bad Weather (Till You Come Home)/Pay Them No Mind/My Lady Love//Souly Ghost/O-O-H Child/In My Diary/My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)/(She's Gonna Love Me) At Sundown/Can Sing A Rainbow-Love Is Blue

VIPS-406 - Ivy Jo Is in this Bag - Ivy Jo [Unissued]

VIPS-407 - Heart Of The Matter - King Floyd [4/71] Times Have Changed/Together We Can Do Anything/Heartaches/You've Been Good To Me Thank You/Take The Place Of A Dying Man//This Is Our Last Night Together/You Got The Love I Need/Love Ain't What It Used To Be/I Can't Get Enough Of Your Love/Groov-A-Lin

Back to the Motown Story

Back to the Discography Listings Page

Back to the Both Sides Now Home Page