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Hodges, James & Smith

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Hodges, James & Smith were originally known as Hodges, James, Smith & Crawford (former Motown artist Carolyn (Caroline) Crawford).They later became a trio…Pat Hodges, Denita James & Jessica Smith… all originating from Los Angeles.
Denita James had a solo single on Flip around ‘63 and Pat Hodges had a solo release Keymen around ‘66. The group was the brainchild of William “Micky” Stevenson and they were intended to rival The Supremes which is hard to believe because H, J & S’s sound was more aggressive and a lot more Soul/R&B oriented. Their first single was ‘Nobody’ on the Mpingo Label (previously a hit for Kim Weston on MGM). They updated it later for one of their 20th Century Fox albums in the 70s. So there are two versions released by them.
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.

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