Sunday Side Up Motown Moment: "First I Look at the Purse" by The Contours

John Lockwood
March 12, 2021

"First I Look at the Purse" was a 1965 hit for Detroit's own Contours. It was co- written by Smokey Robinson and Bobby Rogers of The Miracles, who also co- wrote "The Way You Do the Things You Do", the Temptations' first hit single.

Shortly after the release of "Purse", lead singer Billy Gordon left the group for personal reasons. His replacement was Joe Stubbs, brother of 4 Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs.

The story is: The Contours was one of the first groups signed by the Motown label. Berry Gordy originally passed during their first audition, suggesting they talk to another Motown artist for guidance. Afterwards, they performed a second audition set up by this man. They performed the exact same set the exact same way... and were awarded a 7- year Motown contract. The "man" was Jackie Wilson!

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