Album:The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 11A: 1971
Though most music fans should not know the name Gordon Staples, you have heard him on many Motown songs of the 60s. Staples was a violinist and concertmaster for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. So he was the leader of any string orchestra that you heard on a Motown hit. Of course this partnership ended when Motown moved from Detroit to Los Angeles in 1969. So as a thank you for all his hard work, Motown owner Berry Gordy allowed Staples to record an album. The album was called Strung Out and it was released in 1970. The title song was released as a single. Most of the songs on the album including Strung Out were written and produced by veteran Motown arranger Paul Riser. Riser started out as a trombonist in the Motown house band The Funk Brothers. He arranged strings on hundreds of Motown songs. Though they aren't credited, The Funk Brothers play on this record. Dennis Coffey's trademark guitar is fairly obvious on Strung Out. Some of the music from this album was used in Fred Williamson's 1974 film Mean Johnny Barrows. That was a few years later so I assume Williamson got Gordy's permission to use it. The album Strung Out is available on CD but too expensive. But you can get Strung Out on this 6CD box set which is part of the complete history of Motown singles. Of course Staples returned to his job at the Detroit Symphony and he turned up on albums occasionally. I know he worked with the legendary gospel group The Clark Sisters. Here's a video for Strung Out by Gordon Staples and the String Thing.