The Contours were a male group signed to Motown in the 1960s.
Joe Billingslea and Billy Gordon founded the group in Detroit in 1959. They auditioned for Motown in 1960, but were turned down by Berry Gordy. They visited Jackie Wilson, who was cousin of member Hugh Johnson, who got them another audition with the company, and this time they were signed to a seven-year contract. After a few unsuccessful singles, their song “Do You Love Me?” (featuring Billy Gordon on lead) was released in 1962, and became a massive hit – it even sold one million copies, giving it gold status.
Eventually Joe Billingslea and several other members “left”, followed by lead Billy Gordon. He was replaced by Joe Stubbs (brother of The Four Tops lead Levi Stubbs), who left soon after, and was replaced by Dennis Edwards. When David Ruffin of The Temptations was fired, Dennis was recruited as his replacement in mid-1968. The Contours’ contract had already ran out, and they soon disbanded.
Joe Billingslea resurrected the group in the 1970s, and they went on to record material (releasing a whole album) for Ian Levine’s Motorcity Records. This group, along with a separate splinter group, continues to perform today.
The Marvels of The Contours
- DO YOU LOVE ME?
- FIRST I LOOK AT THE PURSE
- JUST A LITTLE MISUNDERSTANDING