Jack Montgomery, born Marvin Tyrone Jones, is one of the finest singers ever to emerge from Detroit, Michigan. He, unfortunately, managed to avoid recording on every influential recording company in the Motor City, and only released four known singles on as many labels. The 45's are hot items among Northern Soul Collectors, and rightfully so, Montgomery could blow!
The first release "Don't Turn Your Back On Me," came out on the short-lived Barracuda label. Local DJ Don Mancha acting as manager, changed his name, and produced the first Jack Montgomery recording. A questionable change, Marvin Jones rings better than Jack Montgomery. The record went nowhere, the next release on the larger, more prestigious Scepter Records entitled "Dearest Beloved," had it all, and has made Montgomery a Northern Soul Legend. It was co-written by Mancha (no relation to Steve Mancha, whose real name is Clyde Wilson), and is available under two different titles: "Dearest Beloved," and "My Dearest Beloved," depending on the pressing. Scepter never got behind the record, and it saw no chart action.
California's Revue Records was home for Montgomery's third release "Baby, Baby Don't Take A Chance," but like its two predecessors went unnoticed. The last known Montgomery single "Beauty Isn't Born" escaped on Austons Records, a Detroit label that nobody knows jack about. If he recorded more singles, they haven't been uncovered; master tapes with Montgomery's voice exist somewhere. But where? B.M.I. lists 11 compositions by him but omit the self-written "Beauty Isn't Born." One song "I Know It's Love," was published by Holland, Dozier, Holland's Gold Forever Music and waxed by Just Brothers. The best way to hear Montgomery is to check out some of the Northern Soul compilations. You can listen to "Dearest Beloved" on select Internet sites via Real Audio. Marvin Jones has deceased, and couldn't have known the hoopla his four singles would cause among collectors of soul. ~ Andrew Hamilton