ATLANTA - She's featured on some of the most popular songs in music history. And even though you might not know her name, you've no doubt heard her voice more times than you could possibly count.
Back in the 1960s, Louvain Demps was a member of The Andantes, and together with Marlene Barrow and Jackie Hicks sang background for some of Motown's biggest stars. Known for their tight harmonies and quick pace in the studio, The Andantes became one of the Detroit record label's secret weapons, sweetening the tracks at thousands of recording sessions. Among the hits featuring the trio is the 1968 #1 hit "Love Child" by Diana Ross and The Supremes (that's Louvain Demps singing the high notes in the background) and many songs by the Four Tops, including 1967's "Bernadette," which Demps remembers recording in one single take. The Andantes are also featured (and credited) on the classic Marvin Gaye album What’s Going On.
Although The Andantes rarely left the studio and were almost never given credit for their work, today they are recognized by music historians as an essential element in the iconic Motown sound. Looking back on her work, the 79-year-old Demps (a longtime Georgia resident) says, "Even though we were not out front, people tapped their feet to our sound, they clapped their hands...we did a good job."
Good Day Atlanta's Paul Milliken -- himself an amateur Motown historian -- sat down with Louvain Demps to talk more about her fascinating life and career.