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Bernds Story - Page: 7 of 14

It was the creation of SWITCH, which in May of 1977 signed with Motown after Greg Williams and Jody Sims, (Jody taking secretly the credit card from his wife Jackie), followed me to Hollywood from Ohio, were I was mixing down "The Pall Mall Groove" album at Paramount Recording Studio with my man, Roger Dollarhide. At the same time and place JOHNNY GUITAR WATSON, my brand new friend, was recording "A Real Mother For Ya". Greg and Jody met JERMAINE JACKSON (who was still with Motown since he was married to Berry Gordy´s daughter Hazel), in the elevator at the Motown building in Hollywood, giving him the one cassette of material I produced with them. He called the next day and the deal was on for SWITCH. I arrived back to L.A. from Germany for good in May of 1977, just in time to see my guys signing with Motown. BERRY GORDY was particular thrilled by BOBBY DEBARGE. It is known that Berry Gordy was once quoted as saying, "He´s the greatest talent I have signed to Motown". I was right there at the showcase at S.I.R. Rehearsal Studios in Hollywood when both Jermaine Jackson and Berry Gordy were present. In 1977, SWITCH made their first TV appearance on SOUL TRAIN, and in 1978 the first album was released with their first hit single, "There´ll Never Be", written and produced by Bobby DeBarge. It was a No. 1 R&B hit in the USA, plus USA pop and chart action in the UK. Billboards were all over L.A. to advertise their first album. We were all thrilled. In urban USA, they were even talking about "Switchmania".

The next album was SWITCH II and the hits were "Best Beat in Town" and "I Call Your Name", both songs written and produced by Bobby DeBarge. Both albums were certified platinum and that was without videos only radio, TV shows, and live performances. No MTV or music television stations existed. Believe me, Switch knew how to get d o w n. Switch had three more album releases with a number of great songs. Two of these songs I like to mention at this time are "You and I" and "My Friend in the Sky". In 1991, Motown released THE GREATEST HIT CD, available around the world. In 1979, Switch was still working on the great album "Switch II". I went to the recording session at ABC Recording Studios on Beverly Blvd. in West Hollywood, California. Bobby DeBarge was recording vocals on my most favorite tune from Switch which is, "You´re the One For Me", written by Bobby DeBarge, Philip Ingram and Elaine Brown, a member of the Black Panther Party, and produced by Bobby DeBarge. I remember it like yesterday. Reggie Dozier was engineering; Bobby was laying down these great background vocals and here came these two young guys looking like Bobby´s younger brothers and introducing themselves to me as Mark and Randy DeBarge. They told me that they can also sing and that their oldest sister Bunny was singing like a beautiful songbird and that young El was just tearing down the Pentecostal Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan with the organ and his amazing voice. I said, that´s cool... Let´s get it on.

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