The time-honoured and good-natured chart battles that took place between the cities of Liverpool and Detroit in the 1960s, when each was producing global hits by the week, are echoed in the news that two great Motown artists are coming to the Cavern Club. Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and Mary Wilson of the Supremes will each play the world-famous Merseyside location this summer.
The events are part of the club’s 60th birthday celebrations, and will take place in conjunction with UK commercial broadcaster Smooth Radio. Wilson will play at the Cavern on 21 June, just ahead of her performance at the London Palladium, and Reeves will bring the current line-up of the Vandellas to the venue on 13 August. Both will perform in the Live Lounge.
The Cavern Club opened its doors in Mathew Street on 16 January, 1957, initially set up as a basement jazz club modelled on the Paris nightspot Caveau de la Huchette. Its 60th anniversary celebrations are continuing all year, and have already included the first-ever performance there, on 6 April, of Andy Fairweather Low, the revered British guitarist, songwriter hitmaker and frequent collaborator of Eric Clapton.
Soon afterwards, on 20 April, the Cavern welcomed longtime rhythm and blues champion Geno Washington, for his first appearance there since July 1965, when he brought the newly-formed Ram Jam Band to the location, in one of their first gigs outside London.