Don't Be Fooled By Oakland's Alan Young -- Here's a Guide to the Motown Stars He Impersonates

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Bittersweet indeed.
As you may have heard, there's been a rash of misdemeanorly winings and dinings going on about town lately -- well, for the last couple of decades -- at the hands of one Alan Young, an Oakland sanitation worker with a knack for passing himself off as various Motown luminaries for long enough to be shown a good time by people who haven't been keeping up to date on what the Motown luminaries in question look like. This time around he was caught claiming to be Lamont Dozier, on whom more in a moment. The time before that, it was Cornelius Grant ("the unsung Temptation"), but according to this East Bay Express piece from 2002 (2002!), there's been a long line of ideally vague-faced black gentlemen of a certain age: 

Young had also passed himself off as one-time Temptations lead singer Ali "Ollie" Woodson, jazz bassist Marcus Miller, and vocalist James Alexander of funk group the Bar-Kays. Even under his own name, Young has played the celebrity con game claiming -- sometimes simultaneously -- to be the son of jazz drummer Lester Young, a musical affiliate and close friend of R&B crooner Luther Vandross, an arranger for jazz singer Nancy Wilson, an associate of Miles Davis, and the head of a fictitious production company.

Civic-minded as we are, we figured this was as good a time as any to revisit the work of some of Young's impersonatees. 

Dozier, who, uh, put the Dozier in Holland-Dozier-Holland, coproduced and arranged a wealth of Motown hits, including "Stop! In the Name of Love," "You Can't Hurry Love," and "Where Did Our Love Go," the Supremes song best known as the second half of the long edit of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" that radio stations across the world inexplicably fail to realize is a separate song: 


Dozier also had an estimable solo career; sample nerds and fans of Atmosphere (whose seventh album, The Family Sign, is out today) will dig the soulful lining of "The Woman with the Tattooed Hands" here: 


Cornelius Grant was an on-and-off member of the Temptations, and co-wrote his own share of songs from the Motown scene. The unexpectedly rockist guitar riff in "(I Know) I'm Losing You" was his doing: 


Latter-day Temptation Ali-Ollie Woodson begins Young's existential transition out of the Motown era; see this 1985 number, which Woodson co-wrote (and played keyboards on -- keyboards!):

 
Here's sometime Miles Davis and Luther Vandross collaborator Marcus Miller slapping the bass with the best of them:


And here are the Bar-Kays: 


Is this little tutorial exhaustive? Far from it. Will it help you avoid being conned next time Norman Connors or Marvin Tarplin sidles up to you at a Giants game and asks you to buy him a hot dog? Probably not. But just exercise common sense, people. 

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Caryl2550
Caryl2550

Alan Young is  definitely out there running his con.  I just ran him out of my business.  He came in to my hat shop claiming that he wanted to to "invest" in my most unusual business and wanted to met for lunch the next day to discuss it.  I asked him for his business card, he did not have one. Talked to him over "chicken Wings and a drink" at Gussie's. He claimed he designed movie sets and that they were working around the corner. He also stated that he leased the buses for singers to go on the road, he also invested in unique businesses like mine and wanted to go to the bank and put 50K into my personal account.  I recorded his conversation on my sell phone.  At the end of the lunch he indicated that he  had left his brief case in the "limo".  I paid for his wings and he then indicated that he needed to go to his Lawyers office to get a "letter of intent" to invest the 50K   and it would cost 120.00  that I would have to give him for the taxi.    I told him to call his "limo" or have his attorney pay for the taxi on the other end.  He insisted he didn't want to do either of these things.  I then I went to the computer after much of his chatter and googled his name and he came up as a scam artist for thirty years from Oakland.  A younger version of this short, bald sixty something man with some type of speech impediment, was on-line in an orange jumpsuit. 

I asked him if that was not indeed him, and he said no and left immediately. Called me back and told me his feeling were hurt because I told him I was suspicious of him. I'm sure he is off to the next small time scam.   He seems to be happy with a few wings, a drink a whatever he can get.  I can't believe that he can scam anyone out of the thousands that I have read.  He has always left is brief case, wallet, cash someplace and someone will eventually drop it off like his daughter, or he's going to meet you to deposit a check into your account, where he will ask you for cash until his brief case is dropped of, or a hotel, or dinner and drink.

Give him nothing, not even food.  He's using his real name, but will impersonate celebrities.  He supposedly was a singer with Enchantment and dropped names of everyone imaginable.   He targets Black women for whatever he can get and professionals.

Queenphat
Queenphat

OH YES, MR. ALAN YOUNG WAS AT IT AGAIN LASTNITE. HE CAME UP TO ME & SAID HE WAS OUT HERE WITH THE ENCHANTMENT'S GROUP & THEY WERE PERFORMING AT THE KBLX STONE SOUL CONCERT ON SATURDAY. EVEN ATTEMPTED TO PURCHASE ME A BRAND NEW 2012 INFINITE & I GUESS HE REALLY THOUGHT I WAS REALLY GOING TO GO FALL FOR THAT BS..... HE IS STILL A VERY SWEET OLD MAN THAT JUST OBVIOUSLY NEED SOME LOVE & ATTENTION FROM SOMEONE. HE KEPT TELLING ME TO LOOK HIM UP ON THE INTERNET (ALMOST AS IF WARNING ME OF HIS SCAMS) BUT I JUST WANTED HIM TO ENJOY HIMSELF & REALLY JUST UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S REALLY DECENT PPL IN THIS WORLD & PPL DO STILL HELP PPL JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN..... HE MADE ME LAUGH, HE MADE ME CRY, HE MADE ME THINK, HE MADE ME SMILE & AT THE END OF THE NITE, I HOPE HE ENJOYED HIMSELF BECAUSE I CERTAINLY DID & TRUTHFULLY IT DIDN'T COST ME ANYTHING BUT MY TIME, I STILL SAY IT WAS A GOOD TIME SPENT IN GOOD COMPANY... SO ALAN YOUNG, THANK YOU FOR A GOOD TIME.... I THINK WE BOTH USED EACH OTHER.....

Afmoffa
Afmoffa

Nearly certain this guy showed up and treated himself to a standing ovation at the San Francisco Poetry Slam last night. Now I feel gross.

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