Video: HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY MOTOWN
Michael Jackson (L), Stevie Wonder (R) and Berry Gordy’s sister, Esther Gordy Edwards (C).
Motown turns 50: proud of musical, social legacy
Motown has always been about more than music.
As the soul empire turns 50 on Monday, its founders are looking back
at its brand of music dubbed the "Motown sound" that remains popular
today and the record company’s role in breaking down racial barriers in
Founded in 1959 in Detroit by songwriter and entrepreneur Berry
Gordy using a $1,142 family loan, Motown plans a year-long celebration
with record releases, documentaries and exhibitions. There is even talk
of a Broadway musical in 2010.
Originally called Tamla and operating out of a two-storey house,
Gordy changed the name to Motown to reflect the auto industry that
He often likened his method of grooming black talent to an
automobile assembly line that transformed plain metal frames into
His management style, which involved weekly "quality control"
meetings and lessons in deportment for Motown stars, chafed with some
of his biggest acts. But, especially early on, it worked.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Gordy helped to make stars of the likes of
Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, the Supremes,
the Temptations and the Jackson 5…
A new video will premiere on freep.com each Monday, Wednesday and Friday until they hit 50.
>>> AOL Radio: The Motown Sound
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