Some of the greatest performers from the Motown era
is a popular record label that originated in the year 1960. Berry
Gordy, Jr. originally started the Motown Record Corporation on April
14, 1960. Some of the greatest songs were a result of this company.
The company was incorporated in US city of Detroit, Michigan. Motown
was also a nickname for Detroit as it was a motor town. The venture
was Berry Gordy’s very second record label. The previous year, he
had started his first record label, Tamla Records on 12
Gordy was actually a professional boxer. He was also
a veteran of the Korean War. He initially owned a jazz record store
before the beginning of his music career. He eventually met Jackie
Wilson at the Flame Show Bar in Detroit through some family
connections. Wilson was an up and coming star at that time. In the
year 1957, he co-wrote a song for him called “Reet Petite” which
went on to become a national hit. By the beginning of 1959, Gordy had
a stable of local talent under him. So he created his first record
label Tamla Records to produce his first hits. "Money (That's
What I Want)" by Barrett Strong and "You Got What It Takes"
by Marv Johnson's were some of the early hits that year.
Robinson was one of Gordy’s talented artists. He urged Gordy to
start another record label for the pop genre, since Tamla records
concentrated mostly on R&B So the Motown Record Corporation was
founded to come out with some of the best music. The very same year,
the record label came out with "Shop Around”, by Smokey and
the Miracles. It was one of the first hits. Most of the singers that
sang these songs were black artists.
Gordy took the effort to
groom each of these artists to make them appealing and presentable to
a white audience. With "Come and Get These Memories," from
Martha and the Vandellas in the year 1963, the "Motown Sound"
became well established. The company later labeled these as the
"Sound of Young America".
Since an African American
owned the company, it played a huge role in integrating the black and
the white race in popular music. In fact, Gordy became the first
African American to ever own a record label which had a fan following
from both races. The music in transcended all divisions and became a
unifying force in the music industry. Theycreated a unique style
which had a mix of soul music and a little of pop influence. This was
popularly referred to as The Motown Sound.
During the racial
riots of 1967 in Detroit, Gordy moved to Los Angeles. In 1972, he
also relocated Motown Records to Los Angeles. The company that gave
the world this wonderful music remained independent until 1988, when
it was sold to MCA.
Selected by motown songs website:
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