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Some of the greatest performers from the Motown era

Motown songs

Motown 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 January.

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.

Smokey 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:

Four Tops
Four Tops

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Gladys Knight
Gladys Knight

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The Isley Brothers
The Isley Brothers

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The Jackson Five
The Jackson Five

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Jimmy Ruffin
Jimmy Ruffin

Jimmy Ruffin is an American soul singer born in 1939. David Ruffin from the group...

Junior Walker
Junior Walker

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Martha Reeves
Martha Reeves

Martha and the Vandellas were one of the most successful music groups known for t...

Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye was one of the best known artists. He had an incredible vocal range t...

Mary Wells
Mary Wells

Mary Wells was an American singer from the early 1960s who was instrumental in def...

Smokey Robinson
Smokey Robinson

The American R&B group, The Miracles originally started as Smokey Robinson an...

Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder

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Supremes
Supremes

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Temptations
Temptations

The Temptations is an American soul band, which was originally formed in 1960. In...

The Marvelettes
The Marvelettes

Signed up under the Tamla record label, The Marvelettes were an all-girl American...

 
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