MOTOWN

About Motown...

Motown was an R&B and soul record label founded by Berry Gordon Jr. Motown is one of the most influential record labels ever, influencing musical styles and culture for years. Motown was the most successful soul music record label. It has artists like Smoky Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Supremes, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, and many more. These artists and many more shaped the Motown sound everyone loved. Which was songs with a soulful sound, sweet lyrics, and a popular appeal. 

 

Berry Gordon Jr.

Berry Gordy Jr. is the founder of Motown Records. Motown was founded in Detroit, Michigan. Before founding, Motown Gordy was following one of his passion for songwriting. He was a songwriter and producer; he wrote and co-wrote hit songs and had much success. In the late 1950s, Gordy founded Motown; he looked for artists with a soulful sound and a voice that would grab people’s attention. He wanted artists with the sound capable of being able to become popular mainstream artists. Which is exactly the type of artist he had on his record label like Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. 

 

~Interesting Facts About Motown~

Records from Motown dominated the Billboard Charts between 1965 and 1968 

Motown’s most influential soul record was Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On 

Diana Ross and The Supremes were the most successful group in Motown’s History 

One of the most popular rock bands ‘The Beatles’ covered many Motown songs 

Motown’s ‘The Jackson 5’ were the first black male group to debut four consecutive #1 hits on the Hot 100

Some of Motown's Artist

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye was not only a singer but also a songwriter and producer.  Marvin Gaye is one of the most well-known soul artists. Some referred to him as ‘The Prince of Soul’. He signed to Motown in 1961 as a solo artist and had a huge influence on Motown’s sound. Though before singing to Motown in 1961 he was a drummer for Motown in the 1950s. Marvin Gaye created some of the greatest soul records ever having endless hits like, “What’s Going On”, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Sexual Healing”. His hit “What’s Going On”, was Motown’s most influential record. 

The Jackson 5

The Jackson 5 were a very well renown successful group. With the group’s lead being the very well known icon Micheal Jackson, who later became referred to as the ‘King of Pop’ and the ‘Greatest performer ever to do it.’ The Jackson 5 was a very young group, yet they still were a hit and sold many records, many of them being #1.  It was in 1969 when the group became a worldwide sensation. It was then when they had just released their first Motown album called, ‘Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5’. It was this album that put them on the pop charts. Their single ‘I Want You Back’ rose to #1 on the pop charts and sold 6 million copies. The Jackson 5 became Motown’s young pop sensations. 

The Supremes

To this day, The Supremes are considered the most successful musical group, and the best thing to come from Motown, being Motown’s most successful group. They landed 12 number-one singles on The Billboard Hot 100. Some of their biggest hits being, ‘Where Did Our Love Go,’ ‘Baby Love,’ and ‘Come See About Me.’ Though believe it or not, in the beginning, things weren’t good at all for The Supremes. For years before they became sensations, they had no hits. Diana Ross, the lead singer of The Supremes, was always put center, and in the ongoing years, the group’s name was eventually changed to Diana Ross and the Supremes. Though the group made a huge impact on Motown, being their most successful. 

Conclusion

To conclude, Motown was a huge influence on not only the black music industry but just also the black community in general. Berry Gordon Jr. being as successful as he was with creating Motown, showed other black-owned record labels they could do it. Gordon not only having a very successful record label, but also having all black artists on the label also greatly influenced the black community, and other black upcoming artists would look up to the artist on Motown. Marvin Gaye helped shape the Motown sound, a soulful or pop sound but with mainstream appeal. Also, groups like ‘Diana Ross And The Supremes and ‘The Jackson 5’ showed how successful Motown was selling millions of records and having many #1 hit on the charts.

Sources

https://www.thisdayinmusic.com/liner-notes/50-motown-records-facts/ 

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Motown

https://www.thejacksons.com/history/the-jackson-5-1969/ 

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