Photo by Kingkongphoto & http://www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel Maryland, USA – Berry Gordy, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74775610
American Record Producer and Songwriter • Born November 28, 1929 • Motown / R&B
- Gordy worked at the Lincoln-Mercury plant and got the idea to produce records in an assembly line style.
- Berry Gordy started Motown Records on January 12, 1959. He used an $800 family loan to get started.
- Motown is named after the nickname for Detroit, “Motor City.”
- Gordy thought about songwriting at all hours of the day, and even called up Smokey Robinson at 3:00 am to re-record a track!
- Gordy had “Quality Control” meetings and only the very best recordings made it to the market.
- Gordy’s assembly line production style included songwriting, recording, costumes, choreography, and stage presence.
- Motown artists toured the segregated south in the 1960s where they saw and experienced racial violence.
- Motown Records were produced from 1959 through the 1980s.
Popular Motown Artists:
- Smokey Robinson, songwriter
- Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team
- Diana Ross and the Supremes
- The Temptations
- The Four Tops
- Martha and the Vandellas
- Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
- Jackson 5