Motown Records was founded 50 years ago today in this building in Detroit by Berry Gordy. Since then, the label has produced nearly 200 No 1 songs worldwide, and has produced stars from Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye to The Temptations and The Supremes. The trademark of Motown was developing black musical talent and Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music, as it was the first record label owned by an African American to primarily feature African-American artists who achieved crossover success.
- The current issue of Mojo magazine (February 2009) has a great feature: The 100 Greatest Motown Tracks.
- Here’s another 100 Greatest Motown Songs list – you can listen to the top 50!
- Motown Records: Wikipedia
- Audio slideshow: The motor city and its music: BBC News
50 Years of Motown Magic
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas ‘Dancing in the Streets’
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – Tracks Of My Tears
RSG! The Sound Of Motown (1965) #1
Martha Reeves and The Vandellas join Dusty Springfield for a live performance of Wishin’ And Hopin’. With the Earl Van Dyke Sextet. From the Ready Steady Go (RSG), Sound Of Motown TV special, recorded at the Rediffusion TV studios in London on 18 March 1965. This special was mainly Dusty Springfield’s idea, to promote the Motown music and artists in Britain. Dusty was an occasional presenter of the weekly Ready Steady Go (which had the tag line… The Weekend Starts Here). She was a big fan of Motown music, and suggested the idea for this special to Vicki Wickham, recording artists manager, and RSG’s producer at Rediffusion.
RSG! The Sound Of Motown (1965) #2
Dusty Springfield (accompanied by Martha and the Vandellas) sings ‘Can’t Hear You No More’. The Supremes sing ‘Stop! In The Name Of Love’. The Temptations sing ‘My Girl’. Martha Reeves and The Vandellas sing ‘Dancing In The Street’.
RSG! The Sound Of Motown (1965) #3
The Supremes sing ‘Shake’, followed by Martha Reeves and The Vandellas with ‘Nowhere To Run’. With the Earl Van Dyke Sextet. Introduced by Dusty Springfield.
RSG! The Sound Of Motown (1965) #4
A live Motown medley with The Supremes (Baby Love), Smokey Robinson and The Miracles (You Really Got A Hold On Me), Stevie Wonder (I Call It Pretty Music…), The Temptations (The Way You Do The Things You Do), Martha Reeves and The Vandellas (Heatwave), Dusty Springfield (You Lost The Sweetest Boy), Smokey Robinson and The Miracles (Ooo Baby Baby).
RSG! The Sound Of Motown (1965) #5
More live Motown medley with Smokey Robinson and The Miracles (Shop Around), The Supremes (Where Did Our Love Go). Followed by the finale ‘Mickey’s Monkey’ with Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, and everyone else joining in: The Supremes, The Temptations, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, Dusty Springfield.
RSG! The Sound Of Motown (1965) #6
Smokey Robinson and The Miracles sing ‘Ooo Baby Baby’. Dusty Springfield duets with Martha Reeves and The Vandellas on ‘Wishin And Hopin’. The Temptations sing ‘It’s Growing’.
RSG! The Sound Of Motown (1965) #7
Stevie Wonder sings ‘Kiss Me Baby’, with the Earl Van Dyke Sextet, on the Sound Of Motown, 1965 RSG TV special, introduced by Dusty Springfield. And from an earlier 1964 RSG show, Marvin Gaye sings ‘How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You’ and ‘Can I Get A Witness’.