motown feature

Posted by at 7:24 am on June 29, 2011

Melvin Franklin, David Ruffin, Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks
The Temptations 1966

It was the record label that changed the face of America…
Motown Records – home of legendary singers including Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder – is 50 years old this month (Jan09).
Songwriter Berry Gordy launched the label as Tamla Records on January 12 1959, with a modest $800 (£550) loan from his parents.
With an eye for the next big thing and an unerring ear for a catchy melody, Gordy signed up a host of names who would go on to become influential and legendary figures in the history of pop music.
Between 1961 and 1971, Detroit-based Motown scored an incredible 110 top ten hits with artists including The Jackson 5, Martha and the Vandellas, Four Tops, Smokey Robinson, and Gladys Knight & the Pips.
The company became the first record label owned by an African-American to primarily feature African-American artists.
And such was the huge commercial and critical success of its top-selling acts, the “Motown Sound” became a byword for soulful pop songs with catchy hooks.
50 years on, Motown’s endless list of timeless classics – including Baby Love, Nowhere to Run, The Tracks of My Tears, You Can’t Hurry Love, and I Want You Back – are testament to the lasting legacy of this extraordinary musical institution.

Melvin Franklin, David Ruffin, Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks
The Temptations 1966

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