As a musical sampling of the sounds that emerged from Motown, one can't do better than starting with "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Bye Bye Baby," "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," and moving on through the catalog to "I'll Be There," "What's Going On," and "You Are The Sunshine of My Life."
Tonight on PBS, I talk with Berry Gordy, the legendary founder of Motown, and Suzanne de Passe, the executive who moved the label into television and movie production, resulting in a slew of awards, including Emmys, Oscar nominations and a Peabody.
hese men got the whole world dancing, swaying, singing along (and they still do). Mr. Robinson's angelic vibrato may sing words, but in attempts to define it, it defies them! And words cannot convey the beauty and import of this event. But for you, I'll give it a go.
Charl Brown had to postpone his birthday trip by a few days because he had to audition once again for the role of Smokey Robinson in Motown: The Musical. Bright and early on the day after Memorial Day, Brown received the call that he had landed his first starring role on Broadway.
I started the week with a big drawing of the new musical, Motown. This is a show about the life of record producer/songwriter, Berry Gordy. It is already a big hit, with the winning formula of a score of very popular Motown hits.
Who wants to see the ugly backside of a record label? The book by Berry Gordy -- based on his own, self-serving memoir -- is filled with deals and contracts. What you don't see is the artistic birth of a song, the famous molding of acts or singers coming into their own.