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. One of their award-winning productions was the great television special Motown 25, which celebrated the brilliant array of talent nurtured by Motown, and is now available in a new DVD set. The chairman had been reluctant to do this special -- at the time so many of his top artists, including Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson, had moved onto other labels and he resisted Suzanne's commitment to the special, thinking his former artists wouldn't show up.
In the clip below, the chairman and Suzanne remember the lead-up to the special and how so many of the artists Berry Gordy nurtured decided to let love rule the day and perform.
For more of my conversation with Berry Gordy and Suzanne de Passe, be sure to tune in to Tavis Smiley on PBS tonight. Check our website for your local TV listings: www.pbs.org/tavis.