MOTOWN AT 60 – Celebrating 60 years of Motown

By Joy Sigaud

The celebrations and commemorations continue as we approach the end of the 60th Anniversary Year of the most successful record label of all time. As Hitsville The Making of Motown, a new film about the iconic organisation has been screening in the US and in the UK, we can’t help but remember with fond nostalgia the unrivalled contribution Motown made, not only to the popular music industry but also on so many levels including, fashion, dance and a sound that was previously unheard.

On the Gordy label, Motown released an album of Rev. ML King’s address to the Freedom Rally held in Detroit on 23 June 1963. Courtesy of the EMI Archive Trust and Universal Music Group. Berry Gordy on the left.

Their contribution to the prolific rise and recognition of Black Stars to mainstream screens can never  be over-estimated nor equally captured. Recording Martin Luther King’s rally in Detroit  against a backdrop of civil rights campaigns was a unique stroke of genius by Berry Gordy.

They gave us the Temptations, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Mary Wilson and many more during a time when racial discrimination, segregation and Jim Crow Laws were the norm. Author Adam White captures many moments both in photographs, many of which had never been seen, and previously unheard stories with behind the scenes banter in his book MOTOWN The Sound of Young America.


Excerpt from September 2019 issue of Editions Lifestyle Black History Month Magazine
Main pic:The Temptations, The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Martha and the Vandellas and The Supremes at EMI Records in March 1965, for the UK launch of the Tamla-Motown label. Courtesy of Paul Nixon