Motown Records founder Berry Gordy is to receive the Pioneer Award at this year’s Songwriters Hall of Fame gala, and by doing so becomes the first living person to receive the accolade. The ceremony takes place on the 13th June in New York, where a new musical based on Berry Gordy’s life has recently made its debut on Broadway.
This Songwriters Hall of Fame Pioneer Award is richly deserved!! Berry Gordy by creating Motown Records virtually singlehandedly pioneered black populist music, packaging it in such a way as to make it palatable and accessible to the white mass consumer market that exploded in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Berry Gordy founded Motown Records in Detroit in 1959 as a vehicle to promote black artists into the forefront of US culture and by doing so championed and moulded the careers of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, The Temptations,The Supremes and The Jackson Five.
Not only was Berry Gordy a great innovator, but like all entrepreneurs he was a visionary because he saw a hole and a potential niche for upbeat, positive soul music that would have a mass appeal and a broad commercialism not hitherto seen in the music market. In effect Berry Gordy and Motown Records created a completely new musical genre.
Berry Gordy’s genius was then spotting the vocal talent and harnessing the singing artists to Motown’s inhouse songwriters Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland and Brian Holland and the equally talented Motown backing band, the Funk Brothers!!
If there are still those that doubt the impact that Berry Gordy and Motown Records have had on black and white musicians and their music, here is the Recordpress Top 20 Best Motown Records Songs –
Top 20 Best Motown Records Songs
2) Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On? ( 1971 )
3) Four Tops – Reach Out I’ll Be There ( 1966 )
4) Martha Reeves & The Vandellas – Heatwave ( 1963 )
5) Jimmy Ruffin – What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted? ( 1966 )
6) Marvin Gaye – I Heard It Through The Grapevine ( 1969 )
7) Temptations – Papa Was A Rolling Stone ( 1973 )
8) Supremes – Stop In The Name Of Love ( 1965 )
10) Temptations – Ball Of Confusion ( 1970 )
11) Edwin Starr – War ( 1970 )
12) Four Tops – Bernadette ( 1967 )
13) Stevie Wonder – Superstition ( 1973 )
14) Marvin Gaye – Abraham Martin & John ( 1970 )
15) Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye – You Are Everything ( 1974 )
16) Four Tops – I Can’t Help Myself ( 1965 )
17) Diana Ross – I’m Still Waiting ( 1971 )
18) Supremes – Baby Love ( 1964 )
19) Martha Reeves & The Vandellas – Dancing In The Street ( 1964 )
20) Stevie Wonder – In The City ( 1974 )
Which are your favourite Motown songs and why? Let us know in the Reply Box below.
Celebrate your favourite Motown song in your home or office, by ordering your favourite Motown song in a vinyl or CD format; single, album or album cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque……
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Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!! THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!