Motown Detroit, Michigan “Motor City” Ford Assembly Line Brings African American workers to Detroit for work, opportunity, and non-segregation African Americans brought with them their music (Dixieland and Jazz!) 1960s – early 1970s Detroit
Civil Rights Movement Brown vs. Board of Education 1954: Topeka, Kansas “Separate but equal is inherently unequal.” Rosa Parks 1955-1956: Montgomery, Alabama Refused to give up her bus seat to a white man and was arrested. Led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott Martin Luther King Jr. 1963: “I Have A Dream” speech More public awareness of the Civil Rights Movement 1955 – 1968 Attempt to abolish racial segregation in America.
Motown Music Groups Marvin Gaye The Marvelettes Smokey Robinson & The Miracles Stevie Wonder The Jackson 5 The Temptations The Supremes “Dreamgirls” movie based on the story of the Supremes!
The Marvelettes • Began in 1961 as quintet called Casinyets (“Can’t Sing Yet”) out of Inkster, Michigan. • Came in fourth place in a school variety show and were then allowed to audition for Motown Records. They were offered a deal right away. • Gordy Berry renamed them the Marvelettes. • “Please Mr. Postman” became a #1 Billboard hit 14 weeks after its release.
Motown: The Beginning Berry Gordy- (Born 1929 in Detroit, Michigan) a. Dropped out of high school to become a boxer b. 1951-Drafted by the Army for the Korean War, earned his high school degree c. Returned home in 1953, opened a jazz record store d. Then worked on an assembly line-writing songs as he worked Berry Gordy-The Beginnings of Success a. Submitted songs to magazines, singers, contests b. Co-wrote “Reet Petite” which was recorded by Jackie Wilson in 1957 c. Began producing and recording his own artists: the Five Stars, the Miracles (with Smokey Robinson) d. 1959- Establishes Tamla Records which became Motown Records
Motown’s Role in Racial Integration of Popular Music • First record label to be owned by an African American b. First to feature mostly African American artists who gained crossover success
The Motown Sound The Motown Sound of the 1960sa. A style of soul music, stemming from sacred Gospel musicb. Use of tambourine along with drumsc. Prominent/melodic bass line played by electric bassd. Call and Response singing style originating from Gospel musice. Orchestration with strings and horns
The Temptations • “My Girl”- First hit in 1964 • Signed to the Motown label for over 40 years • Sold over 22 million albums by 1982 • Always feature 5 African American vocalist/dancers • Recognizable for their choreography and stage suits • Said to be as influential to soul as the Beatles were to rock. The "Classic Five" lineup of the Temptations, circa 1965. Left to right: Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, Otis Williams, Paul Williams, and David Ruffin.