Hitsville USA - Motown Headquarters

Hitsville USA - The Motown Story

Sharmaine Spencer, 11th December 2019

There's no place like Motown!

In Hitsville USA - The Motown Story, look back at one of the most iconic times in music history over 8 parts.

Diana Ross & The Supremes - Hitsville USA

IMAGE: Diana Ross & The Supremes, outside of Hitsville USA, 1965

It's coming up to the 60th birthday of the iconic and inspiration record label, Motown Records.

The label played an important role in the racial integration of popular music as an African American-owned label, and helped inspire a lot of popular music of the 1960s.

Founded and operated by the one and only Berry Gordy on nothing more than an $800 loan from his parents, little did he, or anyone at the time know that Motown would grow to be one of the most succesful, and important record labels in modern American music. 

Motown was the first African-American-owned record label to reach widespread national acclaim. By becoming the most succesful independent record company in history it helped break down racial prejudice.

One of the most successful African-American owned businesses specialized in a type of soul music it referred to with the trademark "The Motown Sound"

"The Motown sound to me is not an audible sound. It's spiritual, and it comes from the people that make it happen." 

- Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson at Hitsville USA

IMAGE: Smokey Robinson at Hitsville USA, 1967

Over 8 parts, Hitsville USA - The Motown Story takes a look into the history of the label, as well as the artists that shaped the Motown Sound, and left the legacy that it has today. 

Named after the label's original headquarters in Detroit, this special includes music alongside archived clips and interviews with artists such as; Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves, Berry Gordy Jnr, The Marvelettes, The Temptations, Diana Ross & Levi Stubbs.

Today, Motown is not only the greatest pop music hit factory ever heard, but an insitution, a state of mind, a way of life, a style, the 'Sound of Young America'. The distinctive, upeat, and uplifting music brought together pop and soul, white and black, old and young, like never before and continues to this day. Regardless of race or social background, teenage girls admired Diana Ross and teenage boys pretended to be Smokey Robinson. Motown becaem the heartbeat of American pop music. 

"Gordy endeavored to reach across the racial divide with music that could touch all people, regardless of the color of their skin. Under his tutelage, Motown became a model of black capitalism, pride and self-expression and a repository for some of the greatest talent ever assembled at one company... Motown's achievements will likely remain unrivaled and unstoppable."

- Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Induction speech for Berry Gordy, 1988

Mary WellsStevie Wonder - JamBerry Gordy in Studio

IMAGES: L-R: Berry Gordy in studio with Mary Wells, Mary Wells and band, Stevie Wonder and Motown Family, Berry Gordy in Studio

For CRN subscribers:
  • Broadcasting on CRN on Mondays at 10:32 am AEST/ADT from 2 December 2019
  • One episode distributes each week, for 8 weeks, approximately 22'50 duration each
  • DDN equipped stations can capture the series by ordering 'Hitsville USA'
  • The 8-part series is available weekly or in bulk download - email crn@cbaa.org.au
  • For more information contact CRN staff on 02 9310 2999 or email crn@cbaa.org.au
Not a CRN subscriber, but want to find out more about getting content like this for your station? Read more here.

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