Motown, something that's often mistaken to be a genre of music, but although Motown has developed it's own style, it is first and foremost a record label founded by Berry Gordy in 1959. There was a sense of rebellion, individuality and fighting for identity, it was the first record label to be owned by an African American and to primarily feature African-American artists, also the label became known for a style of Soul music that became known as ‘’The Motown Sound’‘.
Motown developed it name from being based in Detroit City, aka Motor City, or Motor Town, or Motown.
Back to '59
Very few people, back in ’59, thought that, when Barrett Strong sang “Money (That’s What I Want)” first got released, that it would launch Motown, to become one of the most renowned, groundbreaking record labels in modern music history — and that 2009 would mark the labels 50th Anniversary in 2009 of a label that's still renown.
Motown Sound vs Others
Although Motown has developed its own style, much more of what is known as Soul music is credited to Motown than the label was actually responsible for, a large amount of what we know as Motown would fall under the heading of Atlantic Soul, or Memphis soul, for example, a large percentage of what is known through the Blues Brothers movie would be Atlantic Soul.
Motown had an incredible team of staff writers, producers and studio musicians, that were there to back up the amazing galaxy of artists, Motowngave birth to the careers of;-
Gladys Knight & The Pips,
Diana Ross & The Supremes,
The Four Tops,
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
and many more legendary Motown Artists.
Influence on Today
Motown created the Sound of a Young America. The Motown Sound went worldwide in the 60s, and that sound still resonates today, having notched up nearly 200 number 1 songs worldwide.
Motown’s hits still continue to appear worldwide in commercials, TV shows and movies and remain an influence on today’s biggest Pop and R 'n' B stars. The landscape of Soul, Funk, Disco and genres that were a spin off from those, like, Techno and Trance would be entirely different if it wasn't for the work of Berry Gordy and the Motown family.
Motown stands for more than just the music, it is a reflection of the hard work of dedicated individuals overcoming incredible obstacles to achieve great success. Berry Gordy Jr., a young African American man, founded Motown Records with a loan of $800 from his family, then through determination and support of the Motown family of artists, Gordy forged new grounds for minorities and made the “Motown Sound” a worldwide phenomenon adored by millions.