The History Of Motown

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In 1961, The Marvelettes released their debut single, “Please Mr. Postman”, the first song to reach number one from Motown records, founded by a previous automotive factory worker, Berry Gordy, Jr. The founding of Motown records on January 12th, 1959 would lead to some of the most recognized and successful records and artists in the history of music. Along with the many people involved in the rising success of Motown, the style and unique identity of the music and artists would lead to effecting not only African-American listeners, but people of all races. Being at its peak during the Civil Rights Movement, Motown records indirectly impacted the outcome of the end to racial segregation in the United States. Though many had conflicts with the …show more content…
As far as Berry Gordy was concerned he cared very little about “promoting black empowerment and independence”, and cared greatly about making money “which ultimately meant creating music that whites would buy” (Boyce). Even though Motown’s music was extremely popular in the homes of many white americans, the artists were still faced with racism during their careers. When traveling into states of the still racially segregated south, artists endured racism and segregation they were not typically used to experiencing in their home of Detroit. Though the issues revolving race and segregation were never a topic of interest while writing music before, as tensions rose more artists desired to “speak out about the issues” and Marvin Gaye had to “[persuade] Berry Gordy to release his “message” songs in the 1970s which included “What’s Going On,” “Mercy Mercy Me,” and, “Let’s Get it On.”’ (Boyce). Gordy’s strong opposition to the idea of creating this type of music was due to his realization that it had the possibility to lead to a dramatic decrease in record sales and the downfall of Motown. Though Gordy wanted no music to be produced with this in mind, his company stood for everything Civil Rights activists wanted for …show more content…
for $61 million after years of revenue and success in the music industry. Given that some of his ideas and the way he ran the company were thought to be controversial, the strict rules and factors used to create a successful company did just that. Being an African-American company ran by African-Americans, Motown stood for the ideas of activists fighting for black empowerment and integration into a white society by putting black music right into the homes of white americans. With the help of many famous producers and artists, Motown Records will forever be legendary for producing music that is still played each and every day and shaped not only the history of the music industry but the history of the United

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