The Motown Music Industry

Timeline created by NIloVinilo
In Music
  • Beginnings of Motown

    Beginnings of Motown
    Berry Gordy's interest in the record business began when he opened a record store called the 3D Record Mart, a shop where he hoped to "educate customers about the beauty of jazz", in Detroit, Michigan. He frequented Detroit's downtown nightclubs, and in the Flame Show Bar he met bar manager Al Green. Gordy soon became part of a group of songwriters who wrote songs for Wilson.: "Reet Petite" was their first major hit in November 1957.
  • It was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. as Tamla Records on January 12, 1959,[2][3] and incorporated as Motown Record Corporation on April 14, 1960.

    It was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. as Tamla Records on January 12, 1959,[2][3] and incorporated as Motown Record Corporation on April 14, 1960.
    Its name, a blend of motor and town, has become a nickname for Detroit, where the label was originally headquartered. Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music as an African American-owned label that achieved crossover success. In the 1960s, Motown and its subsidiary labels (including Tamla Motown, the brand used outside the US) were the most successful proponents of the Motown sound, a style of soul music with a mainstream pop appeal.
  • Motown Sound

    Motown Sound
    Motown specialized in a type of soul music it referred to with the trademark "The Motown Sound". Crafted with an ear towards pop appeal, the firm typically used tambourines to accent the back beat, prominent and often melodic electric bass-guitar lines, distinctive melodic and chord structures, and a call-and-response singing style that originated in gospel music. Pop production techniques such as the use of orchestral string sections, charted horn sections, and background vocals were also used.
  • Motown Mansion in Detroit's Boston-Edison Historic District

    Motown Mansion in Detroit's Boston-Edison Historic District
    In 1967 Berry Gordy purchased what is now known as Motown Mansion in Detroit's Boston-Edison Historic District as his home, leaving his previous home to his sister Anna and then-husband Marvin Gaye (where photos for the cover of his album What's Going On were taken). In the United Kingdom, Motown's records were released on various labels: first London (only the Miracles' "Shop Around"/"Who's Lovin' You" and "Ain't It Baby"), then Fontana ("Please Mr. Postman" by the Marvelettes was one of four).
  • From Detroit to Los Angeles

    From Detroit to Los Angeles
    The company moved all of its operations to Los Angeles in June 1972; Martha Reeves, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and many of the Funk Brothers studio band, either stayed behind in Detroit or left the company. Motown Productions got its start in film with two hit-vehicles for Diana Ross: the Billie Holiday biographical film Lady Sings the Blues (1972), and Mahogany (1975). Other Motown films: Scott Joplin (1977), Thank God It's Friday (1978), The Wiz (1978) and The Last Dragon (1985).
  • Final years of the Motown label

    Final years of the Motown label
    During the 1990s, Motown was home to successful recording artists such as Boyz II Men and Johnny Gill, although the company itself remained in a state of turmoil. MCA appointed a series of executives to run the company, beginning with Berry Gordy's immediate successor, Jheryl Busby. Busby quarreled with MCA, and in 1991, Motown sued MCA to have its distribution deal with the company terminated, and began releasing its product through PolyGram who purchased Motown from Boston Ventures in 1994.
  • Motown Relaunch

    Motown Relaunch
    In the Summer of 2011, Universal Motown reverted to the Motown brand after having been separated from Universal Motown Republic Group. Artists from Universal Motown were transferred to the newly revitalized Motown label. On January 25, 2012, it was announced that Ne-Yo would join the Motown label both as an artist and the new Senior Vice President of A&R. In late 2018, Motown began celebrating its 60th anniversary by reissuing numerous albums from their catalogue.