Over the past 50 years, some of the most popular and influential musical groups and performers have been a part of the Motown label. By combining the best of pop and rhythm and blues, Motown music created its own unique style that appeals to a variety of music fans. In honor of the Forever Motown performing arts show tonight at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, explore this overview of the history and evolution of Motown music:
- In April of 1960, Berry Gordy Jr. started the Motown record label. Hailing from Detroit, Gordy wanted to honor his hometown by naming his record label after his city’s nickname. Gordy already had experience working as a songwriter, but decided he wanted to be in charge of producing great music and finding the best new artists.
- It didn’t take long for Gordy to find the talent he was looking for. Motown Records Corporation saw its first number-one pop hit with The Marvelettes’ smash song “Please Mr. Postman,” which debuted in 1961. The hits didn’t stop there—soon Motown Records was home to some of the biggest rising stars in the country. Some of Motown’s most popular and influential artists included The Jackson 5, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and The Four Tops.
- These artists helped shape the Motown label. With songs that perfectly blended fun pop hooks with the soulful and powerful sounds of rhythm and blues, the Motown label quickly gained fans of all ages. Motown also grew and evolved along with the music throughout the decades, changing to accommodate new musical tastes. During the 1990s and early 2000s, Motown was still home to some of music’s most popular artists, including Boyz II Men, Brian McKnight, Michael McDonald, India Arie, and Erykah Badu.
You can experience the sounds of classic Motown tonight, November 1st, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Presented by the Forever Chai Foundation of Canada, this concert will feature The Spinners and the Temptation Review with Dennis Edwards. Learn more about this exciting concert and ticket availability by calling us at (416) 250-3724.