Manage episode 233051515 series 1757600
Shortly after Michael Jackson died in 2009, Helen Brown, a music critic for the Daily Telegraph wrote that the Jackson 5’s 1969 single “I Want You Back,” is “certainly the fastest man-made route to pure joy.” And while Michael, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Jackie may have stolen the spotlight, the group - like so many others - emerged from a hit factory created by a man named Berry Gordy Jr.
Gordy founded Motown after stints as a boxer and as a worker in a Lincoln-Mercury plant. And he quickly turned the label into a force to be reckoned with, drawing on a formula of quality control he had learned at the auto factory, taking raw talent like Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson, and refining them into international stars. As a result, Motown became one of the most successful black-owned music companies in American history.
We talk to music journalist Adam White, author of “Motown: The Sound of Young America,” about Gordy’s meteoric rise and his lasting legacy.