Home Tags Motown

Tag: Motown

Barbara McNair

Brenda Holloway had one genuine rival in the Motown glamour stakes. The delectable Barbara McNair from Racine, Wisconsin, even went into the annals as the first Motown artiste to pose for Playboy, in October 1968. In truth,...

Marv Johnson

When Berry Gordy first started his Motor Town touring spectaculars (the precursors of the celebrated Motown revues) Marv Johnson was a headliner on an equal footing with the likes of Mary Wells and The Marvelettes. His...

Elgins, The

The Elgins were a quartet - three males (two of whom had originally signed to Motown as part of The Downbeats) and female lead vocalist, Saundra Edwards. Backed by The Vandellas before they hooked up with...

Velvelettes, The

The Velvelettes were formed by Bertha Barbee at Western Michigan University in the early 60s, with Cal (Carolyn) Gill ending up as the lead singer, although she was only 14-years-old and still in high school...

Edwin Starr

Charles Edwin Hatcher was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1942. He and his cousins, soul singers Roger and Willie Hatcher, moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where they were raised. In 1957, he formed a doo-wop group called...

Chris Clark

Chris Clark was a 17-year-old, 6-foot platinum blonde when she arrived at Motown's Detroit headquarters in 1963 to audition for Berry Gordy Jnr. The Motown boss signed Chris to his label after she performed an impromptu...

Berry Gordy Jr

Berry Gordy's family, like thousands of others, had moved from the southern states of the USA to Detroit, whose automobile industry in the years between World War I and World War II was a massive...

Supremes, The

In 1961 three teenage girls, Florence Ballard, Diane Ross (not until later would she be known as Diana) and Mary Wilson, began a journey that would carry them from the run-down Brewster housing projects in Detroit's...

Spinners, The/Detroit Spinners

Despite scoring a transatlantic hit in 1970 with It's A Shame (co-authored by Stevie Wonder), The Spinners remained overlooked at Motown in favour of The Temptations and The Four Tops. Their first record was That's What Girls Are...

Smokey Robinson (& The Miracles)

William 'Smokey' Robinson was born on 19 February 1940, the son of a municipal truck driver from what he called "the suave part of the slums". He formed The Miracles (originally The Matadors) - mostly for fun...

Motown

With an $800 loan from his family and a roster of unknown young Detroit singers, former record shop owner Berry Gordy Jnr (pictured below) started what he intended to be a small, inner-city recording company. From the...

Jimmy Ruffin

Jimmy Ruffin was born in Collinsville, Mississippi in May 1936. He sang with his family's gospel group, led by his minister father, before moving to Detroit to work for Ford. In 1961 he cut Don't Feel Sorry...

Jackson 5, The/The Jacksons

Given the built-in obsolescence of pop stars, it is remarkable that the singer who made the biggest impact in 1970 should have still made world headlines almost a quarter of a century later. But Michael Jackson,...

Tammi Terrell

Tammi Terrell (real name: Tammy Montgomery) appeared in talent shows at the age of 11 and signed a recording contract when she was 15. In Philadelphia, she was an honour student in high school and had...

Chuck Jackson

Chuck Jackson racked up a string of uptown New York soul monsters on Scepter's subsidiary label Wand in the early 60s, but by 1967, the vastly experienced Jackson, who'd started out with the legendary doo-wop...

Temptations, The

The early history of The Temptations parallels that of The Supremes. The group actually started life as The Primes while The Supremes were called The Primettes. They joined Motown at roughly the same time and employed the classic gospel...

Michael Jackson

The King of Pop is a lofty title for any person to live up to, but there's no doubt that Michael Jackson was qualified. He had not yet reached his teens when he was recording million-selling...

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. (inspired by Sam Cooke, he added the "e" to his surname when he began his musical career) was born in Washington DC on 2 April 1939, the third of five children of...

Marvelettes, The

Hailing from the low-income Detroit suburb of Inkster, the 17-year-old girls who came together as The Marvelettes (originally The Casinyets - a corruption of The Can't Sing Yets) were introduced to Motown Records founder Berry Gordy in...

FEATURED POSTS

Willy Wonka star Gene Wilder dies at 83

29 August 2016 Gene Wilder died today at his home in Stamford, Connecticut due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. The 83-year-old comedian and actor had previously been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1989. Wilder is known and...

Little-known Facts About the Rovers Return

The Rovers Return Inn (formerly The Rover's Return Inn and often referred to as The Rovers Return or The Rovers) is located on Coronation Street, Weatherfield and is arguably the most famous public house in...

Bee Gees’ singer Robin Gibb has died aged 62

20 May 2012 Bee Gees' singer Robin Gibb has died aged 62 after a lengthy battle with cancer. British-born Gibb's musical career began when he formed the Bee Gees with his brothers Barry and Maurice in 1958. The...

Kraftwerk founder Florian Schneider dies at 73

6 May 2020 Florian Schneider, the co-founder of highly influential electronic pop group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. The German quartet set the template for synthesiser music in the 1970s and 80s with songs...

Babes of S.H.A.D.O – Colonel Virginia Lake

Colonel Virginia Lake (Wanda Ventham) first appeared in the opening episode of the UFO series ('Identified') as the chief designer and head of the design team that created the UTRONIC UFO Tracking Equipment at Westbrook...

Gerry Marsden dead at 78 after short illness

3 January 2021 Gerry and the Pacemakers star Gerry Marsden has died aged 78 after a short illness involving a heart infection. The band had hits with I Like It, How Do You Do It? and Ferry...

Glam Top 20

From the halcyon days of flying-V guitars, pink trousers, silver satin jackets and glitter on the cheekbones, I present here for your listening pleasure the Nostalgia Central Glam Top 20.