Jump to content

Who has been the greatest Motown artist ever?


Recommended Posts

Who has been the greatest Motown artist ever?

Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson or someone else?

Celebrating 50 years of Motown records This Day in Music have launched a poll to find out what you think.

You can vote on http://www.thisdayinmusic.com

Some Facts:

As a songwriter, Berry Gordy had his first hit in 1957 with Reet Petite, sung by Jackie Wilson. Gordy quit his car factory job in the same year and went on to launch the independent Tamla Record Company on 12 January 1959, using a family loan of $800.

The original name for the Tamla label was "Tammy," after the Debbie Reynolds song, but it was taken

Motown, a blend of the words "motor" and "town", is also a nickname for Detroit - the label's original base and the historic home of the US car industry. Its original "Hitsville USA" headquarters in the city - which opened in January 1960 - housed the label's recording studio and offices.

Marv Johnson's song Come To Me was the label's first release, issued as Tamla 101.

The Marvelettes' Please Mister Postman was Motown's first US number one. Released in August 1961, it took 14 weeks to reach the top of the chart. (Also covered by the Beatles and was taken back to the US top spot by The Carpenters in 1974).

"Little Stevie Wonder" signed to Motown in 1961 and has been with the label ever since. He came into his own in the 1970s recording classic albums such as Talking Book and Songs in the Key of Life. His 1984 song I Just Called To Say I Love You is Motown's biggest-selling single.

The Beatles recorded three Motown songs on their 2nd album, Please Mister Postman, You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me and Money, (That’s What I want).

Martha And The Vandellas version of Dancing In The Street was recorded live in two takes. The first take was missed after the studio engineer forgot to turn the tape on. The song was original offered to Marvin Gaye who also has a writing credit on the song.

Marvin Gaye sang background on records by Chuck Berry and Etta James, was a member of The Moonglows and worked as a session drummer (he played on The Marvelettes' 1961 hit, "Please Mr. Postman" and Little Stevie Wonder's live version of 1963 hit, "Fingertips Pt. 2").

The Funk Brothers were the musicians who provided the backing on most Motown records between 1959 and 1972. It’s claimed they have played on more number one hits than Elvis, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles combined.

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” written by Motown writers Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong with backing played by the Funk Brothers - was a number one for Marvin Gaye in the US and the UK in 1968 and became Motown's biggest-selling record.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...