Knowledge Identifier: &Motown
Category: Music (3)
Founded in 1673.
Countries: United States (77%), (13%), United Kingdom (6%)
Linked to: Mercury Records, The Miracles, The Supremes, Four Tops
Pete Moore - "'Pete Moore"' is an African American soul singer, record producer, and songwriter, notable as the bass singer for Motown group "'The Miracles"' from 1955 onwards, and is one of the group's original members
Mary Wells - "'Mary Esther Wells"' was an American singer who helped to define the emerging sound of Motown in the early 1960s
Cholly Atkins - He choreographed for non-Motown artists as well, namely the dance routines of The Cadillacs in the 1950s, and the Sylvers, as well as The O'Jays during the mid-1970s, appearing with them on an episode of Soul Train
Gordy originally wanted to name the label "Tammy" Records, after the popular song by Debbie Reynolds from the 1957 film "Tammy and the Bachelor" starring Reynolds
Marvin Gaye - Gaye was one of many who shaped the sound and success of Motown Records in the 1960s, becoming that label's top-selling solo artist of that decade with a string of hits including "How Sweet It Is ", "Ain't That Peculiar", "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and his duet singles with singers such as Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell
Paul Petersen - He recorded during the 1960s for Motown, including the singles "Chained" and "A Little Bit For Sandy"
Rick James - James' tenure with the Mynah Birds was interrupted after he was discovered recording with the group in Motown in the 1960s and surrendered to authorities serving out a one-year sentence in a prison in Buffalo
Gladys Knight - She is best known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s and 1970s, for both the Motown and Buddah Records labels, with her group Gladys Knight & the Pips, the most famous incarnation of which included her brother Merald "Bubba" Knight and her cousins Edward Patten and William Guest
Mary Wells - After a reported 22 takes, Gordy signed Wells to the Motown subsidiary of his expanding record label and released the song as a single in September 1960; it eventually peaked at No 8 on the R&B chart in 1961, later crossed over to the pop singles chart, where it peaked at number 45
Stevie Wonder - Stevie Wonder's mother's authorized biography states that his surname was legally changed to Morris when he signed with Motown in 1961
Mary Wells - Wells became the first Motown female artist to have a Top 40 pop single after the Mickey Stevenson-penned doo-wop song, "I Don't Want to Take a Chance", hit No. 33 in June,1961
Barbara Martin - She and her groupmates, Diana Ross , Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard, signed a recording contract with Motown founder Berry Gordy on January 15, 1961 as The Supremes, a name that Ballard had chosen from a list provided by Motown songwriter, Janie Bradford, and became part of the Motown stable of performers
Cholly Atkins - After working as a freelance choreographer in 1962 for The Miracles, Atkins was hired by Berry Gordy to work as a Motown choreographer in 1964, and set about developing the routines that would later become the trademark moves of other Motown acts like The Supremes, The Temptations , The Four Tops, Gladys Knight & The Pips and others
Barbara Martin - Although Martin sang on many of the group's early singles, and most of the tracks on the group's first album, "Meet The Supremes", she is not pictured on the album cover, and never received any royalties from Motown after 1962
Amos Milburn - Berry Gordy gave him a comeback forum during 1962, issuing an album on Motown predominated by remakes of his old successes that is difficult to find today
Mary Wells - Wells' second album, titled "The One Who Really Loves You", was released in 1962 and peaked at No. 8 on the pop albums chart, making the teenage singer a breakthrough star and giving her clout at Motown
Mary Wells - With a string of hit singles composed mainly by Smokey Robinson, including "Two Lovers" , the Grammy-nominated "You Beat Me to the Punch" and her signature hit, "My Guy" , she became recognized as "'"The Queen of Motown"' until her departure from the company in 1964, at the height of her popularity
Gladys Knight - Gladys Knight & the Pips joined the Motown roster in 1966, and, although regarded as a second-string act, scored several hit singles, including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", , "Friendship Train" , "If I Were Your Woman" , "I Don't Want To Do Wrong" , the Grammy *award winning "Neither One of Us " , and "Daddy Could Swear "
Diana Ross - Motown initially conceived of a solo career for Diana Ross in 1966, but did not act on it until 1968.
In 1968, Gordy purchased the Donovan building on the corner of Woodward Avenue and Interstate 75, and moved Motown's Detroit offices there
Norman Whitfield - The first Temptations single to feature this new "psychedelic soul" style was "Cloud Nine" in late 1968, which earned Motown its first Grammy *award
Janet Jackson - In March 1969, the group signed a record deal with Motown, and by the end of the year they had recorded the first of four consecutive number one singles.
Marvin Gaye - Following the death of Tammi Terrell in 1970, Gaye went into seclusion, emerging the following year with "What's Going On" and its subsequent album, which helped to make him one of the first artists in Motown to break away from the reins of Motown's production company to be his own artist
Stevie Wonder - In 1970, Wonder co-wrote, and played numerous instruments on the hit "It's a Shame" for fellow Motown act The Spinners
David Ruffin - The single reached the US Pop & R&B "Top Ten." A third album, titled "David", was recorded in 1970-71, but was shelved by Motown and did not see a commercial release until 2004; his next official release for Motown did not arrive until 1973, when "David Ruffin" was released
Stevie Wonder - In September 1970, at the age of 20, Wonder married Syreeta Wright, a songwriter and former Motown secretary
Harvey Fuqua - Around 1971, Fuqua left Motown and signed a production deal with RCA Records, having success particularly with the band New Birth
Diana Ross - In 1971, Motown released Ross's second album Everything Is Everything, which produced Ross's first UK number-one solo single, "I'm Still Waiting".
Stevie Wonder - Reaching his twenty-first birthday on May 13, 1971, he allowed his Motown contract to expire
Mary Wells - In 1972, Wells scored a UK hit with a re-issue of "My Guy", which was released on the Tamla-Motown label and climbed to No. 14
Paul Williams (The Temptations) - By early 1973, Williams made his return to Motown's Hitsville USA recording studios, and began working on solo material
Charlene (singer) - In 1973, Charlene signed with Motown under the name "Charlene Duncan", and released her first single "All That Love Went to Waste" in January 1974
Willie Hutch - In 1973, Hutch started recording albums for Motown, releasing the "Fully Exposed" album that year
Paul Williams (The Temptations) - However, after Williams' death was ruled a suicide in August 1973, Motown decided to shelve the sides, because the song "Feel Like Givin' Up" was just too literal to bear and the single was not released
Marvin Gaye - The strong reaction to the live version of "Distant Lover", an album track from "Let's Get It On", prompted Motown to remix the song and release it as a single in 1974 to keep up the demand for Marvin product
Leon Ware - Also in 1975, Ware and T-Boy Ross had started working on demos for Ware's second album to be released on Motown and a demo to secure T-Boy Ross a record deal
Teddy Pendergrass - One of the group's important singles was their original version of the Philly soul classic, "Don't Leave Me This Way", which turned into a disco smash when Motown artist Thelma Houston released her version in 1976
Rebbie Jackson - When The Jackson 5 parted with their record label Motown in 1976, they signed to CBS Records and rebranded themselves as The Jacksons
Rebbie Jackson - The shows premiered in June 1976, and featured all of the siblings excluding Jermaine, who had chosen to stay with Motown
Diana Ross - In 1977, Motown acquired the film rights to the Broadway play The Wiz, an African-American reinterpretation of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Although teenage Stephanie Mills, a veteran of the play, was originally cast as Dorothy, Ross convinced Universal Pictures producer Rob Cohen to have Ross cast as Dorothy.
Cholly Atkins - Atkins would, in fact, continue working with Motown artists well into the 1980s
Paul Williams (The Temptations) - Both of his solo recordings were later released by Motown on Temptations-related compilations in the 1980s and 1990s
Diana Ross - Diana Ross's landmark 1980 album, diana, was her final LP for Motown before leaving for RCA the following year.
Diana Ross - In 1980, Ross hired Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of the group CHIC to overlook production of her final contractual Motown album, diana.
Will Downing - Downing, who eventually recorded for Motown, graduated with Massenburg in the class of 1981
Rick James - His best-selling recording, 1981's "Street Songs", sold over three million copies helping to renew sagging fortunes in Motown
Willie Hutch - Hutch returned to Motown in 1982, where he scored the disco hit, "In and Out", that same year and recorded a song for the film "The Last Dragon" in 1985
Teena Marie - In 1982, Teena Marie got into a heated legal battle with Motown Records over her contract and disagreements about releasing her new material
Marvin Gaye - When word got around that Gaye was planning a musical comeback and an exit from Motown, CBS Urban president Larkin Arnold eventually was able to convince Gaye to sign with CBS. On March 23, 1982, Motown and CBS Records negotiated for Gaye to be released from Motown
Rick James - James' relationship with Robinson began shortly after James signed with Motown and in 1983, the duo recorded the hit "Ebony Eyes"
Stevie Wonder - Wonder was the first Motown artist and second African American musician to win an Academy *award for Best Original Song for his 1984 hit single "I Just Called to Say I Love You" from the movie "The Woman in Red"
Charlene (singer) - In 1985, the release of "The Last Dragon" through Motown brought together Motown signed talents
Rick James - James continued to score hits with Motown into 1985 but by the end of that year he had begun to have struggles with the label
Rick James - Following the release of "The Flag" in 1986, James left Motown and signed a lucrative deal with Warner Bros, releasing the album, "Wonderful", in 1988, which yielded the R&B hit, "Loosey's Rap"
Rick James - Following James' descent into drug abuse and his exit from Motown, the Stone City Band and the Mary Jane Girls both dissolved in 1987
Garry Glenn - Later, he joined the Motown roster, which released his second album, "Feels Good To Feel Good" in 1987, which was moderately successful
Michael Bolton - One of his first major hits was his 1987 interpretation of the Otis Redding classic, "(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay." Always interested in soul and Motown classics, Bolton's success with that song encouraged him to tackle the standard "Georgia On My Mind," with which he had another hit.
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
Mary Wells - In 1991, Wells brought a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Motown for royalties she felt she had not received upon leaving Motown Records in 1964 and for loss of royalties for not promoting her songs as the company should have
In 1994, Busby was replaced by Andre Harrell, the entrepreneur behind Uptown Records
Marvin Gaye - In 1997, Motown issued a shelved late 1970s Gaye ballads album, titling it "Vulnerable"
By 1998, Motown had added stars such as 702, Brian McKnight, and Erykah Badu to its roster
Diana Ross - In June 2006, Motown released the shelved Blue album, which peaked at number 2 on Billboard's Jazz Albums chart.
Bruno Mars - Mars had an unsuccessful stint with Motown Records, but signed with Atlantic Records in 2009
On April 1, 2014, Universal Music Group announced the dissolution of the IDJMG; subsequently Motown would relocate back to Los Angelas to this time operate under the mantle of the Capitol Music Group
In 2019, Motown left Capitol Music Group and signed deal with Republic Records