Gordy, Berry, Jr.
Motown sound,a pop-, gospel-, and rhythm-and-blues-inflected crossover version of soul that revolutionized American popular music in the 1960s. His first big hit,
Shop Around(1961) by Smokey Robinson (with whom Gordy wrote several songs) and the Miracles, was followed by hundreds of chart-topping singles by various artists. Gordy discovered or developed many of the era's great performers—including also the Four Tops, the Temptations, Jackie Wilson, Mary Wells, Martha Reeves, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder , Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five, and Diana Ross and the Supremes—backing them with a talented staff of in-house songwriters, producers, and musicians. In the 1970s Gordy moved Motown to Los Angeles and began producing films, notably Lady Sings the Blues (1972) starring Diana Ross. He sold Motown in 1988, the year he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
See his autobiography (1994) V. Aronson, The History of Motown (2000) G. Posner, Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power (2003).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: Popular and Jazz: Biographies
Browse By Subject
- Earth and the Environment +-
- History +-
- Literature and the Arts +-
- Medicine +-
- People +-
- Philosophy and Religion +-
- Places +-
- Australia and Oceania
- Britain, Ireland, France, and the Low Countries
- Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic Nations
- Germany, Scandinavia, and Central Europe
- Latin America and the Caribbean
- Oceans, Continents, and Polar Regions
- Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and the Balkans
- United States, Canada, and Greenland
- Plants and Animals +-
- Science and Technology +-
- Social Sciences and the Law +-
- Sports and Everyday Life +-