Genre: Motown

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Genre: Motown

Postby Lensa » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:50 pm

Motown, also known as Tamla-Motown outside the U.S., is a record label founded on December 14, 1959 by Berry Gordy, Jr. in Detroit, Michigan ("Motor Town"), and named for the city's association with the automobile industry.

In the 1960s it was the most successful proponent of what came to be known as The Motown Sound, a style of soul music with distinctive characteristics including the use of tambourine along with drums, bass instrumentation, and a 'call and response' singing style originating in gospel music.

While there were popular African American musicians prior to the 1960s, including Louis Armstrong, Ethel Waters, Mamie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Louis Jordan, and Chuck Berry, Motown was the most consistently chart-topping genre until hip-hop.

In contrast to previous genres of black popular music, Motown soul used African-American performers instead of grooming white musicians for crossover fame. It was also among the first genres of African-American popular music to move beyond simple lyricisms into the realm of socio-political topics, allowing for a wide range of African-American viewpoints to be expressed in song.

The Motown Sound was also defined by the use of orchestration, string sections, charted horn sections, carefully arranged harmonies and other more refined pop music production techniques. It was also one of the first styles of pop music of that era wherein girl groups--including The Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas and The Marvelettes--were showcased as an act, as opposed to individual female artists.


"ABC" by The Jackson 5
"You Keep Me Hangin' On" by Diana Ross and The Supremes
"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" by Marvin Gaye
"It's The Same Old Song" by The Four Tops
"My Girl" by The Temptations
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Re: Genre: Motown

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Re: Genre: Motown

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