Berry Gordy Jr. (1929.11.28)

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BERRY GORDY Jr. ON CROSSCURRENTS, 11/27:  Record entrepreneur, music producer, and founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy was born in Detroit on the 28th of November 1929.  Gavin and Wyatt are in the Motown recording studio for an audition.  We explore some of the rare gems in the Motown archives in advance of Berry Gordy’s birthday on Crosscurrents, 11/27 at 8 aMotown was founded by Berry Gordy, Jr., who was once a professional boxer before the U.S. Army draft for the Korean War.

Facts and Trivia:

  1. Gordy borrowed $800 dollars from his father in 1959 to start Motown. He then released Marv Johnson’s song, “Come to Me.”

  2. Motown’s founder, Berry Gordy, is a producer and songwriter. His first group and first million-selling act was The Miracles.

  3. Gordy wrote or co-wrote over 200 songs for Motown’s music catalog, consisting of approximately 15,000 songs.

  4. Motown was the first record label to run its own “charm school” to teach artists how to perform.

  5. The backing band on almost all of the Motown recordings are a group of highly dedicated and tight-knit group of musicians called The Funk Brothers. The surviving members received The Grammy Legend Award in 2004 and were induced into The Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville in 2007.

  6. Between 1961 and 1971, Motown produced 110 US top 10 hits.

  7. “Motown” derives its name from “Motor City”, the nickname for Detroit where the label was founded. At the time the biggest car factory, Ford was based here. Berry Gordy Jr, the label’s founder once worked for Ford.

Awards and accolades

Gordy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

Gordy was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1998.

Gordy received the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s Pioneer Award on June 13, 2013. He is the first living individual to receive the honor.[8]

In 2016, Gordy received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama for “helping to create a trailblazing new sound in American music. As a record producer and songwriter, he helped build Motown, launching the music careers of countless legendary artists. His unique sound helped shape our Nation’s story.”

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