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:
Gordy borrowed $800 dollars from his father in 1959 to start Motown. He then released Marv Johnson’s song, “Come to Me.”
Motown’s founder, Berry Gordy, is a producer and songwriter. His first group and first million-selling act was The Miracles.
Gordy wrote or co-wrote over 200 songs for Motown’s music catalog, consisting of approximately 15,000 songs.
Motown was the first record label to run its own “charm school” to teach artists how to perform.
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.
Between 1961 and 1971, Motown produced 110 US top 10 hits.
“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.
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.”
SILVERSTEIN & CROSSCURRENTS, 9/25: The unique poet, illustrator, and songwriter with a silly, enchanting, and strange character, Shel Silverstein was born on this date in 1930. You are invited to draw on your goofy and imaginative side for Uncle Shelby’s birthday on Crosscurrents, 9/25 at 8 am.
STEVE MARTIN ON CROSSCURRENTS, 8/14: The comedian, actor and writer, who began his career as a stand-up comic, Steve Martin, was born on this date in 1945. You are invited to join our “happy feet” as part of the Steve Martin birthday party on Crosscurrents, 8/14 at 8 am.
DISNEYLAND ON CROSSCURRENTS 7/17: In a former orange grove of 160 acres, Disneyland officially opens on this date in 1955. Whether you call it the Magic Kingdom or the House The Mouse Built, you are invited to celebrate with a mini-vacation anniversary at Disneyland on Crosscurrents, 7/17 at 8 am.
FRANK BAUM ON CROSSCURRENTS, 5/15: The Land Of Oz was created by its author, L. Frank Baum who was born on the date in 1856. You are invited to join us as we are “off to see the wizard” heading down the “yellow brick road” to Crosscurrents, 5/15 at 8 am.
Playlist may include songs by The Tinmen; The Big Little Lions; The Scarecrows; Dorothy; and The Red Shoes.
ROSE BIRD ON CROSSCURRENTS, 11/2: Becoming the first woman to serve as chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Rose Bird born on this date in 1936, led a progressive majority of the court strengthening environmental laws, consumer protections, and individual rights. Gavin and Wyatt stand before the bar with Justice Bird on the bench. You can become a “friend of the court” by joining John as he pleads his case for a Justice Bird birthday tribute on Crosscurrents, 11/2 at 8 a.m.