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JAMES JAMERSON
PETITION

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TAMLA ~ MOTOWN
Berry Gordy Jr.
Jazz obsessed ex boxer, Berry Gordy Jr. owner of Tamla-Motown family record labels,
built Motown Records into the most important independent labels in the early '60s.
Gathering the very best and hardworking musicians, songwriters, and producers,
Motown Records with the help of an in house band, which maybe was the
best band the pop world has ever had, built the most impressive list of
artists in the history of pop music. Motown became the largest & most
successful independent record company in the USA by 1964.

HITSVILLE USA
Hitsville USA, West Grand Boulevard, Detroit  City.
Eight houses on West Grand Boulevard were acquired by the company to house its growing operations until it moved its offices to a high-rise in downtown Detroit in 1968. In 1959 with an $800 loan Berry bought a small 2 story building on West Grand Boulevard. This was split into 2 flats, one for himself and his young family to live, the second flat were his offices and he assembled his recording studio in the basement/garage. Gordy called the music "The Sound of Young America" and fixed a sign over his studio that read "Hitsville U.S.A." Then in April of 1961 he purchased 2644-2246 West Grand Boulevard & he placed Jobete (his publishing company), the sales, shipping and public relations departments in it. In January of 1962, he bought 2650-2652 West Grand Boulevard to house his own and his sister Esther's offices International Talent Management. From 1965 on 2656 housed the finance department. 2662-64 purchased the next year was home to the sales and marketing. 2666-68 was bought at the same time. ITMI was moved to 2670-72 after it was bought in late 1966. Across the street, and 2657 was converted into Artist Development Department in early 1966.
(In 1985, Esther Gordy Edwards opened the Motown Historical Museum inside the restored Hitsville).
"The Snakepit" which was origanally a garage
THE SNAKE PIT ~ Recording “Studio A”
In 1959 Motown Records created its first recording studio, originally a basement/garage at West Grand Boulevard, down a few steps was the famous “Studio A.” (the snakepit). “Studio A” was open 24 hours a day, seven days a week from 1959 until 1972. Although in 1968 the company moved it’s headquarters to a ten-story building in downtown Detroit, artists continued to record in “Studio A”.
Motown building: Downtown Detroit
Motown building: Downtown Detroit
Motown stands for more than just the music: it is also very much a reflection of the extreme hard work of totally dedicated individuals of the musicians, composers, songwriters, singers, producers, directors overcoming incredible obstacles to achieve great success.
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THE MUSICIANS
1959 ~ 1962
Keyboards/piano - Joe Hunter, Earl Van Dyke, Popcorn Wylie
Guitars - Robert White, Eddie Willis, Joe Messina, Larry Veeder, Dave Hamilton
Bass - James Jamerson, Clarence Isabell
Drums - Benny Benjamin, Richard "Pistol" Allen, George McGregor, Clifford Mack
Percussion - Jack Ashford, Eddie "Bongo" Brown
Vibes - Jack Ashford, Dave Hamilton, James Gittens
Trumpets - Herbie Williams, John "Little John" Wilson, Marcus Belgrave, Russell Conway, Johnny Trudell
Saxophones- Hank Cosby, Andrew "Mike" Toney, Norris Patterson, Thomas "Beans" Bowles, Teddy Buckner, Ronnie Wakefield, Lefty Edwards, Eli Fontaine, Ernie Rodgers
Trombone - Bob Cousar, George Bohanon, Paul Riser
Piccolo - Clement Barone.
Flute -
Clement Barone.
1963 ~ 1967
Keyboards - Earl Van Dyke, Johnny Griffith, Johnny Gittens, Ted Sheely
Guitars - Robert White, Eddie Willis, Joe Messina, Marv Tarplin, Cornelius Grant
Bass - James Jamerson, Tony Newton
Drums - Benny Benjamin, Richard "Pistol" Allen, Uriel Jones, Frederick Waites
Percussion - Jack Ashford, Eddie "Bongo" Brown
Vibes - Jack Ashford, Jack Brokensha
Trumpet - Johnny Trudel, Herbie Williams, Floyd Jones, Maurice Davis, Billy Horner, Jon "Little John" Wilson, Russell Conway, Marcus Belgrave, Don Slaughter.
Trombone - George Bohanon, Jimmy Wilkens, Bob Cousar, Paul Riser, Don White, Carl Raetz, Patrick Lanier, Bill Johnson
Saxophone - Hank Cosby, Andrew "Mike" Terry, Thomas Beans" Bowles, Kasuka Malia, Teddy Buckner, Lefty Edwards, Eugene BeeBee" Moore, William "Wild Bill" Moore, Angelo Carlisi, Ernie Rodgers, Dan Turner, Bernie Peacock, Larry Nozero
Piccolo - Clement Barone.
Flute - Dayna Hartwick,
Clement Barone.
Strings - Gordon Staples (concertmaster) and the Detroit Symphony Strings.
Harmonica - Stevie Wonder, Danny Stevenson
1968 ~ 1972
Keyboards - Earl Van Dyke, Johnny Griffith
Guitars - Robert White, Eddie Willis, Joe Messina, Dennis Coffey, Wah Wah Watson
Bass - James Jamerson, Bob Babbit, Eddie Watkins
Drums - Richard "Pistol" Allen, Uriel Jones, Andrew Smith
Percussion - Jack Ashford, Eddie "Bongo" Brown
Vibes - Jack Ashford, Jack Brokensha
Trumpet - John Trudell, Russell Conway, Herbie Williams, Floyd Jones, John "Little John" Wilson, Maurice Davis, Marcus Belgrave, Billy Horner, Don Slaughter, Eddie Jones
Trombone - Jimmy Wilkins, Bob Cousar, Paul Riser, Don White, Carl Raetz, Patricl Lanier, Paul Johnson
Saxophones - Hank Cosby, Kasuka Mafia,Teddy Buckner, Lefty Edwards, Tate Houston, Bernie Peacock, Thomas "Beans" Bowles, Eugene "BeeBee" Moore, William "Wild Bill" Moore, Angelo Carlisi, Ernie Rodgers, Dan Turner, Eli Fontaine, Larry Nozero, Lanny Austin
Piccolo - Clement Barone.
Flute - Dayna Hartwick,
Clement Barone.
Strings - Gordon Staples (concert master) and the Detroit Symphony Strings
Harmonica - Stevie Wonder, Danny Stevenson
FURTHER LIST

Motown's West Coast Studio Band.
Keyboards - Mike Rubini, Joe Sample, Clarence McDonald, Don Randi, Larry Knechtel
Guitars - Arthur Wright, David T.Walker, Thomas Tedesco, Louie Shelton, Adolph Green, WeldonT. Parks
Bass - James Jamerson (session), Wilton Felder, Carol Kaye, Bill Pitman, Ron Brown
Drums - Earl Palmer, Ed Greene, Gene Pello, Paul Humphreys
Percussion - Gary Coleman, Bobbye Porter, King Errisson, Joe Clayton, Sandra Crouch, Jerry Steinholtz, Emil Richards
Arrangers - Gene Page, James Carmichael, Arthur Wright, Gil Ashley,
William Goldstein.

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THE FUNK BROTHERS
The Early Funk Brothers 1959
left to right: Benny Benjamin - drums [top], James Jamerson - bass, Joe Hunter - keyboards, Larry Veeder - guitar, Hank Cosby - sax/arranger and Mike Terry - baritone sax.
The Funk Brothers performed like a championship team and were the very best and most successful band in the history of popular music. This studio band have played on more No. 1 hits than Elvis Presley, The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys put together, and 1000's of other tracks over a decade and a half ~ but alas ~ they were never given any credits! In the late 50's a group of true dedicated Jazz musicians played the bars and clubs around Detroit, they were known as the Joe Hunter Band, led by Mr. Joe Hunter on piano. The Joe Hunter band show-cased Berry's work around Detroit. This built the foundations of what came to be called "the Motown Sound". Legend has it that Alabama-born Shorty Long christened the group ~ "Today" he would announce, "we ain't playin' nuthin' but Funk, Brothers!" and the name stuck! So the first Tamla "the Motown Sound" tracks were all backed by the Joe Hunter Band. In 1963 Joe Hunter moved on from Motown, he was replaced by the great Earl Van Dyke. The recordings were all done in a smoky, dimly lit basement type room, originally a garage with carpets hung on the walls, they affectionately dubbed "The Snakepit." at Hitsville, West Grand Blvd. in Detroit. They were paid $10 per song. The "whole" of The Funk Brothers never went on tour together. There was a separate touring band who backed the Motortown Revue, led by Choker Campbell or George Bohannon, but the Funk Brothers on tour? " No Way!" ~ quote Earl Van Dyke. Earl also confessed The Funks moonlighted a bit in the early days. The actual Funk Brothers would not have time to tour as they were the studio men, the top musicians, who had to be on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When they weren't in the studio they would jam in the bars and clubs of Detroit City sometimes under the name 'Earl Van Dyke and the Soul Brothers', when they left the snakepit in an evening and played in the clubs at night, such as their favorite "Chat Chat" bar. This is where they would get rid of their frustrations and would 'really' play their first true love, that funky jazz (and some proper R & B), where bassist James Jamerson would go wild, playing lots of solos!! Also they used to go on jamming weekends to the older Jazz boys homes and learn new tricks and tracks off each other. On weekends and nights like this James Jamerson would play till his fingers bled at times, and then back to the snakepit early next morning for Motown, where they would put these new techniques they had devised in jam sessions into the songs which further enhanced the Motown sound and kept it a head of others. This awesome band came to sad end in 1973 when Gordy moved to Hollywood.
fuller version on James Jamerson page
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THE VOCALISTS & ACTS
WORK IN PROCESS
I keep working on this page each week

1950's

Barrett Strong, 1959-1973: among the first artists signed to Motown, and had Motowns first top 10 hit, "Money (That's What I Want)" No.2 U.S. R&B in 1960, on the Tamla record label.
Chico Leverett, 1959-1961: he was an original member of The Satintones and recorded as a solo artist, with the single "I'll Never Love Again".
Eddie Holland 1958-1967: singer, songwriter and record producer.
In 1958 his first recording "You" on Mercury, was produced by Berry Gordy, followed by "Merry-Go-Round" in 1959 on Tamla. He was an early Motown artist who recorded minor hit singles such as "Jamie", he started working behind the scenes due to stag fright. He was a member of legendary Holland–Dozier–Holland, songwriting and production team.
Eugene Remus,
1959-1960: Early motown artist, recording the likes of "Hold Me Tight", "Gotta Have Your Lovin'", and "You Never Miss a Good Thing"
Marv Johnson,
1959-1979: notable for recording "Come to Me", Tamla's very first single in May 1959. Between 1959-1961, he had 9 Billboard Hot 100 singles including two Top 10s. The first of them was "You Got What It Takes", which reached No.10 in the US and No.7 in the UK Singles Chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. "I Love The Way You Love" reached No.9. He scored his final US Top 40 single in 1960 with "(You've Got To) Move Two Mountains". It also sold a million copies, giving Marv his second gold disc.
Mary Wells, 1959-1964: She was one of Motown's first singing superstars 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", which in the UK peaked at No.5 in June 1964. She became recognized as "The Queen of Motown" until her departure from the company in 1964, at the height of her popularity. In 1966, Mary signed with Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco, but never again reached the heights she had at Motown.
Miracles (The), 1959-1977: aka Smokey Robinson & The Miracles until Smokey went solo in 1972. During their first 19 years The Miracles charted over 50 hits and recorded in the genres of soul, doo wop, R&B and disco. 26 songs reached the Top 10 of the Billboard R&B singles chart. The original line-up Claudette Rogers Robinson, Bobby Rogers, Ronnie White, Smokey Robinson, Marv Tarplin, Pete Moore began working with Berry Gordy, who helped to produce their first records for the End and Chess record labels Gordy recorded their first recording, "Got a Job", an answer song to The Silhouettes' "Get a Job" in January of 1958, before establishing Tamla Records in 1959 signing the Miracles as its first act. They established themselves as one of Motown's top acts with the hits such as "You've Really Got a Hold on Me", "Mickey's Monkey", "Going to a Go-Go", "Ooo Baby Baby", "Tracks of My Tears" and "My Girl Has Gone".
Nick & The Jaguars, 1959: an instrumental all white trio had a line-up of two guitars and a drummer including guitarist Marv Weyer and drummer Nick Ferro. The first all white group signed by Berry Gordy. Their debut single, "Ich-i-bon No.1" b/w "Cool and Crazy" was released on the Tamla label in August of 1959. They also saw action in the studio as the Biscaynes for Gordy's Ridge label.
Ron & Bill, 1959: short-lived incarnation of Ronnie White and Smokey Robinson from the early days of the Motown organization, the credit appeared on one record, the single "It" b/w "Don't Say Bye Bye" recorded in June 1959 on Tamla.
Satintones (The) 1959-196?: the first group to be signed to Motown. The original members were
Robert Bateman, Charles 'Chico' Leverett, James Ellis and Sonny Sanders. 'Going To The Hop' was issued on Tamla in 1959, followed by the first single on Motown Records, 'Sugar Daddy'. After three further singles for Motown the group disbanded, with Robert Bateman becoming a producer for the label.
Swinging Tigers (The), 1959: they recorded "Snake Walk, Part 1" and "Snake Walk, Part 1" in June 1959.
Wade
Jones, 1959: recorded "I Can't Concentrate" and "Insane" on the Rayber Label in January 1959. The label name Rayber derives from Berry Gordy's second wife, RAYnoma Liles and BERry Gordy himself. It was produced by Berry Gordy .. a test record for what was to follow!! But not really a Motown record, recorded about a week before Motown was born.

1960's

Andantes (The), 1962-1973:
Comprising of Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow, and Louvain Demps, the group sang background vocals and over dubbed on numerous Motown recordings. They issued two singles of their own: "Just Be Yourself"/"I Can't Help It I've Got To Dance" (1963) and "(Like A) Nightmare" / "If You Were Mine" (1964).
Barbara McNair, 1965-1968: scoring her biggest hit with her label debut "You're Gonna Love My Baby." followed by "Everything Is Good About You" and "My World Is Empty Without You" In 1966, she recorded "Baby a Go-Go," arguably her strongest disc to date, Berry Gordy rejected it, it went unreleased for decades, until bootleg copies earned rave reviews from the DJs and dancers populating Britain's Northern Soul club circuit. Motown finally gave "Baby a Go-Go" a legitimate release on the 2002 compilation A Cellarful of Motown!
Barbara Randolph, 1967- throughout: she released two singles for the company on its subsidiary Soul label - "I Got A Feeling" / "You Got Me Huntin' All Over", followed a year later by "Can I Get a Witness". Neither were commercially successful, but she was highly regarded enough to tour with Marvin Gaye as a replacement for Tammi Terrell after Tammi became ill. She also toured with The Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips and Hugh Masekela as part of the "Motown Sound" show in 1968. Barbara used the year 1970 for entertaining US forces in Vietnam, returning to paid performances the next year.
Billy Merritt, 1963: recorded "Why Go Out Of Your Way" and "I'll Go Anywhere" on
Motown's country subsidiary, Mel-O-Dy, but they were not released.
Blinky, late 60's: L.A. Studios .. she debuted on Motown with the single “I Wouldn’t Change The Man He Is,” in 1968, she was tapped as one of the label’s future stars. Unfortunately, most of her solo work, save for a few singles, remain unreleased.
Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers, 1965- 1970:
soul band from Vancouver, Canada. Briefly signed to Motown having one top 30 hit single, "Does Your Mama Know About Me". Bobby Taylor is most notable for discovering and mentoring The Jackson 5. For a July, 1968 engagement at Chicago's Regal Theater, Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers had a local-area family band, The Jackson 5, as their opening act. Impressed with the group, he personally brought them to Detroit and the Motown offices, arranging an audition for them with Motown executive Suzanne de Passe. de Passe and Berry Gordy were impressed with the Jacksons, and the group was signed to the label within a year.
Brenda Holloway, 1964-1968 : L.A. Studio, the first West Coast-based artist on the label, she also was one of the few female artists in Motown to write her own songs and had a much grittier approach to songs than her contemporaries in the label, although she was given many songs which were written for Mary Wells.
Brian Holland 1960-1967:
he had an on-and-off career as a performer. He released a solo single in 1958 under the name of "Briant Holland". and was later in 1960–62 a member of Motown recording act The Satintones as well as being a member of The Rayber Voices, a quartet that backed up several early Motown recording acts.
Bruce Channel
, 1964: recorded a few tracks including "You Make Me Happy " and "That's What's Happenin'" on Motown's country subsidiary, Mel-O-Dy.
Burnadettes, 1963:
recorded "First, You've Got To Recognize God" and "I'm Going Home" on the Divinity label
Carolyn Crawford
, 1963- 1965: signed by Motown at the age of only 13 years. She sang backup vocals for many of the early Motown artists. Her first solo recording on the Motown label was a self penned song "Forget About Me" in 1964, followe by "My Smile Is Just A Frown Turned Upside Down" and "When Someone's Good To You", which reached the R&B charts, both written and produced by Smokey Robinson, but Carolyn also recorded a great track "Until You Came Along" which was shelved for 38 years, until 2002, this great track appeared on a Motown compilation album 'Cellar full of Motown'!
Charters (The), 1962:
recorded a few tracks including "Trouble Lover" and "Show Me Some Sign" for Motown's country subsidiary, Mel-O-Dy.
Choker Campbell & His 16-Piece Band, 1961-1969:
he joined Motown to organise the band that supported the Motortown Revues. His work was mainly on the road for Gordy but he did do some studio work including his own 1964 album (remakes of Motown hits). He ran the recording sessions for big band dates for artists like Billy Eckstine, Tony Martin and Barbara McNair. He left Motown at the end of the 60s to ran his own label, TriCity, in Michigan.
Chris Clark, 1963- 1968:
she is still acknowledged by Northern Soul fans for songs such as 1965's "Do Right Baby Do Right" and 1966's "Love's Gone Bad". Another of her notable songs was the 1967 single "I Want To Go Back There Again".
The United States' answer to Dusty Springfield, Chris, who also dated Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr., managed to have only one hit; ironically, it was on the R&B singles chart. "Love's Gone Bad"
Chuck-A-Lucks (The) 1963:
recorded a few tracks including "Sugar Cane Curtain " and "Dingbat Diller" for Motown's country subsidiary, Mel-O-Dy.
Chuck Jackson, 1968- 1970: He recorded 3 albums on the Motown label, 1968's Chuck Jackson Arrives, 1969's Goin' Back to Chuck Jackson and 1970's Teardrops Keep Falling on My Heart.
Connie Van Dyke :

Contours (The), 1960-1967: best known for its singular Billboard Top 40 hit, "Do You Love Me". Original members were Joe Billingslea, Billy Gordon, Billy Hoggs and Billy Rollins, the group soon added Leroy Fair, in place of Billy Rollins and bass singer Hubert Johnson. In the fall of 1960, the group auditioned for Berry Gordy's Motown Records. Gordy turned the act down, prompting the group to pay a visit to the home of Johnson's cousin, R&B star and Gordy associate Jackie Wilson. Wilson in turn got the Contours a second audition with Gordy, at which they sang the same songs they had at the first audition, the same way, and were signed to a seven-year contract.The group's seven-year contract with Motown expired in 1967 and when lead singer Dennis Edwards was recruited to replace the departed David Ruffin as lead singer of The Temptations in early 1968, The Contours disbanded.
Creations
(The), 1962:
they recorded tracks including "This Is Our Night" and "You're My Inspiration" on Motown's country subsidiary, Mel-O-Dy.
Darnells (The), 1964:
a group made up of Gladys Horton and the Andantes and recorded "Come on Home" and "Too Hurt To Cry, Too Much In Love To Say Goodbye", on the Gordy label.
David Ruffin, 1958-1979:
he and Marvin Gaye use to pack records for Anna Records, which was a Chess distributed label formed in 1958 by Gordy, Fuqua and Billy Davis. He became a member of The Temptations after founding member Elbridge "Al" Bryant was fired from the group. David's first recording session with the group was January 9, 1964. He went solo in 1969, debuting with "My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)".
Debbie Dean, 1960- 1961:
the first white solo artist to record for Motown, she was neither an R&B or blues singer. She had a minor hit with "Don't Let Him Shop Around" in 1961. She was dropped as a singer, but rejoined Motown as a writer/singer, and collaorated with Richards aka Lussier on songs for the Supremes, Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Martha and the Vandellas, Edwin Starr, and other Motown artists. She later co-wrote and recorded "Why Am I Lovin' You" on Motown's V.I.P. label.
Dee Mullins, 1965:
recorded a few of tracks on Motown's country subsidiary, Mel-O-Dy, including "Love Makes The World Go Round, But Money Greases The Wheel" and "Come On Back (And Be My Love Again)"
Dennis Edwards, 1967-1989:
started at Motown when he joined The Contours in 1967, soon after, in early 1968 he replaced David Ruffin as lead singer of The Temptations. He led the group through its psychedelic, funk, and disco periods; two of the Temptations songs he appears on, "Cloud Nine" (1968) and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" (1972), won Grammy Awards. He was a member of the Temptations 3 times over a 21 year period, 1968–1977, 1980–1984, 1987–1989.
Diana Ross/The Supremes
, 1961- throughout:
Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, Diana Ross, and Barbara Martin , were signed to Motown as The Supremes. 33 of their singles reached the Billboard Top 40 in the US, 23 reached either the US or UK Top 10, and 12 of them reached the number-one position on the US pop chart with "Baby Love" also topping the UK pop chart. 12 of their albums reached the Top 10 in either the US or UK, with five of them going No.1. In 1967, Berry Gordy renamed the group Diana Ross & the Supremes, and replaced Ballard with Cindy Birdsong debuting with "Reflections" that same year. Diana Ross left to pursue a solo career in 1970 and was replaced by Jean Terrell, at which point the group's name reverted to The Supremes.
Dorsey Burnette, 1965:
Johnny Burnette's brother, he recorded a few tracks with Motown "Everyones An Angel", "Cold As Usual", "Jimmy Brown", and "Little Acorn".
Edwin Starr, 1968- throughout:
he came to Motown with the record label
Ric-Tic when it was taken over by Berry Gordy in 1968. He had an international hit with "25 Miles" in that same year, which peaked at No.6 in the US the following year.
The biggest hit of his career, cementing his reputation, was the Vietnam War protest song "War" in 1970, which was a Temptations album track written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong.
Elgins (The), 1965- 1971: Originally Robert Fleming, Johnny Dawson, Cleo "Duke" Miller, Norbert McClean and joined by lead vocalist Saundra Mallett on Berry Gordy's suggestion. Their most successful record was "Heaven Must Have Sent You", written by the Holland–Dozier–Holland team, which was a hit in the US in 1966, and in the UK when reissued in 1971. They also recorded as the Downbeats for Motown in 1962 minus Saundra Mallett.
Four Tops (The), 1963- 1972: Levi Stubbs, Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Renaldo "Obie" Benson and Lawrence Payton remained together for over four decades, having gone from 1953 until 1997 without a single change in personnel. Their early Motown years, they recorded jazz standards for the company's Workshop label. In addition, they filled in time by singing backup on Motown singles such as The Supremes' "Run, Run, Run" and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas' hit "My Baby Loves Me". After scoring their first No.1 hit, "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" in June 1965, the Four Tops began a long series of successful hit singles including Top 10s "It's the Same Old Song", "Something About You", "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)", and "Loving You is Sweeter Than Ever", "If I Were A Carpenter", "Bernadette", "Still Water (Love)" and many others.
Freddie Gorman, 1961-1976: singer, songwriter, record producer; best known for his stint with The Originals, he was also a vital if unsung component of the Motown label's formative development, co-writing the labels first No.1 pop hit "Please Mr. Postman", by Marvelettes. In 1964 the Beatles released their version and in 1975 the Carpenters took it back to No.1 again. This was the first time in pop history that a song went No.1 twice. In 2006, "Please Mr. Postman" was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Gladys Knight & the Pips, 1966- 1972: The goup included Gladys as lead vocalist with her brother Merald "Bubba" Knight and their cousins Edward Patten and William Guest, as backup singers. Their hits included "Everybody Needs Love", "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", "Nitty Gritty", "If I Were Your Woman". Their biggest Motown hit was their 1972's "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)". The most notable hit of their career was the No.1 hit "Midnight Train to Georgia", was recorded on the Buddah label after leaving Motown. While at Motown in 1968, Gladys was the first person to suggest that Berry Gordy sign an up-and-coming act from Gary, Indiana called The Jackson Five (Whooops.. Bobby Taylor or Gladys!??!)
Gospel Stars, 1963: recorded "Give God A Chance" and "Have You Any Time For Jesus" on the Divinity label.
Hillsiders (The) 1965: They recorded a few of tracks on Motown's country subsidiary, Mel-O-Dy, including "You Only Pass This Way One Time" and "Rain Is A Lonesome Thing"
Howard Crockett,
1962-1965:
born Howard Elton Hausey, he moved to Motown's country subsidiary, Mel-O-Dy in '62, where he released tracks that emphasized his vocal similarities to Johnny Cash,
songs included "Put Me In Your Pocket", "The Big Wheel", "Bringing In The Gold", and "All The Good Times Are Gone".
Hattie Littles, 1962-1966: discovered by Clarence Paul, who recruited her in 1962 and was signed to Motown for 4 years, resulting in her recording ten singles, but only one "Your Love Is Wonderful" / "Here You Come", both sides written and produced by Berry Gordy Jr. was released at the time. She preferred performing blues material, and in 1963 was the opening act on Marvin Gaye's tour.
J. J. Barnes, late 60s: He first recorded in 1960, his early releases including "Just One More Time" and "Please Let Me In", on the record labels Mickay and Ric-Tic, had relatively little success, but were subsequently picked up as Northern soul favorites. He also covered The Beatles' "Day Tripper"”, before moving for a short period to Motown with the take over of RicTic.. He didn't record with Motown and Gordy released Barnes from his contract.
Jack Haney and Nikiter Armstrong, 1963: they recorded tracks including "(The Interview) Summit Chanted Meeting" and "Peaceful" on Motown's country subsidiary, Mel-O-Dy.
Jackson 5, 1968-1975: Originally, The Jackson 5 were composed of brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael. They earned an influential fan in Gladys Knight in 1967 and championed again to Motown by Bobby Taylor, a member of the Vancouvers in 1968, Berry Bordy signed them later that year. In August 1969, shortly before Michael turned 11, The Jackson 5 opened for Diana Ross at the L.A. Forum, and in December, they issued their debut album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5. On October 7, 1969, The Jackson 5 released their first single, "I Want You Back" a Corporation composition that had originally been intended for Gladys Knight. Michael was the first to debut on his own, toward the end of 1971. Jermaine debuted at the end of 1972. In June 1975, the Jackson 5 left Motown and signed with Epic Records.
Jimmy Ruffin, 1961- 1978:
Started at Motown as a session singer. After a stint in the army he had a major hit in 1966 with "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted". Jimmy left Motown in the late 70's for the Polydor and Chess labels before relocating to to England in the early 80s.

Jr. Walker & the All Stars, 1964-1979: In 1964 Walker followed Harvey Fuqua to Motown, where he perfected a blend of raunchy R&B and Detroit soul typified by his 1965 hit, ‘Shotgun’, which established him as the label’s prime exponent of traditional R&B, a reputation that was confirmed by hits like ‘Shake And Fingerpop’ and ‘Road Runner’. The latter was produced by Holland/Dozier/Holland, who also encouraged Walker to record instrumental versions of hits they had written for other Motown artists. He moved to Whitfield Records in 1979.
Kim Weston, 1963-1966: She scored a minor R&B hit in 1963 with "Love Me All the Way". The following year, she recorded her first duet with Gaye, "What Good Am I Without You". She enjoyed her biggest solo hit in 1965 with "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" followed in 1966 with the equally soulful "Helpless", also in 1966, she cut an entire album of duets with Gaye, Take Two, but left Motown for MGM by the time it was charting in 1967.
Isley Brothers, 1965-1967: The founding members of the band were Ronald Isley, older brothers Rudy and Kelly and younger brother Vernon. They recorded the Holland-Dozier-Holland composition,"This Old Heart of Mine" which was their only hit on Motown. They relocated to the UK in the late 60s.
Lamont Dozier, 1962: as a singer he recorded 2 tracks on Motown's country subsidiary, Mel-O-Dy, "Dearest One" and "Fortune Teller Tell Me".
Lee Alan, 1964:
recorded "Set Me Free" with The Vandellas singing backup, Marvin Gaye was playing piano, "Little" Stevie Wonder was beating on a drum, and Smokie Robinson was playing the horn.
Stevie Wonder, 1961 onwards:
a child prodigy who developed into one of the most creative musical figures of the late 20th century. Blind since shortly after birth, he signed with Motown's Tamla label at the age of eleven, and continues to perform and record for Motown to this day. He recorded the regional Detroit single, "I Call It Pretty Music, But the Old People Call It the Blues", which was released on Tamla in late 1961. Wonder released his first two albums, The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie and Tribute to Uncle Ray, in 1962, to little success. His best known works are singles such as "Superstition", "Sir Duke", "I Wish" and "I Just Called to Say I Love You".
Liz Lands, 1963: recorded "We Shall Overcome" and "Trouble In This Land" on the short lived Divinity label before recording "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" on The Gordy Label
Mable John, 1960-1962:
she was the first female signed by Berry Gordy to Motown's Tamla label. In 1960, she released "Who Wouldn't Love a Man Like That?" followed with "No Love" in June of that year and then with "Actions Speak Louder Than Words" by year's end. Gordy thinned out his roster of early blues artists. While Mable continued to be used as a background singer, Gordy dissolved her contract in 1962.
Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, 1961-1971: Discovered by Motown A&R director William 'Mickey' Stevenson, Martha Reeves originally came to Motown as a solo singer but first worked at the company as a secretary. She brought in her former Del-Phi/Vels cohorts (Rosalind Ashford, Annette Beard, Gloria Williamson) to back her when she sat in for Mary Wells on a session. They recorded “I’ll Have to Let Him Go,” which was released on the Gordy label with the group named “Martha & the Vandellas”. Williamson left the group almost immediately, followed by Beard in '64. She was replaced by Betty Kelley of the Velvelettes, who was replaced in 1967 by Martha’s sister, Lois. Ashford continued until 1968, when she was replaced by another former Velvelette, Sandra Tilley. The group disbanded in 1971.
Marvelettes (The), 1961-1969: They originally consisted of schoolmates Gladys Horton, Juanita Cowart, Katherine Anderson, Georgeanna Tillman, and Georgia Dobbins, who was replaced by Wanda Young prior to the group signing their first deal. The group was the first major successful act of Motown Records after The Miracles and were its first significant successful girl group on the label's early years after the release of the number-one single, "Please Mr. Postman", one of the first number-one singles recorded by an all-female vocal group and the first by a Motown recording act. This was followed by the likes of "Twistin' Postman", "Playboy", "Strange I Know", "Locking Up My Heart" and "My Daddy Knows Best".
Marvin Gaye, 1961-1982: He began working as a session drummer for the Detroit music label, Anna, before signing with Motown Records in 1961, adding an "e" to his surname. He 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 (To Be Loved By You)", "Ain't That Peculiar", "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and his duet singles with singers such as Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell. Because of this, Gaye was given the titles, "The Prince of Motown" and "The Prince of Soul". 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. "What's Going On" and its 1973 follow-up, "Let's Get It On" became among the first concept albums in R&B music. His later music influenced the quiet storm, urban contemporary, slow jam and neo-soul music genres. After spending a few years in European in the early 1980s, he had a fallout with Motown then he signed to CBS' Columbia subsidiary and returned on the 1982 Grammy Award-winning hit, "Sexual Healing" and Midnight Love album.
Monitors (The), 1964-1971:
vocal group with lead singer Richard Street, Sandra Fagin, John "Maurice" Fagin, and Warren Harris. They had two minor hits, "Say You", and then a cover of the Valadiers' "Greetings (This is Uncle Sam)", on Motown's VIP label, which reached number 21 on the Billboard R&B chart, and number 100 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.
Originals (The), 1966-present:
the group originally consisted of bass singer Freddie Gorman, baritone Walter Gaines, and tenors C.P. Spencer and Hank Dixon (and briefly Joe Stubbs). Ty Hunter replaced Spencer when he left to go solo in the early 1970s. They often worked as background singers for recordings by artists such as Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted", Stevie Wonder's "For Once In My Life" and "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday", David Ruffin "My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)", Marvin Gaye's "Chained" and "Just to Keep You Satisfied", Edwin Starr's "War" and "25 Miles", and many more. The Originals found their biggest success under the guidance of Marvin Gaye, who co-wrote and produced two of the group's biggest singles, "Baby, I'm for Real", and "The Bells". Today the group includes Hank Dixon, Dillon Gorman, Terrie Dixon, Defrantz Forrest.

Patrice Holloway, early to mid 60s: the younger sister of Motown artist Brenda Holloway. In 1963 she recorded "Stevie" b/w "(He Is) The Boy of My Dreams" on the V.I.P. labeland also recorded songs such as "The Touch of Venus" and "For the Love of Mike", none of which were released.
Pirates, (The) 1962:
They recorded a few of tracks on Motown's country subsidiary, Mel-O-Dy, including "Mind Over Matter (I'm Gonna Make You Mine)" and "I'll Love You 'Til I Die"
R. Dean Taylor, 1965-1976:
remains one of the most underrated acts to record under the Motown aegis. After first proving his mettle as a chart-topping staff songwriter, his own single "Indiana Wants Me" was a Top Five smash in 1970, becoming one of the label's first major crossover hits performed by a white artist. In 1965, he issued his own Motown debut, the protest anthem "Let's Go Somewhere." The record went nowhere, and while the same fate greeted the follow-up, "There's a Ghost in My House," it would later enjoy a renaissance as one of the most beloved cult classics within Britain's Northern soul club scene. With 1967's "Gotta See Jane," he cracked the U.K. Top 20, but Motown continued focusing its promotion muscle on its established acts and the record barely registered at home in the U.S.
Rare Earth, 1969-1978:
affiliated with Motown's Rare Earth record label, which was named after the band. Although not the first white band signed to Motown, Rare Earth was the first big hit-making act signed by Motown that consisted only of white members. The main personnel in the group included: Gil Bridges - saxophone, flute and vocals, Peter Hoorelbeke a.k.a. Peter Rivera-lead vocals and drums, John Parrish a.k.a. John Persh - bass guitar, trombone and vocals, Rod Richards aka Rod Cox-guitar, vocals and Kenny James aka Ken Folcik on keyboards. The group's recording style was hard-driving. They moved with Motown to LA.
San Remo Golden Strings (The),
1963-1972:
a studio group from Detroit, Michigan. A number of its members also played in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, while others were members of the Motown backing band, The Funk Brothers. Their albums were released on Ric-Tic, Motown and Gordy. They scored two hits in the U.S. in 1965: "Hungry for Love" and "I'm Satisfied". In '71, they had success with "Festival Time", which reached No.39 in the UK Singles Chart
Shorty Long,1963-1969:
he went to Motown in 1963 from the Tri-Phi/Harvey label, owned by Berry Gordy's sister, Gwen, and her husband, Harvey Fuqua. His first release, "Devil with the Blue Dress On". His 1966 single "Function at the Junction" was his first popular hit, reaching #42 on the national R&B charts. Other single releases included "It's a Crying Shame"-1964, "Chantilly Lace"-1967, and "Night Fo' Last"-1968.
Long's biggest hit was "Here Comes the Judge" in 1968, which reached number four on the R&B charts and number-eight on the Billboard Hot 100. He played many instruments, including piano, organ, drums, harmonica, and trumpet. He acted as an MC for many of the Motortown Revue shows and tours, and co-wrote several of his tunes including "Devil with the Blue Dress On", "Function at the Junction", and "Here Comes the Judge".
Smokey Robinson 1959- 1988:
one of the primary figures associated with Motown Records, second only to the company's founder, Berry Gordy. his countless hits, and consistent contributions to the Motown label earned him the title of the "King of Motown". As both a member of Motown group The Miracles and a solo artist, he recorded thirty-seven Top 40 hits for Motown between 1960 and 1987, and also served as the company's vice president from 1961 to 1988.
Spinners
(The) 1963-1972:
occasionally listed as Detroit Spinners, or Motown Spinners, these names were used in the UK to avoid confusion with a British folk group also called The Spinners. The Spinners first hit the charts in August 1961 on Harvey Fuqua's Tri-Phi Records, with "That's What Girls Are Made For" with Bobby Smith singing lead vocal on this track along with George Dixon, Pervis Jackson, Henry Fambrough and Billy Henderson. The group's followup, "Love (I'm So Glad) I Found You" also featured lead vocals by Smith, although some sources credit Fuqua. James Edwards' brother, Edgar "Chico" Edwards, replaced Dixon in the group in 1963, at which time Tri-Phi and the entire artist roster was bought out by Fuqua's brother-in-law Berry Gordy of Motown Records. The Spinners were then assigned to the Motown label.
Supremes (The)
, 1961- throughout:
Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, Diana Ross, and Barbara Martin , were signed to Motown as The Supremes. 33 of their singles reached the Billboard Top 40 in the US, 23 reached either the US or UK Top 10, and 12 of them reached the number-one position on the US pop chart with "Baby Love" also topping the UK pop chart. 12 of their albums reached the Top 10 in either the US or UK, with five of them going No.1. In 1967, Berry Gordy renamed the group Diana Ross & the Supremes, and replaced Ballard with Cindy Birdsong debuting with "Reflections" that same year. Diana Ross left to pursue a solo career in 1970 and was replaced by Jean Terrell, at which point the group's name reverted to The Supremes.
Syreeta Wright, 1965-1985:
she landed a job as a receptionist for Motown in 1965. Within a year, she became a secretary for Mickey Stevenson, just as Martha Reeves had done before her. She then sang demos of Supremes songs and used as a back-up singer for many motown artists before launching her solo career in the 1970s.
Tammi Terrell, 1965-1969: she signed to Motown on April 29th, her 20th birthday. Her first single on Tamla was "I Can't Believe You Love Me", followed by "Come On and See Me"."All I Do (Is Think About You)" and "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)". In 1967 Tammi became Marvin Gaye's duet partner, with hits such as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "Your Precious Love", and "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You". Later that year Tammi was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Late in 1969, she made her final public appearance at the Apollo Theatre where Marvin Gaye was headlining the bill. As soon as Tammi was spotted by Gaye, he rushed to her side and the duo began singing "You're All I Need to Get By" together. Motown issued her first and only solo album, Irresistible, also released in 1969. Tammy was too ill and sick to promote the recordings. She died the following year after 8 operations.
Temptations (The), 1962- 2004:
one of the most successful acts to record for Motown Records. The group's repertoire has included, at various times during its five-decade career, R&B, doo-wop, funk, disco, soul, and adult contemporary music. Over nearly 5 decades the line up has included Otis Williams, Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, Dennis Edwards, Melvin Franklin, Ricky Owens, Bruce Williamson, Terry Weeks, Joe Herndon, Ron Tyson, Elbridge "Al" Bryant, Paul Williams, Richard Street, Glenn Leonard, Louis Price, Damon Harris, Ali-Ollie Woodson, Harry McGilberry, Barrington "Bo" Henderson, G.C. Cameron, Ray Davis, and Theo Peoples.
Thelma Houston, 1973- 1982: LA Studios, she released 8 albums with Motown and scored a number-one hit in 1977 with her cover version of the song "Don't Leave Me This Way", which won the 1978 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
Valadiers (The), 1960- 1963:
Motown's second white group, consisting of Stuart Avig as lead singer, Martin Coleman, Art Glasser and Jerry Light. Their first recordings "Nothing Is Going to Change It," and "Somebody Help Me Find My Baby," Motown shelved them. Their second recording was the self-written "Greetings, This Is Uncle Sam," and "Take a Chance," on the B-side. Their other recordings with Motown were. "When I'm Away" in 1962 and "I Found a Girl" in 1963.
Vells (The), 1962:
They recorded a couple of tracks on Motown's country subsidiary, Mel-O-Dy, "There He Is (At My Door)" and "You'll Never Cherish A Love So True ('Till You Lose It)". The group included, lead singer was Gloria Williams along with Rosalind Ashford, Annette Beard and Martha Reeves
Velvelettes (The), 1962- 1970:
The varied line ups have consisted of Carolyn Gill, Mildred Gill, Bertha Barbee, Norma Barbee, Betty Kelly, Annette McMillan and Sandra Tilley. They were backing singers on many of the Motown hits, and their own best known single was the 1965 hit "He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'"
Wright Specials, 1961-1963: First group to record on Motown's short-lived gospel label, Divinity, with
"That's What He Is To Me". Other releases include "Pilgrim Of Sorrow", "Ninety-Nine And A Half Won't Do", and "I Won't Go Back"

1970's

98 Degrees :
Bobby Darin,
1971-1972: his first Motown LP "Finally" recorded at Mowest Studios, LA. is as yet unreleased, but rare test pressings from RCA exist. The LP "Bobby Darin" released August 1972 was the last album to be released before Bobby's death. It includes "Something In Her Love" which was written by Bobby and his drummer Tommy Amato. After Bobby's death Motown released "Darin: 1936-1973". Motown also recorded "Live at the Desert Inn", at Desert Inn, Las Vegas, on Feb 6th 1971.They recorded an entire Desert Inn LP, but it was held back from release until 1987. It can be found on the Neon Tonic/Concord Label.
Bonnie Pointer, 1978-1980:
In 1977, Bonnie left the Pointer Sisters to begin a solo career. In 1978, Bonnie married Motown Records Producer Jeffrey Bowen and signed with Motown in the same year. She released "Heaven Must Have Sent You," which reached No. 11 on Billboard Hot 100 chart. She released three solo albums, including two self-titled albums for Motown, before retiring from the studio.
Charlene,
1973-1986:
signed with Motown under the name "Charlene Duncan", and released her first single "All That Love Went to Waste" in January 1974. Three years later, she released a second album, It Ain't Easy Comin' Down, on Motown's Prodigal label was credited to Charlene, although an album issued the same month had "Charlene Duncan" printed on the spine and, confusingly, titled Charlene. Her 7th and last album with Motown, The Sky's the Limit was released in 1986.
Commodores (The) 1972-1985: Original members Lionel B. Richie Jr.- vocals, saxophone, drums and piano; Thomas McClary- lead guitar; Milan Williams- keyboards, trombone, rhythm guitar; William "WAK" King- trumpet, rhythm guitar, synthesizer; Ronald La Pread- bass guitar, trumpet; and Walter Orange- vocals, drums, signed with Motown in Nov 1972, having first caught the public eye opening for The Jackson 5 while on tour. This group is best known for their ballads, such as "Easy" and "Three Times a Lady", but the group mainly recorded funky, driven dance-floor hits which include "Brick House", "The Bump", "Fancy Dancer", and "Too Hot ta Trot". They released 15 albums on the Motown label, the last being "Nightshift" 1985.
Craic Haus ???? he is on different lists, but I can't find anything about him
DeBarge, 1979-1989: their repertoire included R&B, soul, funk, pop, adult contemporary, and gospel. The group is named for their shared surname, and included sister Bunny and the brothers Mark or "Marty", Randy, Eldra or "El", and James. Younger siblings Chico, Darell, and Carol "Peaches" DeBarge are also singers (though they were not with the group). El later become a solo star in his own right. Two older brothers, Robert Jr. or Bobby and Tommy, were members of another popular Motown group named Switch. The DeBarges became one of their few successful acts during the 1980s.
Diana Ross (solo) 1970-1981: She left The Supremes to
pursue a solo career in 1970 and released 2 solo albums that year, "Diana Ross" and "Everything Is Everything". These were followed by a further 9 albums for Motown.The Academy Award-nominated "Endless Love" single became her final hit on Motown Records, and the number one record of the year. It was her 18th career number-one single (including work with The Supremes), while it was the first of several hits for Lional Richie during the 1980s. Diana sang lead on a hit single at least once every year from 1964 to 1996 in the UK, a period of 33 consecutive years and a record for any performer.
Eddie Kendricks (solo), 1971-1978: He was co-founded the Motown singing group The Temptations, and was one of their lead singers from 1960 until 1971, when he launched his solo career. He released 9 solo albums with Motown, which produced 21 hit singles, including "If You Let Me", "Keep On Truckin' (Part 1)", "Boogie Down" and "Shoeshine Boy". He left Motown in 1978, with the requirement of signing away the rights to his royalties. He moved first to Arista Records, and later to Atlantic Records.
Elaine Brown, 1973: recorded
"Until We're Free", b-side "No Time"... the only single to be released on Motown's subsidiary label Black Forum.
Eric & the Vikings 1971-1988: aka The Vikings aka The Motown Vikings. A vocal group formed in Detroit in April 1969.
In 1970 while still in high school, they recorded their first million seller "Vibrations", signed to Motown in 1971 and were managed by Berry Gordy Jr over the following 15 years. The trio became known for their Drip Drop Jump and Slide while performing Rainy Night In Georgia, and they also featured in the Marvin Gaye Band. The Vikings still had it's original members:- Cliff Moore first tenor lead vocals, Phillip Taylor second tenor lead vocals, and Eryke McClinton baritone lead vocals when they released the CD Retro Millennium Renaissance in 2003.
Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, 1971-1974: Their first LP, Chameleon, failed to sell, it was released by subsidiary label MoWest Records in 1971. A Frankie Valli "solo" single from 1971, "Love Isn't Here" on Motown and three Four Seasons singles.. "Walk On, Don't Look Back" on MoWest in 1972, "How Come" and "Hickory" on Motown in 1973, sank without a trace. A recording that was destined to reach the UK Singles Chart, "The Night", was not commercially released as a single by Motown in the US after promotional copies showing the artist as Frankie Valli were distributed in 1971.
In late '73 and early '74, The Four Seasons recorded 8 songs for a planned Motown album, which the company refused to release to the public. Later in 1974, Motown and The Four Seasons parted ways.
George Curtis "G.C." Cameron, 1971-1980: He was the original lead singer for The Spinners, and remained with Motown as a solo artist when The Spinners left Motown in '71. He was known for his ability to sound like other artists, such as Smokey Robinson on his song "(Don't Wanna) Play Pajama Games", Curtis Mayfield on "No Matter Where" and The Isley Brothers on his duet with Willie Hutch "Come Get This Thang". Although he was not a major-seller for the label, he did have a hit with "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday", the theme song of the 1975 film Cooley High, which was later covered by Boyz II Men.
High Inergy,
1977–1983: The members of the group included lead singer Vernessa Mitchell, her sister Barbara Mitchell, Linda Howard and Michelle Martin. The Mitchell sisters were singers, while the members were known for their dancing. The group became a trio when Vernessa left after the second album to pursue a career in gospel music. Barbara replaced her sister as lead singer. They are best known for their hit, "You Can't Turn Me Off (In the Middle of Turning Me On)".
Irene Ryan (Granny Clampett), 1972:
In 1972 Irene helped to create and also starred in the role of Berthe in the Broadway musical Pippin, in which she sang "No Time At All". She then recorded it for Motown, which is different from the cast album, but sadly died soon after.
Jermaine Jackson (solo), 1972-1983: Jermaine was the original lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the Jackson Brothers and The Jackson Five until 1968, when younger brother Michael began assisting with lead vocals. He remained the lead vocalist with Michael for many years. He began a solo career while still a member of The Jackson 5, releasing his self titled album in 1972. His hit single "Daddy's Home", sold over one million copies by March 1973. He released 9 solo studio albums with Motown the last being Let Me Tickle Your Fancy released in 1982 before he moved to Arista, subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment.
Kiki Dee, 1970-1971: While over in the US she became the first white British artist to be signed by Motown, releasing one album with them in 1970 "Great Expectations". That same year she released her first Motown single "The Day Will Come Between Sunday and Monday" in 1970 on Tamla Motown and her second and last Motown single "Love Makes the World Go Round" on Rare Earth.
Michael Jackson (solo), 1971-1975: He came to fame with The Jackson 5. On Jan 24th 1972 Motown released his solo debut album 'Got to Be There' which was followed by 'Ben'-1972, 'Music & Me'-1973, and 'Forever, Michael'-1975 before moving to Epic that same year.
Rare Earth :
Rick James, 1977-1986: In 1977, he signed with the Gordy Records subsidiary of Motown, where in 1978 he recorded his first album, Come Get It, which sold over a million copies at the time of its release. This was the first of 9 Motown albums, the last being The Flag in 1986. He scored several popular hits on the pop and R&B charts, including four No.1 hits on the latter chart. "You and I", "Give It to Me Baby", "Cold Blooded" and "Loosey's Rap" featuring Roxanne Shanté.
Sammy Davis Junior, 1971: Sammy recorded "In My Own Lifetime"/"I'll Begin Again" on Ecology label, which was distributed by Motown Records. The Ecology label was owned by Sammy Davis, Jr and Berry Gordy. This was the labels only released.
Smokey Robinson (solo), 1972-1990 & 1999-2003: After a year of retirement, he announced his comeback with the release of the
album, Smokey in 1973. On his 1976 album Thirty Three & 1/3, former Beatle George Harrison featured the track "Pure Smokey" as a tribute to his idol. He released 19 solo albums on Motown labels.
Stoney & Meatloaf, 1971: a duo of singer Meat Loaf and Stoney (Shaun Murphy). They released only one album "Stoney and Meatloaf" in 1971, on the subsidiary label Rare Earth. Meat Loaf, his name was styled "Meatloaf" on the album, had a minor hit "What You See Is What You Get".
Teena Marie, 1979-1982: she released her debut album Wild and Peaceful in 1979 on Motown. This was followed by three gold albums, Lady T, Irons in the Fire, and It Must Be Magic, before she signed to Epic Records.
Undisputed Truth, 1971
-1975: a 1970s Motown recording act, assembled by record producer Norman Whitfield as a means for being able to experiment with his psychedelic soul production techniques. Joe Harris was the main lead singer, with Billie Rae Calvin and Brenda Joyce Evans. They recorded 6 albums and had 12 chart hits including "Smiling Faces Sometimes" and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone".

Valentino, 1975: recorded "I was Born This Way" on the New York label Gaiee, later distributed by Motown. This is the only release on label.
Willie Hutch, 1970-1977 & 1984-1989: Berry Gordy signed him to be a staff writer, arranger, producer, and singer. He co-wrote songs that were recorded by the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, the newly rechristened Miracles, and Marvin Gaye. In 1973, he started recording albums for Motown, releasing the 'Fully Exposed' album that year. He had 16 charting singles including "Love Power", "Brother's Gonna Work It Out" and "In And Out" and released 14 albums over both stints with Motown.

1980's


Angela Clemmons, ????:
I can only find her redordings on the Portrait, Epic and Undisc Labels.
Billy Preston, 1980-1984: After years with A&M Records, he moved to Motown Records where, in 1980, he had a top ten hit duet with Syreeta Wright "With You I'm Born Again" it reached No.4 on the charts in the US. When he failed to match its success, he left Motown and settled on session work from then on.

Boys (The), 1988-1993:This R&B quartet was made up of the four Abdulsamad brothers, Khiry, Hakeem, Tajh, and Bilal. They sent a demo tape to MCA, Motown and Solar. Jheryl Busby signed the group while he was employed at MCA Records. However, when MCA purchased Motown records, Busby made a move up the ladder and the boys found themselves under the Motown label.They released their debut album, Messages From The Boys in 1988
followed their self-titled The Boys-1990. They had 3 No.1 singles on the R&B charts "Dial My Heart", "Lucky Charm", and "Crazy". After their 3rd album The Saga Continues-'92, they left Motown and moved to Gambia, Africa.
Boyz II Men, 1989–1999:
the group consisted of Wanya Morris-vibrato-heavy tenor, Shawn Stockman-tenor voice, Nathan Morris-baritone, and Michael McCary-bass (often used in spoken-word sections of many Boyz II Men hits). Thier first album, Cooleyhighharmony, was released in 1991, re-issued in 1993 producing their No.1 hit, "End of the Road". Their 2nd album II, contained the No.1 singles "I'll Make Love To You" and "On Bended Knee".
Bruce Willis, 1986-1989: Motown records released his first album in 1986, The Return of Bruno, which produced 3 hit singles including "Respect Yourself". This was followed by a second album with Motown Records in 1989, If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes you Stronger.
Carrie McDowell, 1987-1989: she released her self-titled debut album in 1987.
Her one and only single with Motown , “Uh Uh, No No Casual Sex” peaked at No.38 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart and No.65 on Billboard’s Hot R&B\Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
Duane Eddy, mid-80s: Motown acquired the rights to Jamie Records, which is the reason they released a Duane Eddy two-fer as part of their first wave of CD two-fers in the mid-'80s. The label put Have "Twangy' Guitar -- Will Travel" and "$1,000,000 Worth of Twang", arguably his two finest albums, on one disc. It contains the original versions of most of his hits on one disc. This particular disc didn't stay in print for too long and was later replaced with better sounding, more thorough collections.
Dazz Band (the) 1980-1985:
at this time the band consisted of Bobby Harris, percussionist Kenny Pettus, drummer Isaac "Ike" Wiley, Jr., and his brother bassist Michael Wiley, along with Kevin Kendrick, Jerry Bell, Eric Fearman, Sennie "Skip" Martin and Pierre DeMudd. They had their first hit with "Shake It Up" in 1980 and released 8 albums with Motown, the last being Hot Spot in 1985.
El DeBarge (solo), 1986-1990: El left the DeBarge group and began his solo career with the release of his self-titled debut album, which spawned the hits, "Who's Johnny" and "Love Always". He released his second album, Gemini in 1989. The album was a failure and DeBarge's contract with Motown was terminated in 1990.
Georgio Allentini, 1987–1990: He financed his first single, "Sex Appeal", which was picked up by Motown Records. The single, which hit the U.S. Top 10 of the Black Music chart, was followed by another success, "Tina Cherry". His 1988 release, "Lover's Lane" reached No.54 in the UK.
Good Girls (The), 1989–1992: female R&B trio from L.A. composed of Shireen Crutchfield, DeMonica Santiago and Joyce Tolbert. They were groomed as a contemporary version of The Supremes and their debut album All for Your Love, was released 1989, producing the hit single "Your Sweetness" which peaked to #6 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Other notable singles included "Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart," and "I Need Your Love". The girls also appeared on the 1990 debut single by MC Trouble entitled "(I Wanna) Make You Mine". The group's second album Just Call Me was released in 1992.
Lionel Richie 1982-late 80s: From 1968, he was a member of the Commodores signed to Motown Records. He made his solo debut in 1982 with the album Lionel Richie and number-one hit "Truly". His '83 follow-up album, Can't Slow Down, sold over twice as many copies and won two Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, propelling him into the first rank of international superstars. The album contained the Caribbean-flavored dance track, the No.1 hit single "All Night Long". His 3rd and final studio album with Motown Dancing on the Ceiling released in 1986, "Say You, Say Me" was biggest single from the album.
Mary Jane Girls, 1983-198?: consisted of Joanne "JoJo" McDuffie, Cheryl Ann "Cheri" Bailey aka Cheri Wells, Candice "Candi" Ghant, Kimberly "Maxi" Wuletich, Yvette "Corvette" Marine, and the Water Sisters aka Maxine and Julia. The Mary Jane Girls project was to be a solo debut for JoJo, who had sung background for Rick James on tours and recordings. Motown offered James a contract for what they believed was the girl group he wanted to produce and, not wanting to lose the deal, James lied and told Motown that the Mary Jane Girls were a group and not JoJo's solo project. Rick got who he could to take pictures for Motown with no vocal auditions. JoJo continued to sing both lead and background with the Water Sisters for all of the Mary Jane Girl recordings. The other members of the group could not sing at all!! The group's self-titled debut album was released in 1983, followed by, Only Four You in 1985. That album's lead single "In My House" became the group's biggest hit, reaching No.3 on the R&B chart and crossing over to the Hot 100 chart, reaching No.7.
MC Trouble, 1988-
1991: LaTasha Sheron Rogers the first female rapper signed to Motown Records. She had a hit with "(I Wanna) Make You Mine" featuring The Good Girls, released May 25, 1990. "Make You Mine" peaked at #15 on the Billboard Magazine's Hot Rap Songs charts. The title track of her debut album Gotta Get a Grip was released as a second single on September 14, 1990. Gotta Get a Grip showed promise as a mix of hardcore rap and commercial R&B.In 1991, she was in production for her second album when she died in her sleep on June 4th 1991, while at the home of a friend in Los Angeles shortly after suffering an epileptic seizure, brought on by a brain tumor.
Pal, 1983-1987: Female vocal trio made up of Rebecca A. Sweet aka Rebekha Sweet, Lanetta Collier aka Sinden Cellier and Laretta Collier aka Rhett Cellier. They released the single "We Don't Talk" in 1983 and the following year they released the album Truth For The Moment.
Phyllis St. James, 1984: LA-based funk/ soul/ singer/ songwriter, related to drummer Tony St. James. She released the album 'Ain't No Turnin' Back', on the Motown label, which produced the single "Candlelight Afternoon"
Rockwell/Kennedy William Gordy, 1983–1991:
son of Motown founder Berry Gordy and Margaret Norton. His biggest hit single, "Somebody's Watching Me", featured childhood friends Michael Jackson on guest vocals, notably in the chorus lyrics, and Jermaine Jackson singing back-up. Follow-up singles underperformed, "Obscene Phone Caller", was his only other Top 40 single.
Sam Harris 1984-????: his appearance on Star Search landed him a contract with Motown Records. His first single, "Sugar Don't Bite," was a Top 40 hit, reaching No.36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1984. He is a multi-million selling recording artist with nine studio albums to his credit.
Siedah Garrett 1984: she recorded "Don't Look Any Further" on Motown with Dennis Edwards in 1984.
Stacy Lattisaw, 1986–1989: she released 3 albums with Motown, Take Me All the Way, Personal Attention and What You Need, which produced singles such as "Nail It To The World", "Let Me Take You Down" and ""Where Do We Go from Here"
Stoney and Meat Loaf :
Val Young, 1985-1987:
Rick James produced her Motown debut album Seduction released in 1985, it included the singles "Mind Games" and the title track "Seduction", as well as "Piece of My Heart" and "If You Should Ever Be Lonely", which were successful follow-ups in 1986.
Vanity
, 1984-1986: former lead singer of the female trio Vanity 6, she signed with Motown in 1984 and recorded two solo albums, Wild Animal and Skin On Skin. Extended versions of the single "Pretty Mess" from Wild Animal b/w "Mechanical Emotion," which featured Morris Day, were released as a 12" by Motown. Her solo albums were moderate successes. Her biggest hit was "Under the Influence" from her 1986 album Skin On Skin. Not long after Vanity's second album was released, she either left or was dropped from Motown and signed with A&M Records.

1990's

702, 1995-2004:
Originally a quartet, later became a trio, which includes lead singer Kameelah Williams and sisters Irish and LeMisha 'Misha' Grinstead, and. Irish's twin sister Orish Grinstead was founding member and later a substitute vocalist. 'No Doubt' thier debut studio album
was released October 1996 on Biv 10 Records and distributed through Motown. Thier second album '702', was released in 1999 on Motown, this was followed by a third album 'Star' in 2003.
98 Degrees: 1997-1999: R&B boy band consisting of four vocalists: brothers Nick and Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre, and Jeff Timmons. The group was formed by Timmons in Los Angeles, California, although all of its members originate from Ohio.They released 2 albums & 7 singles with Motown, before signing with Universal Records.
Another Bad Creation aka ABC, 1990-1994: consisted of Romell “RoRo” Chapman, Chris Sellers, David Shelton and brothers Demetrius and Marliss (“Red” and “Mark”), Pugh, as well as “unofficial” member Adrian “G.A.” General Austin Witcher. They were discovered by Michael Bivins. ABC’s debut album Coolin' at the Playground Ya Know! produced 2 hit singles: “Iesha” and “Playground”. A cover of New Edition ’s song “Jealous Girl” followed, plus “Spydermann” and “My World”. The album reached #7 on the Billboard 200 and eventually went platinum.

Brian McKnight

Debelah Morgan

Erykah Badu

Felicia Taylor


Johnny Gill

Queen Latifah

Shanice

Valerie George, 1996: she released only one single in the 90s, 'Being Single (Ain't Easy)' on Motown Records.
Zhane,
1994-1998: R&B/hip hop soul duo Renee Neufville and Jean Norris-Baylor best known for their hit single "Hey Mr. D.J", released 2 albums with Motown, Pronounced Jah-Nay in 1994 and Saturday Night in 1997.

2000's

Akon, 2006 onwards: his 2nd studio album Konvicted was released on the Universal Motown label; he went on to become Billboard Magazine’s Top Artist of 2007, the No.2 Hot 100 Producer of the Year, and No.2 Hot 100 Songwriter of the year after the album was released. This was followed by albums, Freedom in 2008 and Stadium in 2013.
Ashanti, 2008:
her 4th studio album The Declaration was released on the Universal Motown Label. She recorded 52 tracks for the album, of which fifteen, including the bonus tracks "Why" and "Hey Baby (After the Club)" were used.
Birdman, 2002-2009: the album Birdman was the first of five albums he released on the Universal Motown Label. It was followed by Fast Money in 2005, Like Father, Like Son (with Lil Wayne), 5*Stunna in 2007, Priceless in 2009.

Blue October

Be Your Own Pet

Damian Marley

Dave Hollister

Dina Rae

Drake Bell, 2006:
It's Only Time,
his second album, was released in '06 after signing with Universal Motown Records and they released his first single, "I Know", on Oct 17th that same year.
Forever The Sickest Kids, 2008-2011: Past & present members are vocalist Jonathan Cook,
Austin Bello - bass, Caleb Turman- rhythm guitar, Kyle Burns- drums, Rico Garcia- lead guitar, Kent Garrison- keyboards and Marc Stewart- lead guitar. Their debut album, Underdog Alma Mater, was released April 29th 2008 on Universal Motown Records. Their newest, self-titled album was released on March 1st 2011.

India.Arie, 2000-2008: Her debut album Acoustic Soul released on March 27, 2001, was certified double platinum, selling 2,180,000 copies in the U.S. and 3,000,000 copies worldwide. this was followed by Voyage to India which won her two Grammy Awards in 2003—"Best R&B Album" and Best Urban/Alternative Performance" for the song "Little Things". Arie's third studio album, Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship, June 27, 2006. It gave Arie her first number one spot on the Billboard 200 and was her second chart topper on the R&B charts. This album was also the first number-one album for Motown in twelve years
Jada, 2006-2009: signed by Universal Motown Records in October 2006. They won “Outstanding Pop/R&B Music Act of the Year” at the 2008 Boston Music Awards and released their first major label single, "American Cowboy" in the spring of 2009, followed later that year with another hit "Break Up Song"
Kem aka Kem Owen, 2001 onwards: signed by Motown Records in November 2001, who re-released the album on February 25, 2003, and sold more than 500,000 copies nationwide. The album's first single, "Love Calls", became a hit at urban adult contemporary and smooth jazz radio, and USA Today pegged it early on as a "Motown classic." H
e followed with Album II, in 2005 which included the hit single "I Can't Stop Loving You", and the song "You Might Win" featuring Stevie Wonder on. He has released 2 other albums Intimacy: Album III and What Christmas Means
Lil' Wayne 2008 onwards: his 6th studio album
in 2008 Tha Carter III was his first release with Motown and his best selling to that date. The album featured the No.1 single "Lollipop", a collaboration with Static Major, and other top 20 singles "A Milli", "Got Money" (ft. T-Pain), and "Mrs. Officer" (ft. Bobby Valentino). His latest, to date Motown album, I Am Not a Human Being II was released 2013.
Lindsay Lohan, 2007-2008:
In late 2007
following a switch to Universal Motown, she began working on a third album, Spirit in the Dark. In May 2008 the single "Bossy" was released, which reached number one on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. In November 2008, she said work on the album had stalled and that she wanted to avoid the stress of working on movies and music at the same time.



Lloyd

London

Michael McDonald, 2003-2008: as well as recording on other labels in this time span, he recorded 3 albums on the Universal Motown Label, Motown in 2003, Motown Two in 2004, and Soul Speak released in 2008.
Mya, 2006-2008: Following a label change to Universal Motown, she released her fourth studio album, Liberation in 2007 after which she left Motown.

Nelly

Q-Tip

Remy Shand

Sharissa

Shiny Toy Guns

Shontelle

Sparkle

Stephen Marley 2001-2003:
his single Master Blaster was released on Motown in 2003 also Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley's Still Searchin' which featured Stephen Marley And Yami Bolo was released on Motown in 2001.
Trick Trick, 2003-2005: American rapper he released his debut album The People vs. in 2005. It features the single "Welcome 2 Detroit" with Eminem, along with tracks with the likes of D12's Proof and Mr. Porter, and Obie Trice.
Trina Broussard: In 2002, she released her first Motown studio album entitled, Inside My Love, with the song Sailing as the first single. With the album receiving moderate success, Broussard continued with the album's promotion with the single Love You So Much. Album Same Girl
followed in 2004 and Life of a Libra in 2010.
Tony! Toni! Toné!,
2011: released their 2011 album, Icon, on the Universal Motown.
Yummy Bingham:
In 2004, she was signed by Sylvia Rhone to Motown Records and was dubbed "the new princess of Motown". In 2005, Yummy's song "I'm Caught Up" debuted in the hit movie Beauty Shop starring Queen Latifah. She was introduced to the English audience in late August as one of the new revelations of the 2006 Notting Hill Carnival.
Zion ????

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TIME-LINE
1957: Berry Gordy become a professional songwriter.
1957:
Berry Gordy & Raynoma Liles (second wife to be) formed the Rayber Music Writing Company. For $100 they would do whatever was necessary to help a young singer make a record, be it writing, arranging, rehearsing or recording a demo.
1957: Late '57 Berry Gordy's first success with Reet Petit performed by Jackie Wilson and The Dominoes.
1958: James Jamerson enters with his bass.
1958: Meeting with The Matadors who's lead singer is William Smoky Robinson. Changing to the Miracles, Gordy managed their single 'Got A Job'
1958: Formed own label Tamla Records
1958: Ta
mla's first release, R&B singer Marv Johnson's "Come To Me." followed by "Money," which was recorded by Barrett Strong.
1959: Berry Gordy, founded the Motown empire after securing an $800 loan from his family on Jan. 12, 1959.
1959: Gordy started his own publishing company, Jobete Publishing. If you wrote for Motown you were published by Jobete which grew to be one of the most powerful in the industry.
1959: A sixteen year old Mary Wells joins Motown as singer/songwriter,
1959: Nick & The Jaguars, the first all white instrumental trio
to sign to Motown.
1960:
The Miracles were the very first successful Motown group, bringing Motown it's first ever gold record for selling a million copies with the song "Shop Around".
1960: Marvin Gaye started as a session drummer at Motown
1960: Barry Gordy signed Debbie Dean, Motowns first white solo artist.
1960:
Norm Whitfield, Smoky Robinson, (Brian)Holland-(Lamont)Dozier-(Eddie)Holland formed the legendary Motown songwriting production crew.
1960: Richard "Popcorn" Wylie signed to Motown
1961: Little Stevie Wonder signed to Tamla aged 11.
1961: Jimmy Ruffin joins Motown as a session singer
1961: January, Supremes signed to Motown
1961: April, 2644-2246 West Grand Boulevard is purchased to house Jobete, the sales, shipping and public relations
1961: Anna Records was sold to Berry Gordy.
1961: The Supremes were signed to Motown
1961:
The Valadiers were signed to Motown .. Motown's first white group.
1961: Martha Reeves hired as a secretary at Motown
1961:
Before their move to Motown The Temptations recorded "Oh Mother of Mine"
1961: Marvelettes sign to Motown
1961:
Berry Gordy started Divinity, Motown's gospel label. Only four singles were released. In the summer of 1963 the label was closed down.
1962:
January, 2650-2652 West Grand Boulevard was added to house Berry and Esther's offices International Talent Management. (I.T.M.)
1962: April, the Temptations moved to Motown and recorded "Isn't She Pretty,"
1962: Songwriting team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland full employment
1962: The Vandellas with Martha Reeves is formed as Marvin Gayes' backing vocals
1962: Richard "Popcorn" Wylie to Motown
1963: H.P.C. aka Hardye Producing Company was purchased by Berry Gordy.
1963: Tri-Phi Label owned by Harvey Fuqua and Gwen Gordy Fuqua was purchased by Berry Gordy
1963: Carolyn Crawfords signs with Motown, at the age of 13.
1963: June, Motown's first Album. The Miracles 'You've Really Got A Hold On Me'
1963: The Four Tops sign to Motown
1963: Pianist Joe Hunter moved on from Motown, replaced by the great Earl Van Dyke
1964: Maxine Powell who had operated a finishing and modeling school is hired, to prep his performers and transform Motown artists into polished professionals.
1964: Choreographer, Cholly Atkins, a well known dancer in the 1930s and 1940s who had performed at the Cotton Club and Savoy Ballroom, is hired to teach these groups how to move gracefully.

1964: Mary Wells was the first Tamla Motown artist to chart in the UK with 'My Guy'
1964: Harvey Fuqua's labels became part of the Motown stable bringing Jr. Walker & The Allstars to Motown
1965: 2656 West Grand Boulevard
bought for a finance department;
1966: 2662-64 West Grand Boulevard
purchased for sales and marketing.
1966: 2666-68 West Grand Boulevard
purchased
1966: 2670-72 West Grand Boulevard
purchased
1966: Jimmy Ruffin had a major hit with "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted"
1966: Gladys Knight & The Pips signed to Motown
1967: Florence Ballard of the Supremes was replaced by Cindy Birdstrong.
1968: June, David Ruffin née Davis leaves the Temptations to go solo and is replaced by Dennis Edwards.
1968: Holland-Dozier-Holland quit and filed suit against Motown
1968:
Berry Gordy bought out Golden World Records and its subsidiaries... Maltese, Ric Tic and Wingate
1968:
Berry Gordy bought out Stephanye Records
1968: Berry Gordy bought out Impact Records.
1968: Berry Gordy bought out Inferno Records.
1968: Jackson Five were signed to Motown Records
1969:
David Ruffin's debut solo single "My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)" is released January 20th
1970: Diana Ross goes solo
1970: Supremes record “Up The Ladder To The Roof,” their first hit with Jean Terrell singing lead.
1971: May 21st "What's Going On" the eleventh studio album by Marvin Gaye is released, the first album on which the Funk Brothers, received an official credit.
1971: Gordy starts to move Motown to Hollywood and established Motown Industries, expanding to Broadway musicals and films.
1971:
After recording their million seller "Vibrations" (Lester Williams on keyboard) while still at High School in 1970, Eric & the Vikings signed with Motown Records.
1971:
Richard "Popcorn" Wylie briefly signed with Motown's Soul subsidiary to cut perhaps his best-known record, "Funky Rubber Band." It wasn't released until 1975.
1971: Eric & the Vikings aka The Vikings aka The Motown Vikings signed to Motown.
1972: Commadores signed to Motown
1973: End of the Snakepit. The recording studio at Hitsville, West Grand Boulevard
is closed.
1974: Gladys Knight and The Pips signed to Buddah
1974: Martha Reeves left Motown and recorded solo
1974: The Four Tops signed with ABC/Dunhill.
1975: The Jackson Five moved to Epic, Jerome stays with Motown
1977: David Ruffin leaves Motown for Warner Bros. Records
1977: Ryck James signed to Motown
1978:
Michael Jackson moved to Epic
1979: Jimmy Ruffin moves to the Polydor and Chess labels before relocating to England in early 80's
1981: Lional Ritchie goes solo
1981: Diana Ross moved to RCA
1982: Marvin Gaye signed with Columbia.
1983: May. NBC-TV broadcast of Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Still not mention of the Funk Brothers.
1983: August 2nd, James Jamerson dies.
1984: April 1st, Marvin Gaye dies.
1985: A restored Hitsville opened as the Motown Historical Museum offering tours.
1988: July, Berry Gordy sold Motown Records to MCA and Boston Ventures for $61 million
1991:
June 1, David Ruffin dies of a cocaine overdose, but his death is suspect allegedly he had been battered and robbed.
1993: Boston Ventures sold Motown Records to the Dutch-based Polygram conglomerate for $325 million
1994: Warner books published Gordy's self-serving biography 'To Be Loved'.
1995: Jr. Walker aka Autry De Walt Mixon looses his battle with cancer on 23rd November
1997: ABC-TV special, Motown 40: The Music Is Forever - The Funk Brothers at last got credits
2002: July 25, the documentary film Standing In The Shadows Of Motown is released, winning 6 awards & 5 nominations.
2005: Renaldo "Obie" Benson of The Four Tops dies,
July 8th
2006: Motown's Funk Brothers and Philadelphia International's MFSB join together to record the historic album "The Soulful Tale Of Two Cities"
2007: Motown's first Funk Brother, pianist and first band leader Joe Hunter dies, February 2nd.
2008:
Motown's pianist, producer, band director and songwriter, Popcorn Wylie dies, Sept 4/5th
2008: Norman Whitfield songwriter, producer, who brought the sub-genre of psychedelic soul to Motown died aged 65, September 16th
2008: Levi Stubbs, lead vocalist of the Four Tops, one of the most profound lead vocalist in American history has died at the age of 70, on October 17th
2008:
The official Motown 50th celebration kicked off Tuesday Dec. 9th 2008, with the release of "Motown: The Complete No. 1's,"
2009: Motown's 50th Anniversary ~ Berry Gordy, founded the Motown empire after securing an $800 loan from his family on Jan. 12, 1959,

Always Updating

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STORIES FROM MOTOWN L.A.
CLICK HERE

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QUESTIONS

Does anyone know who played the harmonica on The Marvelettes 1967 track
"The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game"?? Was it Danny Stevenson??

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Who was the first white Tamla Motown Artist?

Debbie Dean (Reba Jeanette Smith) was the first white female artist, joining Motown in 1960, recording (Don't Let Him) Shop Around / A New Girl (accompanied by The Miracles) - 1961; Itsy, Bitty, Pity Love / But I'm Afraid (Marvin Gaye on Drums) – 1961; Everybody's Talking About My Baby/ I Cried All Night - 1962.
Motown's first white group., The Valadiers were signed to Motown in 1961.
White guitarist Joe Messina joined Motown in 1962, he was part of the Funk Brothers Band.
He is on most of the big Motown hits.

White female blues singer Chris Clarke joined Motown in 1963, she cut 2 demo's with Motown, but sent back to work on the reception! She recorded her first single, "Do Right, Baby, Do Right",in December 1965, which was written and produced by Berry Gordy. It also featured the background harmonies of The Lewis Sisters. That single was followed by "Love's Gone Bad" (July 1966) which became her only R&B chart entry. With this success Chris was required to promote the record, presenting Motown with a problem... they had to admit she was White!
There were white female artists Connie Vandyke and Teena Marie, Teena probably the most successful.
If anyone knows of any earlier white artists please let me know.
By the way the first white Motown artist to enter the UK charts and first white artist to reach No 1 anywhere was Canadian R. Dean Taylor in 1970 with "Indiana Wants Me". I think many people wrongly think him as the first white Motown artist. BUT he did some ghost writing for/with Holland Dozier & Holland earlier on in the 60's.

JAMES JAMERSON

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