Independent Research – Motown



Motown stands for far more than history music. The label and its remarkable legacy is a reflection of the hard work of dedicated individuals overcoming incredible obstacles to achieve great success. It all started back in 1959 when Jacky Wilson was having hit after hit and Berry Gordy became known as his writer. Since Gordy wasn’t making money he went to venture into business by borrowing money from his sister Esther Gordy Edwards. Berry ask for one thousand dollars but he only got eight hundred to start his record company. Berry Gordy founded Motown on January 12, 1959, in Detroit Michigan, as Tamla Record. It was later incorporated as “Motown Record Corporation” on April 14, 1960.

He purchased a small Detroit photo studio that he named “Hitsville USA.” Berry’s goal was to produce only hits “Singles.” He turned the garage into a studio and called it Studio A. He attempted to incorporate an assembly line approach to make hits only. He had created separated departments for songwriters, musicians, artists, a finish school for its performers and an in-house test-marketing team called “Quality Control.” His sister created the artist development department. Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music as an African American-owned record label, which achieved significant crossover success. Motown was more than a label; it was a family of artists.

Motown and its subsidiary labels became to be known as the Motown Sound, style of soul music with distinct pop influence. As a listener I’m very impressed how Motown dominated the airwaves and charts but I’m more impressed with the launch of the careers of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Boys to Men among other super stars. As a professional, Motown has provided me the blue print to a successful recording label. I will apply all the knowledge learned from Motown successful business practices to set myself apart from any competition and advance my career goals within the next five years. If it worked for Motown it should work for me! Thanks for reading!

Works Cited

Howard, David N.. “THE SKY’S THE LIMIT: R&B GOES FUNKY: WILLIE MITCHELL AND NORMAN WHITFIELD.” Sonic alchemy: visionary music producers and their maverick recordings. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp., 2004. 156-67, 171-75. Print.

“Motown Music – The Sound that Changed America.” Motown Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2014. <;.


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