Motown: The Rise And Fall Of Motown

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A Music Empire “Hitsville USA!” These are the words the young, arrogant Berry Gordy wrote on the front of Motown's headquarters (Cruz). At the time, this self-appointed title wasn't deserved, but Motown records would soon become a music powerhouse. So, how did Motown grow from it's humble beginnings to “Hitsville USA?” Everyone has heard some of Motown's greatest hits, even if it's origin is unknown to the listener. Berry Gordy built a music empire out of Motown. He didn't have much experience, but he managed nonetheless. Motown was a music empire, but just like every empire, Motown had its rise and fall. Motown didn't only dominate the music industry - it molded our nation and gave it what it needed. Berry Gordy's empire was at the top…show more content…
Anyone who listens to a Motown song can identify a difference from normal R&B. Gordy started out recording R&B but decided to create a new style, known as the “Motown Sound.” Gilbert Cruz describes the “Motown Sound” as a combination of great melodies, lots of tambourines, hand clapping, blaring horns, interplay between the lead singer and back-ups, driving bass lines, and foot slapping drum parts. This “Motown Sound” would become a familiar sound to the radios of America. Now that Gordy had the record company and the sound, he needed the stars, which he would have no trouble finding. Cruz identifies one of Motown's greatest artists as Martha and the Vandellas, Smokey Roinson and the Miracles, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye. In 1971, Motown released what is said to be its greatest artistic statement, “What's Going On,” by Marvin Gaye. Cruz records that Gaye stated the title track was the worst song he had ever heard . While Gaye believed it was the worst song he had ever heard, it's very impressive to be at the top of a long list of Motown's greatest. However, all great things must come to an…show more content…
Motown artists started leaving in the 70's, while Gordy, distracted by Hollywood, started making movies and slowly started losing creativity (Cruz). Andre Harrell took over Motown in the 90's, moved it to New York, and changed the style of music (Wishing on a Star.). The only group selling 11 million records in the 90's was Boyz II Men. (Wishing on a Star.). The style of music Motown focused on changed. The Motown sound existed no more. Motown artists sang hip hop and R&B (Wishing on a Star.) Harrell got so desperate he had to put on a talent show to find the next big thing (Wishing on a Star.). Would Motown have remained a music powerhouse if Gordy had stayed in Detroit? There is no certain answer, but one thing was certain. The glory days of Motown were over. Like all great empires, Motown influenced the way people act and think. Cruz stated that Motown was a black-owned business that was centered around black people, but it gave white people joyous, sad, romantic, mad, groovin, and movin music. Michelle Obama spoke in front of music students with some Motown legends. She believes that Motown made music for all people, and it helped pave the way for people looking at each other differently (Miller). Miller quoted Michelle Obama was quoted

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