maanantai 14. syyskuuta 2009

Long live the King

Madonna's excellent speech about Michael Jackson in the MTV Video Music Awards 2009

torstai 10. syyskuuta 2009

lauantai 25. huhtikuuta 2009

The Supremes: Buttered popcorn

Buttered popcorn (1961) was The Supremes third single release and the only one featuring Florence Ballard in lead vocals. The success was still to come, even if this one did receive some airplay in Detroit radio stations. Barbara Martin was also still part of the group at the time and sings backing vocals on this along with Diana and Mary.

sunnuntai 19. huhtikuuta 2009

White Motown: Sam Harris - I'd do it all again

By mid-80's Motown wasn't all black anymore and signed singers like Sam Harris. His career kicked off with talent show Star Search. He released two albums this period and scored a minor hit (#52) with this I'd do it all again.

torstai 9. huhtikuuta 2009

Unusual hit: Never been to me by Charlene

This is a song most everyone knows but not many know it is actually a Motown release. The song was originally released in 1977 and reached only #97 in Top-100. In 1982 the song was picked up again and went to #3 in the US and #1 in UK. This was Charlene's only hit however as solo (she had a minor hit with Stevie Wonder in 1982). As always with Motown hits the song has been covered over and over again, sampled and remixed over the years and the movie Priscilla, the queen of the desert (1994) made it popular once again.

tiistai 3. helmikuuta 2009

The first Pop #1: The Marvelettes - Please Mr Postman

Motown's first Billboard Pop #1 came from a girlgroup The Marvelettes. This Please Mr Postman would become a #1 hit again in 1975 by The Carpenters. The Marvelettes soon had to give away to more popular girlbands Martha Reeves & The Vandellas and The Supremes but this song remains a classic. Actually it is one of my very favourite Motown songs! Gladys Horton was the lead singer and she left the band in 1967 to get married. The band disbanded in 1970 when Motown moved to LA without scoring another megahit.

lauantai 24. tammikuuta 2009

The first million seller: The Miracles - Shop around

Motown's first #1 in the R'n B charts (and #2 in Billboard Hot 100) and the first million seller single was Shop around by The Miracles in 1960. The Miracles later became Smokey Robinson & The Miracles in true Motown style. Shop around itself has been covered a zillion times ever since and scored Billboard #4 again in 1976 by The Captain & Tennille. The Miracles scored 50 hits in their career including two #1's. Smokey Robinson left in 1970 for a solo career but the band went on in different formations until 1978.

sunnuntai 18. tammikuuta 2009

The first hit: Barrett Strong - Money

Barrett Strong's Money (That's what I want), penned by Gordy himself was Motown's first real hit peaking at #2 in Billboard's R&B charts. This song was later covered by The Beatles for example. Strong (born February 5, 1941) later made him known as a songwriter and together with Norman Whitfield they wrote such classics as I heard it through the grapewine, War, Ball of confusion and Papa was a rolling stone. After Motown moved to LA he started his singing career again on other labels and his latest album is from 2008, though released only in digital format.

perjantai 16. tammikuuta 2009

The first release: Marv Johnson - Come to me

Marv Johnson (15 October 1938- 16 May 1993) recorded the very first Tamla (Motown) release, Come to me, in May 1959. The Motown sound is already loud and clear here. As Tamla was only working in Detroit area at the time the song was distributed nationwide by United Artists. He soon was signed by them and continued releasing records and working for UA until 1968 and scored nine Billboard Hot 100 singles, including You got it what it takes (#10 in 1959) and I love the way you love (#9 in 1960). Berry Gordy worked as his manager however and Johnsson returned to record for Motown in 1968 but his recording career was pretty much over. He continued to perform until his premature death in 1993.

maanantai 12. tammikuuta 2009