Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Motown!

It's Diana Ross's birthday today. Today also belongs to Rick James, The Isley Brothers, Bill Cosby, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Frankie Valli, Tommy Chong, Pigmeat Markham, El DeBarge, Teena Marie, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and even Bruce Wilis.

Also because it's my birthday, too. Alright, you can have one as well.

Today is the fiftieth birthday for "The Sound of Young America", Motown Records. Having lived in Detroit, I can be proud to say that I lived in the town that changed the way the world listened to music thanks to Berry Gordy and his simple dream of making good music. All those folks listed at the top have recorded for Motown at some point and time and and since 1959, we've enjoyed every minute of it. That's why it's out birthday today. I think we should have a party. I know who's gonna bring the music.

I'm just going to add some of my favorite Motown songs for this tribute. First up is classic Stevie Wonder as he performs "Superstitions" on the set of Sesame Street(!). Big Bird has never been the same since he felt the funk.

And right here on the big show, here are the Temptations performing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967 with a medley of the quintessential Motown tune "My Girl" along with "I'm Losing You" with original members David Ruffin and Paul Williams before both left the group. It don't get no better than that.

Out of loads of great songs from the label, "Easy" by The Commodores has become a way of life for me over the years. Looking at Lionel Ritchie with an afro is also a huge plus.

Finally, here's Stevie Wonder with the song that helped to launch national recognition for Dr. King's birthday. It's live, but it's the right way to celebrate music that brought everyone together and still does.


Anonymous said...

Good things and good people never go out of style. Happy birthday to all involved!

Loved the videos, but around here, they are calling Lionel Richie "jazz". WTH is with that?

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