No one can talk about “Black music” without mentioning Berry Gordy Jr. When record companies owned by white people were reluctant to sign Black artists in the USA, he founded Motown Records in 1959 and gave Black musicians a platform to show off their great talent.
Gordy carefully controlled the public image, dress, manners, and choreography of his acts to make sure they presented a positive image. He used music to break down racial barriers.
For many decades Motown was the highest-earning African-American business due to the string of hit records the artists released on a regular basis.
Gordy was the one who added “Wonder” to the name of 11-year-old blind boy. The first time he heard the excellent way Stevie played several instruments, he exclaimed, “this boy is a wonder.” The name stuck.
As a songwriter, Gordy wrote many hit songs for The Jackson 5, including “I Want You Back” and “ABC”.
Top artists on the Motown label from the 1960s to the 1980s included
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
The Four Tops
Martha and the Vandellas
Jr. Walker & the All Stars
Gladys Knight & the Pips
The Dazz Band
DeBarge…and many more