Some things never go out of style. Love. Jeans. T-shirts. Quality. Class. Manners. Physical fitness. And we can’t leave out Motown because no record company has ever had such lasting impact. It is woven into the fabric of America.
When you hear a song by the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Martha & the Vandellas, the Marvelettes or any of dozens of other artists, you are not hearing “an old record.”
What you are hearing is “a Motown song” — and they are timeless. So well done, so distinctive and so full of fire that they sound as fresh as when first recorded and first heard blasting from radios. It comes as no surprise that there is always someone doing a Motown remake.
The classics are innumerable, among them, “Dancing in the Street,” “My Girl,” “I Can’t Help Myself,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “I Want You Back,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (either by Marvin Gaye or Gladys Knight & the Pips), “Please Mr. Postman,” “Heat Wave,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “My Guy,” “Do You Love Me?” and “The Tears of a Clown.”
Everybody knows these songs, and it is an international phenomenon.
Ranking right up there near the music are pictures of the artists who made those records, some of which we are showcasing this week — in glorious black and white.
“Come and Share These Memories.”
The multitalented Stevie Wonder had already enjoyed hits like “Uptight (Everything’s Alright),” “Fingertips – Pt. 2” and “Castles in the Sand” when this picture was taken.
Florence Ballard and Diana Ross of the Supremes at the airport.
The Motown people loved to get together to party — and sing.