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  • Motown’s Maxine Powell Dies at 98

    MaxinePowell

    Photo: Andre Smith/AP/Motown Museum

    Statement from Berry Gordy:

    Maxine Powell was not only a very special lady, she was unique in every way.  She brought something to Motown that no other record company had.   She was a star in her own right – an original. She will always be remembered for her style and class, and she instilled that into the Motown artists by teaching them how to walk, talk and even think with class.

    She was tough, but when she got through with them, they were poised, professional…and very thankful.

    I love you all,” she’d say, “but don’t confuse me with your mother–she’s stuck with you, I’m not!  Ladies, remember your gloves, walk with class like you were taught — and always remember, do not protrude the buttocks. One day you will perform for the Kings and Queens of Europe, but for now we must make the best of it on the circuit of the Chit-ter-ling.”

    She was not only smart, but very funny.

    Maxine Powell will always be a great part of the Motown family and legacy.   We miss her and will always love her.

     

    Berry Gordy

    Founder of Motown

    October 14, 2013

     

  • MOTOWN THE MUSICAL ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING TO BE RELEASED JUNE 4, 2013!

    The original Broadway cast recording of “MOTOWN THE MUSICAL,” a show nominated for four TONY@ Awards, is to be released June 4, 2013, by Motown/Universal Music Enterprises (UMe). Co-produced by multi-GRAMMY® Award winner Frank Filipetti and TONY® Award nominee Ethan Popp, the album features a supremely talented cast performing exciting new versions of Motown classics including “Dancing In The Street,” “My Girl,” “You’re All I Need To Get By,” “Where Did Our Love Go,” “I Want You Back,” and many more. Among the album’s 14 tracks are two new songs, “Hey Joe (Black Like Me)” and the showstopper “Can I Close The Door (On Love),” co-written by Berry Gordy, Motown Records’ founder as well as the writer and co-producer of the show. Included in the album’s CD booklet are one-of-a-kind cast photos and two essays, by Mr. Gordy and the director Charles Randolph-Wright.

    With a sound that has become one of the most significant musical accomplishments and stunning success stories of the 20th century, the timeless music of Motown continues to be embraced by every generation. Last month, “MOTOWN THE MUSICAL” opened to great fanfare at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater, with major media coverage, record-setting box office sales, and strong word-of-mouth endorsements from early show-goers, making it Broadway’s hottest new arrival.

    “These performers are obviously not appearing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater, where Broadway’s latest jukebox musical opened Sunday night. Instead, their indelible styles are being effectively recreated by a blazing cast of gifted singers impersonating this crowded pantheon of pop-chart immortals.” - The New York Times

    “More than a Broadway show, a celebration of music that transformed America!”- CBS Sunday Morning

    MOTOWN THE MUSICAL” is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture forever. This exhilarating show charts Motown founder Berry Gordy’s incredible journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and so many more. Featuring all the classics you love, “MOTOWN THE MUSICAL” tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America that shattered barriers, shaped our lives, and made us all move to the same beat.

    Motown, of course, stands for more than just its historic music. The label and its remarkable legacy is a reflection of the hard work of dedicated individuals overcoming incredible obstacles to achieve great success. On January 12, 1959, a young African-American songwriter named Berry Gordy founded Tamla Records with a loan of $800 from his family, marking the birth of the “Motown Records Corporation.” A man of vision, drive, talent and determination, Gordy was also a producer, innovative entrepreneur, and teacher. Motown’s phenomenal success is a tribute to all that Gordy embodies and all of the artists he discovered and nurtured to stardom. Under his leadership, and through determination and support of the Motown family of creative artists, Gordy forged new ground for minorities and made the “Motown Sound” a worldwide phenomenon beloved by millions and the Motown brand a true global cultural icon.

    Directed by Charles Randolph Wright, with a book by Berry Gordy, “MOTOWN THE MUSICAL” features choreography by Patricia Wilcox (Blues in the Night) and Warren Adams (Toy Story The Musical), scenic design by David Korins (Bring It On: The Musical, Annie), costume design by TONY® Award nominee ESosa (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, “Project Runway”), lighting design by TONY® Award winner Natasha Katz (Once, Sister Act), sound design by TONY® Award nominee Peter Hylenski (Rock of Ages, The Scottsboro Boys), and projection design by Daniel Brodie (Jekyll and Hyde).

    MOTOWN THE MUSICAL” features arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp (Rock of Ages), who supervises the show’s 18-piece orchestra to reproduce the classic “Sound of Young America” for the Broadway stage, with co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Bryan Crook (Smash), dance arrangements by Zane Mark (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), and music direction by Joseph Joubert (Nice Work If You Can Get It).

    MOTOWN THE MUSICAL Original Broadway Cast Recording

    THE SONGS:

    1.   Battle Of The Stars: Papa Was A Rolling

          Stone (Prologue) / I Can’t Help Myself

    (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) / Ain’t Too

    Proud To Beg / Baby I Need Your

    Loving/ I Can’t Get Next To You / Reach

    Out I’ll

    Be There / (I Know) I’m Losing You

    Performed by the Orchestra, Four Tops and the Temptations

    2.   Hey Joe (Black Like Me)

    Performed the Ensemble and Young Berry Gordy

    3.   Get Ready

    Performed by Berry Gordy and Ensemble

    Dancing In The Street

    Performed by Martha & the Vandellas and Ensemble

    4.   The Motortown Revue:

    Please Mr. Postman

    Performed by the Marvelettes /

    You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me /

    Performed by the Miracles /

    Do You Love Me

    Performed by the Contours

    5.   Where Did Our Love Go / Stop! In The

    Name Of Love

    Performed by the Supremes

    6.   My Girl

    Performed by the Temptations and Berry Gordy

    7.   You’re All I Need To Get By

    Performed by Berry Gordy and Diana Ross

    8.   War

    Performed by the Ensemble /

    What’s Going On

    Performed by Marvin Gaye and Ensemble

    9.   I Heard It Through The Grapevine

    Performed by Gladys Knight & the Pips and Marvin Gaye

    10. I Want You Back / ABC / The Love You

    Save

    Performed by the Jackson 5

    11. Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s

    Hand)

    Performed by Diana Ross and Ensemble

    12. Happy Birthday / Signed, Sealed,

    Delivered I’m Yours

    Performed by Stevie Wonder

    13.   Can I Close The Door (On Love)

    Performed by Berry Gordy

    14.   Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

    Performed by Diana Ross, Ensemble

    THE CAST

    Berry Gordy: Brandon Victor Dixon

    Diana Ross: Valisia LeKae

    Smokey Robinson: Charl Brown

    Marvin Gaye,: Bryan Terrell Clark

    Michael Jackson, Young Berry Gordy, Young Stevie Wonder: Raymond Luke Jr.

    THE ARTISTS (in order of album appearance)

    The Temptations: Maurice Murphy (Dennis Edwards), Jawan M. Jackson, Jesse Nager, Ephraim Sykes, Donald Webber, Jr., and Julius Thomas III (David Ruffin, on “My Girl”)

    Four Tops: Ryan Shaw (Levi Stubbs), Nick Christopher, Grasan Kingsberry, Eric LaJuan Summers

    Martha & the Vandellas: Saycon Sengbloh (Martha Reeves), Rebecca E. Covington, N’Kenge

    The Marvelettes: Rebecca E. Covington (Gladys Horton), Andrea Dora, Tiffany Janene Howard, Sasha Hutchings, Marielys Molina

    The Miracles: Charl Brown, Sasha Hutchings, Jawan M. Jackson, Maurice Murphy, Ryan Shaw

    The Contours: Eric LaJuan Summers (Billy Gordon), Grasan Kingsberry, Jamal Story, Ephraim Sykes, Daniel J. Watts

    The Supremes: Valisia LeKae (Diana Ross), Ariana DeBose (Mary Wilson), Sydney Morton (Florence Ballard)

    The Jackson 5: Raymond Luke, Jr. (Michael Jackson), Grasan Kingsberry, Eric LaJuan Summers, Ephraim Sykes, Julius Thomas III (Jermaine Jackson)

    Gladys Knight & the Pips: Marva Hicks, Ryan Shaw, Milton Craig Nealy, Julius Thomas III

    Stevie Wonder: Ryan Shaw

    The Ensemble

    Timothy J. Alex, Michael Arnold, Nicholas Christopher, Rebecca E. Covington, Ariana DeBose, Andrea Dora, Wilkie Ferguson III, Marva Hicks, Tiffany Janene Howard, Sasha Hutchings, Jawan M. Jackson, Morgan James, John Jellison, Grasan Kingsberry, Marielys Molina, Sydney Morton, Maurice Murphy, Jesse Nager, Milton Craig Nealy, N’Kenge, Dominic Nolfi, Saycon Sengbloh, Ryan Shaw, Jamal Story, Eric LaJuan Summers, Ephraim Sykes, Julius Thomas III, Daniel J. Watts, Donald Webber, Jr.

  • Deke Richards

    LEGENDARY MOTOWN SONGWRITER AND PRODUCER DEKE RICHARDS (AKA DENNIS LUSSIER) HAS DIED AT THE AGE OF 68

     As Leader of Motown’s Songwriting and Production Team, “The Corporation,” Richards Wrote Hits for the Jackson 5, Diana Ross, and Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, among many others

    Bellingham, WA – March 25, 2013 – Legendary Motown songwriter and producer Deke Richards (a.k.a. Dennis Lussier), passed away at the age of 68 on Sunday, March 24 at 6:15am at the Whatcom Hospice House in Bellingham, Washington. Richards was surrounded by his immediate family. Until his recent hospitalization, he had been cared for at his Bellingham home during his battle with esophageal cancer.

    Richards, born April 8, 1944, is survived by his loving wife of 26 years, Joan Lussier, his brother Dane Lussier of Huntington Beach, California, and two nephews, Chris Lussier of Bellingham, Washington and Cory Lussier of Nantucket, Massachusetts.

    As leader of the “The Corporation,” Motown’s songwriting, arranging and producing team, which also included Berry Gordy, Alphonzo Mizell and Freddie Perren, Richards wrote and produced many hits for the Jackson 5, among them their first three No. 1 hits – “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” and “The Love You Save” – as well as “Mama’s Pearl,” “Maybe Tomorrow,” “Goin’ Back To Indiana” and others. He also co-wrote the No. 1 smash hit “Love Child” for Diana Ross & The Supremes, as well Ms. Ross’ No. 1 U.K. solo hit, “I’m Still Waiting.” Bobby Darin, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Bonnie Bramlett and Ginette Reno are among the many other recording artists for whom Richards produced and/or wrote songs.

    Richards’ love of music kept him involved with a variety of projects throughout his life, including the production of the Jackson 5’s Come And Get It: The Rare Pearls, a 2012 release that featured dozens of rare and unreleased tracks by the group. His final project was the mixing of eight unreleased tracks by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, for the 3-CD box set 50th Anniversary: The Singles 1962-1972, to be released April 5 of this year.

    Richards’ father Dane Lussier was a screenwriter, who instilled a love of movies that inspired Deke to collect film memorabilia and subsequently create posterpalace.com, a successful vintage movie poster business.

    Deke Richards’ impact on contemporary music is such that his influence continues to resonate today. He will be missed dearly by his family, his many business associates, and fans around the world.

    A private family celebration of Richards’ life is planned.  In lieu of flowers, the family would like to recommend support and sponsorship of music education, honoring Richards’ tradition of nurturing and guiding new musical talent.  To lend your support, visit the HAL Awards’ site at www.halawards.com/howyoucanhelp.html and help to sponsor a musical education.

    * * *

    CONTACT:

    Sujata Murthy, UMe – (310) 865-7812 / sujata.murthy@umusic.com

    Jennifer Ballantyne, UMe – (310) 865-2350 / jennifer.ballantyne@umusic.com

  • MOTOWN UNRELEASED 1962: GUYS, Vol. 1 Track list and more . . .

    Check out the track list and writers/producers of MOTOWN UNRELEASED 1962: GUYS, Vol. 1

     The Contours

    1.   Love I Need You (William Robinson)

    2.   You Don’t Love Nobody But You (Andre Williams-George Gordy-Fred Walker)

    3.   Trust In Me (Billy Gordon-Sylvester Potts)

    4.   Why Don’t You Stop (Berry Gordy)

    5.   You’ve Got To Love Me (Clarence Paul)

    6.   Come To Me (Marv Johnson-Berry Gordy)

    7.   Mighty Good Lovin’ (William Robinson)

    Track 1: Produced by Smokey Robinson

    Track 2: No producer listed

    Tracks 3, 4, 6, 7: Produced by Berry Gordy

    Track 5: Produced by Clarence Paul

    The Creations

    8.   Going To A Party (Andre Williams-Robert Williams-Charles Holman-Juan Wingard)

    9.   Let’s Mash Potatoes (Andre Williams)

    10. Special Touch (Charles Holman-Nathaniel Snell)

    11. I’m Not Alone (Michael McFarland-Tommy Lipkins)

    12. What’s Your Reason (Robert Williams-Charles Holman-Michael Farland-Juan Wingard-Thomas Lipkins)

    13. Remember Me (Berry Gordy)

    Track 8: Produced by Faye Hale

    Track 9: No producer listed

    Tracks 10-13: Produced by Berry Gordy

    Marvin Gaye

    14. The Good Has To Suffer With The Bad (George Fowler-Joe Hunter)

    15. Just For You (A Growing Love) (Dale Warren-Stanley Ossman)

    16. Past Time Lover (Brian Holland-Lamont Dozier-Freddie Gorman)

    17. A Lot Of Living To Do (Lee Adams-Charles Strouse)

    18. Out Of This World (Johnny Mercer-Harold Arlen)

    19. Just In Time (Betty Comden-Adolph Green-Jule Styne)

    Track 14: Produced by George Fowler

    Track 15: Produced by Dale Warren

    Track 16: Produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier

    Tracks 17-19: Produced by William Stevenson

    Freddie Gorman

    20. A Living Dream (Called A Girl) (Marvin Gaye-William Stevenson-Harold Edwards-Brian Holland)

    21. Connie (Marvin Gaye-William Stevenson-Lamont Dozier-Elizabeth Dozier)

    22. Just Friends (Janie Bradford-Brian Holland)

    23. Tell All Your Friends (Berry Gordy-Freddie Gorman-Barrett Strong)

    24. Throw A Farewell Kiss (Norman Whitfield-Edward Holland Jr.)

    25. Genuine Love (Lamont Dozier-Janie Bradford-Brian Holland)

    Produced by Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland

    Track 20: Produced by William Stevenson

    Track 21: Produced by Lamont Dozier and William Stevenson

    Track 22: Produced by Brian Holland

    Track 23: Produced by Berry Gordy

    Track 24: Produced by Norman Whitfield

    Track 25: Produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier

     

     

     

  • Come & Get These Memories: UMe Releases 120 Vault Recordings from the Motown Archives

    On December 18, 2012, UMe/Motown issues in six digital-only bundles 120 unreleased recordings from the Motown vault. Motown Unreleased 1962 features tracks recorded at the now-legendary Hitsville studio by a wide variety of artists, under the headings “Guys—Vols. 1 & 2,” “Girls,” “Jazz—Vols. 1 & 2” and “Gospel.”

    Fifty years ago, Motown was beginning to rise with hits by Mary Wells, the Miracles and the Marvelettes, as well as debuts from the Temptations, the Supremes and Martha & the Vandellas. The company’s small studio in the West Grand Boulevard office’s former garage was humming around the clock, producers and artists crammed side-by-side looking for the next breakthrough hit. This Motown Unreleased 1962 series collects 10 albums’ worth of great material that had been left behind as the Detroit-record-company-that-could took off. All tracks are sourced from the original Motown mono masters.

    The series features:

    • Never-before-heard tracks by Marvin Gaye, the Miracles, the Temptations, Martha & the Vandellas and more
    • Great early Motown cuts from “team-builders” Mike & the Modifiers, Lee & the Leopards, Singin’ Sammy Ward, Hattie Littles, Freddie Gorman and others
    • A slew of unreleased Motown Jazz, from the great instrumentalists Beans Bowles, the Johnny Griffith Trio and the George Bohannon Quartet
    • More than two dozen unreleased Motown Gospel tracks, from local Detroit messengers Rev. Columbus Mann, the Burnadettes, the Gospel Stars, the Pronouns and Rev. Chas Glover

    The series will be available to all digital partners.

  • New Jackson 5 Music!

    The Jackson 5 burst on the music scene like a ray of sunshine in late 1969, reeling off four consecutive No. 1 hits, inspiring worldwide Jacksonmania. To stay hot they kept recording, and a treasure trove of newly discovered and previously unreleased recordings by Michael, Jermaine, Jackie, Marlon and Tito are being released for the first time on Come And Get It: The Rare Pearls (Motown/Hip-oSelect/UMe). Produced by Deke Richards, leader of “The Corporation™,” the Jackson 5’s original hit songwriting-production team, the extraordinary 32-track, 2-CD set — enough songs to fill three Jackson 5 albums — will be available digitally August 28, 2012, in honor of Michael’s birthday (August 29). The retail version will be released September 18, 2012, and housed in a special box with deluxe packaging.

    “Motown maintained a level of quality that remains unparalleled,” said Bruce Resnikoff, President/CEO, UMe. “The Jackson 5, like many of the Motown greats, recorded more material than they could ever release. There’s something in this set for every fan, from their bubblegum-pop beginnings to their more mature years. Every song on this set is a ‘Jackson 5 classic’ and we are thrilled that they were discovered and we can make them available to the public for the first time.”

    Producer Deke Richards added, “When I listened to the very first tracks that were uncovered, it was almost like scratching my way through the darkness, with only a small torch to guide me. Then all at once a glow appeared, like discovering King Solomon’s Mines…. There were sapphires, diamonds, rubies, and then there were those gorgeous pearls, those unmistakable ‘rare pearls.’ They sound as good today as they did when they were recorded 40 years ago. Michael and his brothers are truly remarkable. I knew when I heard their songs again, it was my destiny to give each of these songs some TLC and share them with the rest of the world. Pound for pound, this is some of their best music ever.”

    Come And Get It: The Rare Pearls is rich with gems. “If The Shoe Don’t Fit” is a “Corporation classic” that coulda-woulda-shoulda been the follow-up to the J5’s No. 1 hit “The Love You Save.” “Our Love,” led by Jermaine, is destined to become a new wedding favorite. “If You Want Heaven” updates the classic Motown sound, while “Iddinit,” “If I Can’t Nobody Can” and “Would Ya Would Ya Baby” hint at a new funk direction for the brothers. “Love Trip,” a ballad, points in the direction a solo Michael would take in the next phase of his career.

    There are also striking covers done J5-style, including “Mama Told Me Not To Come,” a No. 1 hit for Three Dog Night; Jackie DeShannon’s “Movin’;” the pop/soul perennial “Up On The Roof;” a Stax nugget, “I Got A Sure Thing;” Traffic’s “Feelin’ Alright,” in a stompin’ studio version of a song previously best known performed live by the J5; and new versions of Motown chestnuts “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Keep An Eye,” “I’m Your Sunny One (He’s My Sunny Boy)” (all originally by the Supremes); “Since I Lost My Baby” (Temptations); “Lets Go Back To Day One” (Eddie Kendricks); and “Label Me Love” (Different Shades Of Brown).

    Bonus tracks are: producer Deke Richards’ original unedited version of “That’s How Love Is,” a rarity which first appeared on 2009’s I Want You Back!: The Unreleased Masters; Richards’ original extended mix for “If I Have To Move A Mountain,” an LP track issued in 1972; and a super treat for J5 fans, the demo for “Mama’s Pearl,” previously hidden deep in Deke’s personal vault.

    Come And Get It: The Rare Pearls is housed in a unique package: a 7-inch square box packed with the discs in their own sleeves; an oversized booklet featuring detailed annotations, rare photos, and essays by Deke Richards and author/professor Mark Anthony Neal; and an actual 45-rpm, 7-inch vinyl single in a slick picture sleeve – “If The Shoe Don’t Fit” b/w “Feelin’ Alright.” It’s a perfect birthday celebration for one of the greatest groups of all time.

  • GET READY….To star on Broadway!

    Music legend Berry Gordy is looking for a super-talented African-American young man (age 8-11) to play the multiple roles of young MICHAEL JACKSON, little STEVIE WONDER and pre-teen BERRY GORDY in MOTOWN The Musical, coming to Broadway in 2013.

    The nation-wide search begins today with the launch of an audition website where Berry Gordy tells you what he is looking for in the young man who will get to play these iconic characters on the Broadway stage.

    Easy as One, Two, Three

     To qualify, the right actor/singer/dancer will need a phenomenal high tenor singing voice and be able to move and sound like Michael Jackson in his Jackson 5 days.

    Full details are on the MOTOWN The Musical website casting page:

    www.MotownTheMusical.com/Casting

    Producers Kevin McCollum (Rent, Avenue Q, In the Heights, The Drowsy Chaperone), Doug Morris (Chairman and CEO of SONY Music Entertainment) and Berry Gordy are proud to announce that MOTOWN The Musical, based on the life of iconic Motown founder Berry Gordy, will open in the Spring of 2013 on Broadway at a Nederlander Theatre to be announced.

    Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, MOTOWN will feature a book by Berry Gordy and music and lyrics from the Motown legendary catalogue, featuring dozens of hit songs made famous by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five and many more.

    MOTOWN is a gripping story about the protégés and stars of a uniquely talented musical family who, under Berry Gordy’s guidance, began as “the Sound of Young America” and went on to become some of the greatest superstars of all time.

    www.MotownTheMusical.com

     

  • Motown: The Musical. Coming to Broadway Spring 2013!

    Producers Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris and Berry Gordy are proud to announce that MOTOWN The Musical, based on the life of legendary Motown founder Berry Gordy, will open in the Spring of 2013 on Broadway at a Nederlander Theatre to be announced.

    Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, MOTOWN will feature a book by Berry Gordy and music and lyrics from the Motown legendary catalogue, featuring dozens of hit songs made famous by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five and many more.

    MOTOWN is a gripping story about the protégés and stars of a uniquely talented musical family who, under Berry Gordy’s guidance, began as “the Sound of Young America” and went on to become some of the greatest superstars of all time.

    On January 12, 1959 a young African-American songwriter named Berry Gordy founded Tamla Records with a loan of $800 from his family, marking the birth of the “Motown Records Corporation.”

    Berry Gordy’s legendary Motown Records made its mark not just on the music industry, but society at large, with a sound that has become one of the most significant musical accomplishments of all time.  Motown communicated and brought together a racially divided country and segregated society, touching people of all ages and races around the world.  No other music company in history has exerted such an enormous influence on both the style and substance of popular music and culture.  With more than 180 No. 1 hit songs worldwide and counting, that influence is still being felt today.

    Motown founder Berry Gordy said “Broadway is the pinnacle of live theater and provides a challenging and exciting opportunity to tell my story and share the magic of Motown.  I’ve discovered that Motown and Broadway have a lot in common—a family of wonderfully talented, passionate, hard-working young people, fiercely competitive but also full of love and appreciation for the work, for each other and for the people in the audience.  I can’t wait to feel that same Motown spirit come alive on stage every night.”

    Producer Kevin McCollum (Rent, Avenue Q, In the Heights, The Drowsy Chaperone) said “Motown and Berry Gordy’s influence on music and our culture is unparalleled.  I’m thrilled to have the chance to produce the story of the rise of Motown on Broadway.”

    Producer Doug Morris, Chairman and CEO of SONY Music Entertainment, said “Berry Gordy is a true American pioneer.  This is an amazing opportunity for everyone to experience the Motown phenomenon through the eyes of the man who lived it, and to hear some of the greatest pop songs of all time on a Broadway stage.”

    Casting, additional creative team, dates and theatre will be announced shortly.

  • Berry Gordy Remembers Dick Clark

    I’m saddened and devastated over the loss of my dear friend, Dick Clark.   We were friends for over 50 years.  My thoughts and condolences go out to his family, especially his wonderful wife, Kari, who took such incredible care of him always.

    Dick was always there for me and Motown, even before there was a Motown.  He was an entrepreneur, a visionary and a major force in changing pop culture and ultimately influencing integration.  It happened first emotionally.  Music can do that.  He didn’t do it from a soap box, he just did it.  That’s who he was.  American Bandstand was a platform for all artists.  For me personally, he helped bring Motown into living rooms across America.

    Dick did everything with class, style and integrity.  He was a true gentleman. His groundbreaking achievements in music and television ensure that his legacy will live on forever.

    Berry Gordy,
    Founder, Motown
    April 18, 2012

  • 4 Minute Album Teaser – LIONEL RICHIE

    Surpassing his creative and personal boundaries, Richie comes full circle with the innovative and personal Tuskegee, performing 13 of his most revered “anthems of our day” with some of the biggest names in country music, including Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, Little Big Town and Jason Aldean.

    On this worldwide, multi-genre album, Richie is also joined by the likes of such superstars as Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett.

    Tuskegee is an exciting and transcendent arc in a career that has seen album sales of more than 100 million, 22 Top 10s, five Grammys, an Academy Award for Best Original Song, a Golden Globe, and a host of other awards from virtually every major entertainment organization.

    While defying boundaries and breaking barriers throughout his storied career, Richie reveals once again that Tuskegee will join the ranks of his timeless body of work that touches people of all faiths, ages and demographics across the world.

    “As my songwriting progressed, I realized that my songs perfectly translated to the country genre,” says the living legend as he taps on the keys of the piano in his state-of-the-art recording studio.

    It was when Conway Twitty sang “Three Times a Lady” along with songs such as “Lady” and “Deep River Women” that Richie knew country music was clearly omnipresent in the lyrics he wrote.

    “I was born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama. I am a country boy and proud of it. To do this project just felt natural,” says Richie.

    “Growing up with country, R&B, gospel, and classical music from my grandmother and pop, Tuskegee was the perfect melting pot for my influences as a writer,” he says, “and the title, Tuskegee, is a validation of my growing up there-the place I call home.”

  • ESTHER GORDY EDWARDS DIES AT AGE 91

    Today our family mourns the loss of our beloved Esther Gordy Edwards.

    Esther Gordy Edwards was a top Motown executive, businesswoman, civil and political leader, who received numerous awards, commendations and accolades. She was the most educated in our family and was the go-to person for wisdom in business.

    Whatever she did, it was with the highest standards, professionalism and an attention to detail that was legendary. She always came out a hero. Esther wasn’t concerned with being popular. She was dedicated to making us all better-the Gordy family and the Motown family.

    Esther turned the so-called trash left behind after I sold the company in 1988 into a phenomenal world-class monument where Hitsville started-The Motown Museum.
    She preserved Motown memorabilia before it was memorabilia, collecting our history long before we knew we were making it. She nurtured and held it together through the years, protecting the Motown legacy for generations to come-which is only one of the reasons people all over the world will remember and celebrate Esther Gordy Edwards.
    Despite my sorrow, I will proudly continue to honor and celebrate her. She will always be my big sister and she will forever live in my heart.

    Berry Gordy, Jr. and the entire Gordy Family
    Founder of Motown
    August 24, 2011

  • Statement by Berry Gordy on the passing of Nick Ashford


    I am shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Nickolas Ashford.  He, together with his wife Valerie Simpson, wrote and produced some of the most unique and memorable songs in the Motown catalog for some of Motown’s biggest artists, such as Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s “You’re All I Need To Get By.”  They were most responsible for the great hits of Diana Ross’s solo career, including one of my favorites, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, ” which became Diana’s signature song. 
    But more importantly to me, Nick Ashford was an all-around beautiful human being. Nick will always be a great part of the Motown family and legacy. I send my love and deepest sympathies to Val and his children.
    I will remember his warm smile, his great heart and the wonderful songs he left us with.   Despite my personal sorrow, I know we will be celebrating his life forever.
                     
    Berry Gordy
    Founder, Motown

  • 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF MARVIN GAYE’S LANDMARK WHAT’S GOING ON CELEBRATED WITH SUPER DELUXE EDITION AND EVENTS

    On May 21, 1971, Motown Records released an album unique to its vast, already classic catalog: a suite of protest songs, railing, albeit softly and with an undeniable groove, about the planet’s woes and the pain of war.  With What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye forever changed the sound and subject matter of popular music, influencing and inspiring every generation since.  Formerly Motown’s reigning smooth-faced, smiling, mass-appeal artist, this album was Gaye’s departure for the bearded, brooding, reflective, angry artist he would become.  His first self-production, the album was written, sung and solely produced by Gaye.

    Forty years on, the album remains a timeless classic.  Speaking boldly and passionately about social issues on the street unlike any other album before, What’s Going On provided a soundtrack to life in America…and still does.  It was a smash from the start and it’s still one of Rolling Stone magazine’s top ten Greatest Albums of All Time. Two songs from this album are in the Grammy® Hall of Fame, which honors the most important recordings in history.

    In celebration of the 40th anniversary, Motown/UMe proudly announces the release of What’s Going On -Super Deluxe Edition, on May 17, 2011.  This new Super Deluxe Edition includes two CDs and one vinyl LP, 14 unreleased tracks, copious rarities, all  complemented by an oversized booklet with two essays and rare photos from the original cover shoot.  Inside as well is a reproduction of the album graphics, which showcased, for the first time at Motown, the song’s lyrics…and identified the musicians.

    Leading off this lovingly produced, double-gatefold 12×12 package is a newly remastered version of the original album, which delivers a deeper, warmer sound than in previous reissues.  Added to the album on Disc 1 are several outtakes from sessions that led up to the recording of the LP…the original mix of the title song Marvin presented to Motown’s legendary Quality Control meeting, where it was summarily rejected; and song demos which show Marvin wrestling with the rejection…as well as the album’s three mono single releases, each of which reached No. 1 R&B and Top 10 pop: “What’s Going On” (in a very different mix than the LP), “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” and “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler),” plus their B-sides, of which two are alternate takes from the familiar LP versions.

    Disc 2 of What’s Going On -Super Deluxe Edition is a document of the album’s aftermath, when Marvin Gaye, reluctant to tour and shy about becoming the “spokesman of his generation,” holed up in Motown’s Studio B in Detroit with like-minded musicians…among them the young guitarists Ray Parker Jr. and Wah Wah Watson, and the 20-year-old bassist Michael Henderson, fresh from a Miles Davis tour…and simply jammed over several days.  These tracks, mostly instrumental, are as brooding and funky as the What’s Going On album cover.  The rest of the disc includes Gaye’s final sessions in Detroit; among the few tunes he recorded was a sequel of sorts to the album, the politically tinged non-LP single “You’re The Man,” which hit the R&B top 10 in spring 1972.  Also included are two rare alternate takes of the song.

    Capping this special release is the first ever 12-inch vinyl LP of the “Detroit Mix” of What’s Going On, the original, darker mix of the entire album, left behind when Gaye decided to finish the overdubs in Los Angeles.

    Inside is an LP-sized booklet with rare photos from the sessions, the original lyrics, detailed recording annotations and two essays: one by Gaye biographer David Ritz describing the “Why” Marvin Gaye created his first-ever self-produced album, and another detailing the “How” by Ben Edmonds, author of What’s Going On: Marvin Gaye and The Last Days Of The Motown Sound.

    The anniversary will also be marked on stage this summer when Rickey Minor, Stevie Wonder and Friends (including special guest Janelle Monáe) perform a July 24 Hollywood Bowl concert concluding with a tribute to What’s Going On. In May of next year, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the National Symphony Orchestra with John Legend and The Roots will collaborate for a special What’s Going On concert to note the 40th anniversary of Gaye’s legendary performance at that venue.

    Get What’s Going On -Super Deluxe Edition at Amazon.

  • PBS CELEBRATES MOTOWN’S LEGACY WITH BROADCAST SPECIAL FROM THE WHITE HOUSE – Tune in Tuesday March 1

    President Obama and First Lady will invite music legends and contemporary major artists to the White House for “The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House,” a concert celebrating Black History Month and the legacy of Motown Records.
     
    The program will include tributes to Motown’s distinctive soul-infused pop music sound that solidified its popularity in American culture, and showcase Motown’s impact on all music. The event will include legends from Motown’s golden age and performances by artists from today, all in tribute to Motown’s 50-year legacy. Performers include Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow, Jamie Foxx, Nick Jonas, Ledisi, John Legend, Seal and more!


    “The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House,” will be broadcast on PBS stations nationwide on Tuesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. (ET). The program will also be broadcast via the American Forces Network on March 11 to American service men and women and civilians at U.S. Department of Defense locations around the world. Check your local listings here http://www.pbs.org/inperformanceatthewhitehouse/airdates.php

    Missing any Motown from your collection? Check out the Motown store here!

  • Berry Gordy Remembers Teena

    I am horrified by the sudden death of my darling Teena Marie.  She was my “baby,” always true to herself, always true to her heart.  When I first auditioned her she was so awesome she blew me away.  She had so much soul – the only thing white about her was her skin.  She was a powerhouse performer, writer, producer and arranger.  Anyone who ever saw her perform, alone or with Rick James, will never forget how exciting music can be.

    My heart goes out to her sweet, sweet daughter, Alia Rose, her family, friends and fans.  Teena Marie will always be a part of the Motown family.  We will all miss her.

    Berry Gordy
    Founder of Motown

  • Motown Legend Harvey Fuqua Dies At 80

    Motown legend, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and Moonglows member Harvey Fuqua passed away at age 80 on Tuesday, July 6th 2010. In addition to founding the influential group The Moonglows, Fuqua helped guide the career of fellow legend Marvin Gaye. He is also noted for being one the key figures in the development of the Motown label.Before he got to Motown, Fuqua led The Moonglows with some of their biggest hits, including “Sincerely” and “Ten Commandments of Love.”During his career, he worked with other well-known musicians such as Etta James, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and Ray Charles.

    First and for most he was a wonderful dear friend of mine and a inspiration as the head of Harvey Fuqua & The Moonglows.  He was very instrumental to The Temptations’ development.   I love him and I miss him.

    – Dr. Otis Williams
    Temptations

    Harvey was one of the pioneers of the contemporary music business as the leader of Harvey & The Moonglows.  He, however successful as a writer and producer, I feel his greatest success was at the head of  Motown’s artist development division where he was responsible for heading the creative group that developed the live performances of The Supremes, The Temptations , Marvin Gaye, and every other great Motown act… but most of all he was a great man … and someone who’s friendship I will hold in my heart forever.

    – Shelly Berger
    Manager, Temptations and former Motown executive

    We are all so saddened to hear of the passing of one of our greatest family members.  Harvey Fuqua was a pioneer in his own right, bringing in and mentoring Marvin Gaye, Lamont Dozier and others, in the early years of Motown.  An incredible performer, producer, writer and executive, heading our Artist Development Department- Harvey did it all.  We will always love and miss him.

    –Berry Gordy
    Founder of Motown

  • New ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix iPhone App and Contest with over $6,000 in Prizes Launched Today on Apple iTunes App Store – Jackson 5

    Mobile Music Studio Remixing App Features Five Jackson 5 Favorites:
    ABC, Dancing Machine, I Want You Back, Mama’s Pearl and The Love You Save

    Austin, TX -SXSW Music Conference-March 19, 2010 -Easy as 1-2-3 -Starting today, Jackson 5 fans can remix five multi-platinum Jackson 5 songs and win over $6,000 in prizes. Universal Music Enterprises and EMI Publishing teamed up with ZOOZ Mobile, Inc., developers of the first mobile music studio, to launch ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix for Apple iPhone and iPod Touch users. ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix -the second in a series of custom branded ZOOZbeat music apps -features five Jackson 5 signature songs that helped sell more than 250 million albums worldwide in 40 years: “Dancing Machine,” “ABC,” “I Want You Back,” “Mama’s Pearl” and “The Love You Save.” ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix transforms the Apple iPhone or iPod Touch into a mobile music studio, enabling anyone -with or without music training -to remix and re-create their own tracks with beats and samples from pop sensation Jackson 5  featuring Michael Jackson and brothers Jermaine, Jackie, Tito and Marlon.

    “The Jackson 5 international phenomenon started with their first four major label singles on Motown all reaching #1  on the pop charts and the next three years every single they released made the Billboard Top 20,” said ZOOZ Mobile CEO & President Scott Geller. “Now, the Jackson 5 will help change how fans experience the Jackson 5 music; by enabling their fans to actively participate in remixing the Jackson 5 music.  The new ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix app gives a whole new generation of fans a way to express themselves musically and connect with the Jackson 5 in a personal, interactive music experience.”

    “The Jackson 5′s phenomenal catalog of songs remains as relevant today as it ever was, and we’re delighted that fans will now have this exciting opportunity to enjoy their music and interact with it in a wholly new way,” commented Eric Shaw, VP of Music Resources at EMI Music Publishing.

    The ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix iPhone app works by shaking, tilting or tapping the iPhone screen to create and combine Michael Jackson’s amazing isolated vocals with funky rhythmic tracks, and soulful harmonies that can then be uploaded to the web for listening on ZOOZbeat.com and sharing with friends via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.  ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix is accessible to the visually impaired using Apple’s VoiceOver feature (available on the iPhone 3GS).

    “ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix iPhone app is also the next generation of ZOOZbeat,” says ZOOZ Mobile Founder and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Gil Weinberg. “As easy as ZOOZbeat 4.0 already is for anyone to remix music regardless of musical ability, ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix has new ways to make learning how to remix music easier. First, we added a step by step tutorial to show different ways the Jackson 5 beats can be remixed;, we also made the music recreation experience more intuitive and richer -including adding more loops and longer samples from the original Jackson 5 songs as well as reverb, filters and other music remixing tools.”

    The ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix app ($4.99) is available for sale today, March 19th, in the Apple iTunes App Store.

    Over $6,000 in prizes available to contest winners.

    ZOOZbeat Musicians will have until May 1st to submit their contest entries, and voting will be open until June 1st on the ZOOZbeat.com website.  Winners will be announced by July 1st, 2010.  One Grand Prize Winner will receive a check for $1,500, a Jackson 5 “hoodie” sweatshirt, t-shirt and tote bag, and a premium 3-CD Michael Jackson Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection, three (3) Second Prize Winners will receive $250 checks and a Jackson 5 “hoodie” sweatshirt, t-shirt and tote bag; and thirty (30) Honorable Mention Prize Winners will receive a Jackson 5 “hoodie” sweatshirt, t-shirt and tote bag. Cash prizes courtesy of Zooz Mobile, apparel prizes courtesy of Swagger Like Us, and Michael Jackson CD collection courtesy of Universal Music Enterprises. Please see www.zoozbeat.com for contest rules and eligibility.

    Featuring Five Jackson 5 Favorites:

    • “I Want You Back” -sold 6+ million copies worldwide; the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. It was  number one on Billboard Magazine’s Hot 100 single chart for the week ending January 31, 1970. Motown Records historian Don Waller called the song, “probably the best pop record every made.”
    • “ABC” -knocked The Beatles song, “Let It Be,” out of the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. It was on the Billboard Magazine Soul chart for four weeks. “ABC” and “I Want You Back” are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
    • “Dancing Machine” -sold 3+ million records and received a Grammy nomination in 1975 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. The song popularized the physically complicated robot dance technique (devised by Charles Washington) and immortalized by Michael Jackson.
    • “Mama’s Pearl” -it was one of six consecutive top 5 singles for the Jackson 5; reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
    • “The Love You Save” -held the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 single chart for two weeks in 1970; replacing “The Long and Winding Road” by The Beatles.
    • Additional Jackson 5 Songs -Later in 2010, Universal Music Enterprises and ZOOZ Mobile will offer additional Jackson 5 songs within the ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix in-App Store and at ZOOZbeat.com.

    ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix is the second strategic alliance between ZOOZ Mobile and a major entertainment brand since it launched the new ZOOZbeat app in October 2009.  ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 follows the December release of ZOOZbeat Sprite®: the first iPhone app to be offered through Sprite’s ongoing ‘Under the Cap’ promotion where people enter Sprite cap codes via text message to unlock Artist beats from Dallas Austin, Khayree, Alex Christie, Sy Scott, Novel, Sheed, Laron Brant and Spree Wilson.

    ZOOZbeat 4.0 features Artist beats from: Too $hort, Easy Star All-Stars, Kutiman, Richard Devine, Street Lotto, and Cato. ZOOZ Mobile is in negotiations with major and indie labels to provide beats from more artists as well as exploring other potential ZOOZbeat custom branded apps.

    Various versions of ZOOZbeat have been downloaded more than 1.4 million times since its initial launch on the Apple iTunes App Store. For more information about ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix, visit www.ZOOZbeat.com.

  • Sing-Along to the Jackson 5′s Biggest Hits with New J is for Jackson 5 Album from Universal Music Family – Jackson 5

    Collection Features Karaoke Bonus Versions Of “I Want You Back,” “The Love You Save,” “I’ll Be There” and “Mama’s Pearl”

    The Jackson 5 were fun to listen to and they were also a family. It is no surprise, then, that singing along with them to “ABC” or “I Want You Back” has brought other families together for decades and continues to do so today. Universal Music Family’s J Is For Jackson 5 (Motown/UMe), released March 30, 2010, collects a dozen of the group’s most mom-, dad- and kid-friendly greatest hits and fan favorites on one album -and adds karaoke versions of “I Want You Back,” “The Love You Save,” “I’ll Be There” and “Mama’s Pearl.”

    Those four original master recordings were converted to split tracks -vocals on one channel and instrumentals on the other. When the balance control is turned one way, the vocals disappear; when turned the other way, the instrumentals fade away. So everyone can sing-along to the instrumental track without a karaoke machine or to the vocal track a cappella. The lyrics are provided in the album booklet. For the other selections, fans can sing-along to the full original recordings.

    Until they emerged from Gary, Indiana, there had never been a singing group or a family quite like The Jackson 5. With Michael first hitting the big time when he was just 11 years old with teenage brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon, the Jackson 5 became one of the biggest pop music phenomena in history, scoring No. 1 Pop hits with their first four singles.

    From their first album, 1969′s Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5, J Is For Jackson 5 includes their No. 1 debut smash “I Want You Back” and the album-only “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” (a cover of the track from the Disney film Song Of The South). Their follow-up single, “ABC,” from the 1970 album of the same name, then supplanted The Beatles’ “Let It Be” at No. 1. The album’s “The Love You Save” was next to go No. 1. J Is For Jackson 5 also adds ABC’s “2-4-6-8.” Later that year, the Third Album spun off their biggest hit, and their first ballad, the gentle “I’ll Be There.” One of Motown’s most successful singles, “I’ll Be There” was No. 1 for five weeks. “Mama’s Pearl” followed at No. 2. Culled from 1971′s Maybe Tomorrow is “My Little Baby.”

    With 1972′s Lookin’ Through The Windows, new teen Michael began to move from boy soprano to tenor, heard on J Is For Jackson 5 with a Top 20 Pop cover of the classic ’50s rock ‘n’ roll hit “Little Bitty Pretty One” and “E-Ne-Me-Ne-Mi-Ne-Moe (The Choice Is Yours To Pull).” Skywriter from 1973 yielded another Pop Top 20 with “Corner Of The Sky” from the Broadway musical “Pippin.” J Is For Jackson 5 also features the No. 2 Pop title-track hit of the 1974 album Dancing Machine.

    J Is For Jackson 5 makes family musical fun as easy as “ABC.” From Stevie Wonder to Marvin Gaye, Ella Fitzgerald to the Jackson 5, the Universal Music Family collection includes 9 genre-spanning CDs featuring many of music’s greatest iconic songs that will entertain children without driving parents crazy!  Parents can relive the music they love and introduce a whole new generation of today’s kids to favorite songs and performers. Each CD is age-graded to help quickly determine the best collection of songs for children.  With only hits to play, parents and children of all ages can jitterbug to big band classics (Ella Fitzgerald: Miss Ella’s Playhouse,Jazz Lullaby, Jazz for Kids), groove to disco, rock, and reggae (Motown, Totally 80′s for Kids, B is for Bob, Reggae for Kids), celebrate carols and car songs (A Holly Jolly Kids Christmas, Songs for the Car), and belt with Broadway stars (Future Idols).

    Universal Music Family CDs are available wherever music is sold.  To listen to song samples visit www.ilovethatsong.com/family.

  • Motown Christmas Calendar

    Get in the spirit we’ve created a Motown Christmas Calendar on Facebook that’s fun whether you celebrate or not!  It isn’t too late to start!  Click here! 


    Each day you’ll answer a Motown trivia question to receive an ornament on your calendar.  Collect all 25 ornaments by 12/31/09 and receive a holiday surprise!


    And don’t forget the two great Christmas compilations available now: Jackson 5 Ultimate Christmas Collection & The Ultimate Motown Christmas Collection

  • UNIVERSAL MOTOWN’S FINEST ROCK DETROIT AT THE 2009 UNITED WAY THANKSGIVING DAY NFL HALFTIME SHOW: A MOTOWN 50th ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE

    The Label’s Newest Stars Join Forces To Perform Classics From Motown’s All-American Songbook

    (November 5, 2009 -New York, NY) The most quintessential of American holidays, Thanksgiving, is the setting for a special celebration of a quintessentially American musical treasure: the classic songs of Motown. NFL fans will be dancing in their seats at home and at Ford Field in Detroit during the 2009 United Way Thanksgiving Day Halftime Show: A Motown 50th Anniversary Tribute. The Motown tribute will take place during halftime of the first game of the NFL’s Thanksgiving tripleheader when the Detroit Lions host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, November 26 at 12:30 PM ET on FOX.

    In Motown’s original hometown, this special halftime event features six of the brightest talents from the current roster of Universal Motown Records, performing classics from Motown’s all-American songbook.

    Bringing the unforgettable songs of Motown back to the Motor City are Melanie Fiona, Kem, Shontelle, Forever The Sickest Kids, Vita Chambers, and Hal Linton. The dynamic and driving tribute spans more than a decade of Motown classics -every one of the songs among the most recognizable and culture-defining songs in pop music history. Following the performance, fans can visit NFL.COM/THANKSGIVING to find out how to download a copy of the halftime medley, as well as music from each of the artists. Proceeds will benefit United Way.

    In addition, singer-songwriter Jadyn Maria will kick off the game in Detroit with the National Anthem. She is also a member of the Universal Motown family, and was the first artist signed to Grammy-winner Ne-Yo’s Compound Entertainment roster.

    MELANIE FIONA brings together vintage grooves on her exuberant and original SRC/Universal Motown debut album THE BRIDGE, available now at digital retail and on CD November 10th. Universal Motown singer-songwriter KEM performed a special live show in Detroit’s Cass Park in support of the city’s homeless in August 2009. KEM is a leading light of this decade’s progressive neo-soul movement with two gold albums and two No. 1 singles. International Top 10 hit singer-songwriter SHONTELLE’s SRP/SRC/Universal Motown album SHONTELLIGENCE contains the international hits “T-Shirt,” “Stuck With Each Other” (featuring Akon), and “Roll.” The innovative alternative rock/electronic six-man band FOREVER THE SICKEST KIDS’ Universal Motown album debut, UNDERDOG ALMA MATER, is now available in a deluxe edition now; the group will release an innovative series of three EPs of new material starting with FRIDAY on November 17th, 2009. The halftime show also features two impressive young Universal Motown newcomers: VITA CHAMBERS, who honors Motown’s classic era with her own edgy mix of rock, pop, and soul, and HAL LINTON, a talented singer who updates the great vocal tradition of Motown’s Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder for the new century. Both are completing debut albums for SRP/Universal Motown for 2010 release.

    All of the halftime tribute’s songs are culled from the golden era of Motown, the company founded by Berry Gordy in 1959 that revolutionized contemporary music with its brilliant, influential, and unique fusion of pop, blues, R&B, rock, and gospel elements.

    The celebration of Motown’s 50th anniversary continues around the globe with events, special programming, exhibits, etc. An irresistible force of social and cultural change, Berry Gordy’s legendary Motown made its mark not just on the music industry but society at large, with a sound that has become one of the most significant musical accomplishments and stunning success stories of the 20th century. No other record company in history has exerted such an enormous influence on both the style and substance of popular music and culture with artists such as Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Jackson 5, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. That influence is still being felt today, from pop to hip-hop, as Motown celebrates the 50th anniversary of the company’s founding. Today, Motown is part of the Universal Music Group, with its classic recorded music catalog managed by Universal Music Enterprises (UMe).

    Continuing an innovation introduced in 2006, the NFL will serve up three nationally-televised games on Thanksgiving Day. The early game (FOX, 12:30 PM ET) will be an NFC North meeting of the Green Bay Packers at the Detroit Lions. This is the 19th time the Lions have hosted the Packers on Thanksgiving, including 13 consecutive games from 1951-1963. The second game (CBS, 4:15 PM ET) features the Oakland Raiders visiting the Dallas Cowboys in the Raiders’ first Thanksgiving game since 1970.

    The Thanksgiving primetime game will air at 8:20 PM ET on the NFL Network with the defending NFC East champion New York Giants visiting the Denver Broncos, marking the first Thanksgiving contest in Denver since 1963. The late afternoon game in Dallas between the Oakland Raiders and Cowboys on CBS (4:15 p.m. ET) will also feature special National Anthem and halftime show performances by national artists who will be announced shortly.

    Now in its 36th year, the United Way/NFL partnership is the longest running charitable collaboration of its kind and connects NFL PLAY 60 with United Way’s goal of 1.9 million more healthy young people by 2018.
    >br> This is the 11th year that United Way has worked with the NFL on the Thanksgiving Halftime Show to inspire NFL fans across the country to get involved in their communities.

    In the spirit of Thanksgiving, performers Melanie Fiona, Kem, Hal Linton, Shontelle and Vita Chambers will join United Way the week of their performance to volunteer at the Detroit Boys & Girls Club’s “I Am Thankful” Dinner on Tuesday, November 24 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

  • LIONSGATE REINVENTS THE SOUNDTRACKWITH MAD MEN CHARACTER AM RADIO PLAYLISTS

    SET FOR EXCLUSIVE ITUNES RELEASE OCTOBER 27th ON VERVE RECORDS.  FIVE-SONG PLAYLISTS INSPIRED BY POPULAR MAD MEN CHARACTERS FEATURE ELLA FITZGERALD, SMOKEY ROBINSON, DEAN MARTIN, THE PLATTERS AND MORE

    Lionsgate Television Music announces the release of the Mad Men Character AM Radio Playlists on October 27th on Verve Records, exclusively in the iTunes Store. The playlists, a collaborative effort among Mad Men Executive Producers Matthew Weiner and Scott Hornbacher and Composer David Carbonara, Universal Music Senior VP Tom Rowland and Film and TV Music Director Allison Wood, Lionsgate Senior VP of TV Music Russell Ziecker and Chop Shop’s Alexandra Patsavas, conceptually reinvent the soundtrack experience, offering audiences a new way to enjoy their favorite show.

    Each of the five-song playlists is made up of selections taken from the massive Universal Music catalog, and inspired by one of seven characters from the hit series: Betty Draper, Don Draper, Salvatore Romano, Roger Sterling, Joan Harris, Peggy Olson and Pete Campbell. The songs shed new light on these characters, exploring their personalities and offering a unique, intimate perspective. As selections were made and the playlists emerged from an original library of nearly 900 songs, they began to take on a life of their own, becoming dialogues among the various characters from which their inspiration came. Don Draper’s “Misery” (Barrett Strong) appeared as a response to wife Betty’s “Too Many Secrets” (Patsy Cline.)

    Selections from the Mad Men AM Radio Character Playlists include music from Ella Fitzgerald, Patsy Cline, Smokey Robinson, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., The Platters and a host of other cornerstones from Verve jazz greats, Motown hits, Decca classics, soul and R & B. Not only do the playlists provide added intrigue to the already-engrossing drama of Mad Men, but they also revitalize a collection of musical gems from a bygone era, reviving hits and unearthing deep tracks to give fans another reason to love the show.

    The playlists will be available in the iTunes store on October 27th. ; there will also be a special insert with the Mad Men Season Three home video/DVD that offers consumers special tracks and downloads.

    About MAD MEN: Recently renewed for a fourth season on the heels of a successful Season 3 debut, MAD MEN burst onto the scene when it debuted on AMC in July 2007 and quickly became one of the most talked about series on television. Set in 1960s New York, MAD MEN is a sexy and provocative original drama that follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising. Created by Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winner Matthew Weiner, the show’s cast includes Golden Globe-winner Jon Hamm, January Jones, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, and John Slattery, and guest stars legendary stage and screen actor Robert Morse.

    About Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and Lionsgate Music: 
    Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) is the leading next generation studio with a strong and diversified presence in the production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, video-on-demand and digitally delivered content. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury, and an array of channel platform assets. Lionsgate has nearly 20 television series airing or scheduled to air on 11 different networks from its in-house production operations and through distribution by Debmar-Mercury. Its programming roster is headed by such critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking shows as Mad Men, Weeds, Nurse Jackie, Crash, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Meet The Browns, The Wendy Williams Show and Paris Hilton’s My New BFF. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 12,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.

    Lionsgate Music oversees music for Lionsgate’s film and TV slate, builds the company’s music publishing assets and releases its soundtracks and scores. The music team has received two Oscar nominations for Marco Beltrami’s score for 3:10 To Yuma and for Bird York’s song “In The Deep” for Best Picture Winner Crash. Among the projects currently in the works is the third season of AMC’s Golden Globe-winning series Mad Men scored by the critically lauded composer David Carbonara. In addition to the new season, Lionsgate Music continues to showcase its live musical revue, A Night On The Town With ‘Mad Men,’ with more performances slated. The production, which originally premiered last fall to rave reviews at Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre, is a night of music, comedy and cocktails with the cast and crew of the hit show. Other current projects include the Starz! series CRASH featuring music from Paul McCartney and The Doors, and SHRINK, the new movie starring Kevin Spacey with new music from Jackson Browne. Upcoming projects include PRECIOUS, directed by Lee Daniels and presented by Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. The film stars Mariah Carey and features music by Mary J. Blige and Mariah Carey. PRECIOUS has already attracted significant buzz since it moved audiences and critics at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, under the title PUSH. Other items on deck at Lionsgate Music include the Jim Sheriden film BROTHERS with music from U2, and THE EXPENDABLES directed by and star

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