A new book explores Motown Records’ rise as a powerful cultural force in 1960s America and beyond: I Hear A Symphony: Motown and Crossover R&B by Andrew Flory, published by the University of Michigan Press.
Flory, Assistant Professor of Music at Carleton College, Northfield, MN, has taught courses about many different aspects of American popular music. He wrote introductory essays for the 1971 editions of The Complete Motown Singles. He is also speaking at a symposium July 6-8 on the significance and legacy of Motown, taking place at the Michigan State University Detroit Center.
In his book, Flory focuses on the central importance of “crossover” to the Motown story; first as a key concept in the company’s efforts to reach across American commercial markets, then as a means to extend influence internationally, and finally as a way to expand the brand beyond strictly musical products.