Today 10:07 AM

Motown 60 Sunday Night

Of course the Gordy family would be behind it. This is their legacy, but they'll back anything honoring Motown whether its good or not. This special is geared toward the average viewer, not the dedicated Motown fan. I'm not expecting a Motown 25 or Motown 40.

It's odd. There has been no word or mention of the Motown documentary yet. When this special taped back in February word was the Motown documentary was going to air on Showtime in April, yet here we are entering the last full week of April and not a word has been spoken. In fact, this whole Motown 60 celebration so far has been a huge let down. The Grammy Awards Motown tribute was a joke. I doubt I'll be enthralled with this Motown 60 Grammys special. I'm hoping the documentary will be good (whenever that airs), but that'll have a Gordy slant to it. After that, what else is there since clearly Universal doesn't give a damn nor clear to do anything in terms of music? Their "Motown Did It First" campaign is nothing but Instagram stories, but where's the music?

I said it before and I'll say it again...Motown 60, like Motown 50, is going to be a huge wet fart.
Today 09:59 AM

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "Tears of a Clown"

Hey guys,

I'm listening to "Tears of a Clown" on the 35th Anniversary Box-Set right now. Why does this version sound different to my ears? I've heard this song so many times, but this version sounds a little faster paced...?? Or is it just me?:p
Today 02:37 AM

Good Ratings for Motown 60

Overnight ratings for last night are in and Motown 60 won it's time slot beating out American Idol. Usually this means more such shows will be planned.
Yesterday 08:59 PM

Oh Martha!

Two days of rehearsals and her segment was completely cut from Motown 60. And when the Motown stars were asked to stand, no recognition at all?

To be a fly on the wall at her house this evening.....
04-20-2019 06:16 PM

Why is Motown so big in the UK?

With an acknowledgement to mistercarter2u who asked this question on another thread, I hope that it is acceptable to give an answer by beginning a new thread.

I don’t know if there is a definitive answer, so I can only offer my personal thoughts. I feel lucky and privileged to have grown up during the sixties which were my formative musical years, and perhaps that is why those memories have stayed with me as they are far clearer and stronger than those from later years.

Musical styles seem to have changed every few years, the Americans had the “British Invasion”, but we also had invasions of American music, which led me to spend my hard-earned pocket money on “Baby Love” on the Stateside label. This was followed later by listening to pirate radio stations, broadcast from ships off the coast just a few miles from where I lived. This was a time of change in so many different ways. The sound of Motown was different, a change from the three guitars and a drum kit sound. For me, it sounded fresh and exciting, and perhaps even exotic compared to what we had grown used to.

On Sunday afternoons one of the pirate stations would play the US Top 50, giving us a chance to hear what was happening in the States. I’ve always remembered the superb series of hits by the Four Tops around the mid-sixties, including my favourite “Bernadette”. Even now, over 50 years later, that track still sends shivers down my spine. I always thought that there was so much more emotion put into this music, raising it above the rest.

Those experiences and memories have stayed with me throughout my life, and at long last I can say that “Baby Love” is far from the only example of Motown in my collection.

Just my humble opinion…
04-21-2019 07:17 PM

Exclusive behind the scenes back story of MOTOWN 60

The Exclusive Inside Story of Sunday Night’s Motown 60 Special on CBS: Why JLO?, Diana Ross Says No to the Supremes, No Mention of Michael Jackson...

Tonight’s “Motown 60” special on CBS is a mixed bag. It’s certainly worth seeing, but what went on backstage and in the negotiations is far more interesting.

Back in 1983, the 25th anniversary of Motown was the place where Michael Jackson did his Moonwalk to “Billie Jean,” and became a monster celebrity forever. Contrast to this show, where Michael isn’t mentioned and the Jackson 5 are a footnote. It’s jaw dropping. In the Seventies, Motown lived off Michael and the Jacksons.

“Motown 60” features a repeat of Jennifer Lopez’s god awful Motown medley from the Grammy show in February. If you didn’t like it then, you won’t like it now. But to get Lopez, a “contemporary” star, on the Motown special, the producers had to give her a spot on the Grammys.

Ditto Diana Ross, who got a big spot on the Grammys and no one could figure out why. That was her trade off for doing the Motown show. Ross, even at 75, doesn’t want to seem like an oldies act– even though she is one. (A good one, mind you.) And her contribution to the Motown show was NO SUPREMES. So Diana sings from “Lady Sings the Blues.” She doesn’t go near the Supremes. (One Supremes song is sung in a medley by Meghan Trainor.)

But Ross’s NO SUPREMES decree may have backfired. During the taping, we saw clips from an interview with beloved ex-Supreme Mary Wilson. When the interviews were taped, Mary wasn’t dressed properly, had no make up or stylist. Mary, however, really knows the Motown history. Producer Ken Ehrlich saw that, and invited Mary back to L.A. from Las Vegas. Wise Ken re-interviewed Mary all dolled up, and paid all her expenses. We may see the fruit of that interview Sunday night.

What a nice thing to do considering Mary was among many Motown performers who were left out of the 60th anniversary show entirely. Some of them were in the audience– like Mary, Otis Williams of the Temptations, Scherrie Payne, who sang with the Supremes from 1973-78 — but were seated far away from Diana Ross and Motown founder Berry Gordy. Duke Fakir, the only living member of the original Four Tops, wasn’t even invited to the taping– and he was in L.A. Insane! Mary and Otis were treated very badly at the taping. They got their revenge last month when “Ain’t Too Proud,” Otis’s musical about the Temptations, opened on Broadway. Mary came in, too, and was given a huge shout out from the stage.

There’s no denying Berry Gordy’s amazing contribution to our culture with Motown. It’s astonishing. Gordy is 89, and he deserves a Kennedy Center honor. But Motown suffers from revisionist history all the time. If you want to know the real stories, you have to read out of print books like Gerri Hirshey’s “Nowhere to Run” or Mary Wilson’s “Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme.”

We’ll see what made the final cut for Sunday (tonight’s) show.



Ralph Terrana

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