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  1. #1

    Motown & the Mob

    I feel very comfortable in stating, that there was a relationship between Morris Levy(i.e. the Mob) & Motown...I am not saying that he owned Motown!!! I have read several books to confirm this belief!!

  2. #2
    Still not buying it. If true, how come Marvin Gaye told them to butt out?

    Unless he was THAT thorough. I mean, this is the man who was the genius behind "Trouble Man" after all.

    "I didn't make it baby, playing by the rules..."

  3. #3
    As odd as it may sound, I believe that there was some type of connection. I heard that Berry Gordy actually borrowed money from the syndicate in the company's early days. We all know that back during that era in the music business distributors didn't like to pay record companies. Despite having the same issues every other CEO of a record entity had he was able to stay around. Berry didn't start to see real payment until Barney Ales took over accounts receivable 'cause they were stressing sister Loucye. Barney and Morris Levy were great friends(?????).

    When Miss Ray was caught for distributing bootleg copies of "My Guy", Mickey Stevenson was flown to produce one of Morris Levy's acts. After approving of the song he produced Mickey recorded an album on Marvin Gaye consisting of standards that Levy owned(???).

    We're not even gonna talk about Paul William's death. Hole on one side of the head,gun in the opposite hand. You don't reach over to shoot yourself. Motown wouldn't pay him either. His brother got his hands on the police and autopsy report and tried to get the true story out. I guess nobody would touch it for various reasons.

  4. #4
    A touchy topic that we'll most likely never know the full truth about!

  5. #5
    Las Vegas.

    You can't have your top acts performing in Las Vegas at the top hotels without having business with the mob. They owned Vegas in the 60s and 70s.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    Las Vegas.

    You can't have your top acts performing in Las Vegas at the top hotels without having business with the mob. They owned Vegas in the 60s and 70s.
    I've heard the same about the Copa in NYC.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    Las Vegas.

    You can't have your top acts performing in Las Vegas at the top hotels without having business with the mob. They owned Vegas in the 60s and 70s.
    And it goes well beyond that. I never heard that Motown was in bed with them but from my understanding of how the mob operated and the extent they'd go to make money, I'd be more surprised if Motown wasn't caught up. Mob control of unions and their ability to move in on radio stations and record stores made it easy to extort and/or control record companies, even major ones. It wouldn't take too many trucks to be pulled over (sometimes by the police) and the parcel smashed on the side of the road to convince executives that it was in their best interest to partner up. To say the least about entire cities where hit songs couldn't be played unless the right people were paid first.

  8. #8
    It's true there were mobs connected to a lot of entertainment industries, including music. But the one about Motown seems blurry. Even critics of Motown claimed the label was smart enough to avoid the Mob.

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