The Golden World Story
Music Contracts

An early indication of Berry Gordy's potential
label scan courtesy of MotorCityMusic
JoAnne continues...

 "After Motown had been in place for 2 or 3 years, Ed decided that he was ready to make a move. 

He suggested that we would make a good partnership as we had been partners in a lot of things.

So we decided to go to New York City to find an attorney, as there was no one in Detroit who knew the legal side of the music business.

George Schiffer had helped to establish Motown on a firm footing and it seemed like a good idea to ask for his assistance."

Schiffer was Motown's Copyright Attorney and International Adviser and he would help Gordy set up an international distribution deal with EMI in late '63 in Europe.

"He was expert in drawing up contracts on anything to do with the music business. He was very frank with us and warned us of the high mortality rate that existed in that field; although Motown was beginning to do well, and so were companies in England. 

He also pointed out that we were at a disadvantage to Berry because he was able to write his own material, whereas we were not. We both admitted that we couldn't write a thing. He then suggested that we do something else with our capital as it was serious money that we wanted to invest.

Schiffer then tried to persuade us to get involved in a new commercial project. A company was coming up with the rights to airwaves, lots of stakes were available and it was based on people buying in television pictures - eventually it would become known as Cable TV. It was too much for us to contemplate; 15-20 years to wait for a return on our money. Anyway there wasn't enough detail, it seemed too dodgy.

It was obvious too that Schiffer felt that there would be a conflict of interest between representing two rival Record Companies in the same town. We respected that and eventually found another lawyer with similar credentials."



Notes by David Meikle

This website is dedicated to Detroit, Soul Music, 45 RPM, Northern Soul and the great Motown era of Detroit Musics. It covers Golden World, Tamla, Wheelsville, Robert West, Darrell Banks, Johnnie Mae Matthews, Rose Battiste, Tera Shirma, Fred Bridges, Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Edwin Starr, Funk Brothers, Dennis Coffey, Bob Babbitt, James Jamerson, Twisted Wheel, Wiggan Casino and many more Detroit Souls topics.