facebook
twitter
search
search

Motown Records marks 50th anniversary

Jan. 12, 2009 at 9:40 AM

DETROIT, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- The 50th anniversary of Detroit's legendary Motown Records label is coming as a bittersweet occasion for a city facing economic meltdown, observers say.

The anniversary, being marked Monday, is producing mixed emotions in a city where the disintegration of the automobile industry has produced a sense of gloom, as well as lingering bitterness of the 1972 decision by Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. to move the label to Los Angeles, the BBC reported.

"I really do believe that if Motown had stayed in Detroit, the fortunes of the city would have been better," local music journalist Gary Graff told the British broadcaster. "People still feel betrayed all these years later."

Motown's place in music history is indisputable, with its introduction and development of such soul, rhythm and blues, and pop artists as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Four Tops, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Lionel Ritchie, the Commodores and a seemingly endless roster of African-American superstars.

The artists had a sense of camaraderie and were friends outside the studio, Abdul "Duke" Fakir, the last surviving original member of the Four Tops, told the BBC.

"It was a life of joy," Fakir said.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Topics: Gary Graff
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Paul McCartney likens post-John Lennon era to 'revisionism,' talks songwriting controversy
Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Dormer stun in 'Mockingjay - Part 2' posters
Subway spokesman Jared Fogle under investigation
Rumer Willis stuns in new bikini photos
Vicki Gunvalson discusses mom Joanne Steinmetz's death