Category Archives: Motown

May 13: Happy birthday Stevie Wonder (born 1950)

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May 13: Happy birthday Stevie Wonder (born 1950)

Do you know, it’s funny, but I never thought of being blind as a disadvantage, and I never thought of being black as a disadvantage.
~Stevie Wonder

“If anybody can be called a genius, he can be. I think it has something to do with his ear, not being able to see or whatever. I go back with him to about the early ‘60s, when he was playing at the Apollo with all that Motown stuff. If nothing else, he played the harmonica incredible, I mean truly incredible. Never knew what to think of him really until he cut Blowin’ In The Wind. That really blew my mind, and I figured I’d better pay attention. I was glad when he did that Rolling Stones tour, cuz it opened up his scene to a whole new crowd of people, which I’m sure has stuck with him over the years. I love everything he does. It’s hard not to. He can do gut-bucket funky stuff really country and then turn around and do modern-progressive whatever you call it. In fact, he might have invented that. he is a great mimic, can imitate everybody, doesn’t take himself seriously and is a true roadhouse musician all the way, with classical overtones, and he does it all with drama and style. I’d like to hear him play with an orchestra. He should probably have his own orchestra.”
~Bob Dylan (Feb 1989, Rolling Stone Mag. – featurette on Stevie Wonder)

Superstition (1974)

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April 10: I Heard It Through the Grapevine was recorded by Marvin Gaye in 1967

Marvin gaye I Heard It Through The Grapevine

 “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” isn’t a plea to save a love affair; it’s Marvin Gaye’s essay on salvaging the human spirit. The record distills four hundred years of paranoia and talking drum gossip into three minutes and fifteen seconds of anguished soul-searching.
~Dave Marsh (The Heart of Rock & Soul)

April 10: I Heard It Through the Grapevine was recorded by Marvin Gaye in 1967

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March 26: Happy Birthday Diana Ross

Diana Ross

My travels led me to where I am today. Sometimes these steps have felt painful, difficult, but led me to greater happiness and opportunites.
~Diana Ross

You know, you do need mentors, but in the end, you really just need to believe in yourself.
~Diana Ross

Love Child (1968)

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Feb 22: Florence Ballard passed away in 1976

Florence Ballard

 Ballard became one of rock’s greatest tragedies, eventually ending up on welfare, and dying in 1976.
~Richie Unterberger (allmusic.com)

Here’s a nice YouTube tribute:

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Happy 75th Birthday Smokey Robinson

Smokey-Robinson
I don’t ever balk at being considered a Motown person, because Motown is the greatest musical event that ever happened in the history of music.
~Smokey Robinson

Berry Gordy founded Motown Records, but one could argue that Smokey Robinson was the man who first pushed America’s most iconic soul music label toward greatness.
~Mark Deming (allmusic.com)

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The Tracks Of My Tears Live (1965)

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