Category Archives: Motown

50 years ago Martha & The Vandellas released “Nowhere to Run”

nowhere to run

Holland-Dozier-Holland’s greatest triumph?
~Dave Marsh (The Heart of Rock and Soul)

While it wasn’t her biggest hit, it’s maybe Martha Reeves’s single best recording. Her vocals more than hold up with the song’s great melody and instrument backing.
~Richard Gilliam (

Continue reading 50 years ago Martha & The Vandellas released “Nowhere to Run”

Jan 18: The late David Ruffin was born in 1941


The late David Ruffin was born January 18 in 1941

His voice was so powerful — like a foghorn on the Queen Mary… It jumped out of the speakers and ravished my soul..
~Rod Stewart

One of the greatest lead singers the Motown stable ever had
~John Lowe (

One of the greatest “Motown voices”.. and thus one of the greatest voices in recorded american music history.

Continue reading Jan 18: The late David Ruffin was born in 1941

Marvin Gaye profile


“If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.”
~Marvin Gaye

I hope to refine music, study it, try to find some area that I can unlock. I don’t quite know how to explain it but it’s there. These can’t be the only notes in the world, there’s got to be other notes some place, in some dimension, between the cracks on the piano keys.
~Marvin Gaye

Continue reading Marvin Gaye profile

Today: Diana Ross is 69

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)


Birth name Diana Ernestine Earle Ross
Born March 26, 1944 (age 69)
Detroit, Michigan
Genres R&B, soul, disco, jazz, pop, dance
Occupations Singer, record producer, actress
Years active 1959–present
Labels Lu Pine, Motown, RCA, EMI
Associated acts The Supremes, The Temptations, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie

Diana Ernestine Earle Ross (born March 26, 1944) is an American vocalist, music artist and actress.

Ross first rose to fame as a founding member and lead singer of the Motown group The Supremes during the 1960s. After leaving the group in 1970, Ross began a solo career that has included successful ventures into film and Broadway. She received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her role as Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues (1972), for which she won a Golden Globe award for most promising female newcomer. She has won seven American Music Awards, and won a Special Tony Award for her one-woman show, An Evening with Diana Ross, in 1977.

diana ross

When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes:

  • In 1976, Billboard magazine named her the “Female Entertainer of the Century.” 
  • In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Diana Ross the most successful female music artist in history due to her success in the United States and United Kingdom for having more hits than any female artist in the charts with a career total of 70 hit singles. 
  • Diana Ross has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. 
  • In 1988, Ross was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as member of the Supremes alongside Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson.
  • Ross is one of the few recording artists to have two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—one as a solo artist and the other as a member of The Supremes.
  • In December 2007, she received the Kennedy Center Honors.
  • In 2012, Diana was finally honored by NARAS with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in her 50th year in the music business.

diana ross 2

Album of the day

Gold (2005)

The Supremes - gold

Other MAR-26

Continue reading Today: Diana Ross is 69

Today: Smokey Robinson is 73

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 (

The Tracks Of My Tears Live (1965)


Birth name William Robinson, Jr.
Born February 19, 1940 (age 73)
Origin Detroit, Michigan, United States
Genres R&B, soul, pop, adult contemporary
Occupations Singer, songwriter, record producer, record executive
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1955–present
Labels Motown, Universal, SBK, Liquid 8, Robso
Associated acts The Miracles, The Temptations, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye
Website Official website

William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr. (born February 19, 1940) is an American R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, and former record executive. Robinson was the founder and front man of the popular Motown vocal group The Miracles, for which he also served as the group’s chief songwriter and producer. Robinson led the group from its 1955 origins as The Five Chimes until 1972 when he announced a retirement from the stage to focus on his role as Motown’s vice president.

I Second That Emotion:

However, Robinson returned to the music industry as a solo artist the following year, later having solo hits such as “Baby That’s Backatcha”, “A Quiet Storm”, “The Agony and the Ecstasy”, “Cruisin'”, “Being With You” and “Just to See Her”. Following the sale of Motown Records in 1988, Robinson left Motown in 1990. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

smokey robinson2

 Awards and accolades

  • In 1987, Robinson was inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • Two years later, in 1989, he was inducted to the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame
  • In 1993, Robinson was awarded a medal at the National Medal of Arts
  • Two years before, he won the Heritage Award at the Soul Train Music Awards
  • At its 138th Commencement Convocation in May 2006, Howard University conferred on Robinson the degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa
  • In December 2006 Robinson was one of five Kennedy Center honorees, along with Dolly Parton, Zubin Mehta, Steven Spielberg and Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • On May 9, 2009, Smokey Robinson received an honorary doctorate degree and gave a commencement speech at Berklee College of Music’s commencement ceremony

On March 20, 2009, The Miracles were finally honored as a group with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Smokey was present with original Miracles members Bobby Rogers, Pete Moore, (Bobby’s cousin) Claudette Rogers, and Gloria White, accepting for her husband, the late Ronnie White, whose daughter Pamela and granddaughter Maya were there representing him as well. Smokey’s replacement, 1970s Miracles lead singer, Billy Griffin was also honored. Controversially, original Miracle Marv Tarplin was not honored, against the wishes of his fellow Miracles, and the group’s fans, who felt that he should have also been there to share the honor. However, later ,Tarplin did receive his star. He was also finally inducted with the rest of the original Miracles, Bobby Bogers, Pete Moore, Ronnie White,and Claudette Robinson, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 20th, 2012, some 26 years after Robinson’s controversial solo induction in 1987.

the Miracles

 Album of the day:

Ooo Baby Baby: The Anthology (2002)

the miracles ooo baby anthology

Other Feb 19:

Continue reading Today: Smokey Robinson is 73