The Motown Sound helped define the music of a generation during the company’s heyday in the 1960s and early 1970s. The Motown family of labels has been celebrated in television specials, stage musicals, and Hollywood movies. You may recall that “Rare & Scratchy Rock ‘N Roll” episodes #4 and #5 presented a two-part alternative history of Motown Records – with little known stories about one of the biggest hit-making studios in popular music history.
Now, we’ll revisit the five-year period that encompassed its founding in 1959 through 1963 – just before its explosive growth and domination of the rock charts for more than a decade.
Some early Motown releases featured emerging superstars. Others were performed by acts that subsequently faded into obscurity. The Beatles named one of these budding performers as their favorite female singer.
Motown charted 64 rock and rhythm & blues singles from 1959 to 1963, and we’ll sample them all – along with more of the greatest rock and roll stories of all time.