The Motor City Sound
The Motown mainstay family of labels included Motown, Gordy, Tamla, Soul, VIP and Rare Earth. There were many more associated labels as well but these six anchored the highly successful independent label which featured “The Sound of Young America”. In 1959 owner Barry Gordy Jr., kicked things off with his own Tamla label (his second choice for a name over the original “Tammy” which was already taken) – the first release being “Come to Me” by Marv Johnson. Marv was quickly signed by United Artists with Barry continuing production duties for the singer.
Next, he signed a group called the Miracles and released the very first Motown single “Bad Girl”. From there it was up, up and further up with the signing of a collection of artists – many artists – any one of which would have anchored an independent label. Tamla and Motown released LP’s beginning in 1961. Gordy followed in 1962, with the Soul label in 1965, then VIP in 1966 and finally Rare Earth in 1969.
There were at least 17 additional Motown family of labels featuring every imaginable type of music and artist. Here are the Big Six! Visit Motown’s web site to learn more and to purchase! – Take a trip back in time at “Classic Motown”.
Motown Page Index
Protest At Motown (Post)
Passing Through Motown (Post)