10.29.10

Motown and the Politics of Crossover Success

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:15 pm by nicole

It’s nice to finally see black artists gain white listeners and fans during the introduction of Motown music in the 60’s. Growing up, thanks to my grandmother, I’ve always listened to Motown music. I honestly like the music a lot because it’s fun. Something that stood out in this reading was the emphasis of image which is still relevant in today’s music industry. Warwick points out that Motown artists had images to live up to, their image became just as important as their musical talent. For instance, Lesley Gore was a “good girl“, the Ronettes were “bad girls” and Diana Ross was a glamorous superstar. The way the artist was portrayed to their audience became so important that it lead to the formation of Motown’s Artist Development. I feel like during this time period the female artists were wanting to gain respect. They carried themselves completely different than today’s female stars. There was a comment that I remember from the reading when a women stated that she remember Diana Ross being the first black woman she wanted to look like. This shows the cultural boundaries Motown achieved as they’re artists were able to capture culturally different audiences.

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6 Comments

  1.    Ryan said,

    October 29, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Motown music is such wonderful mix of soul with Rhythm and blues layered in with it. Two artists that had a huge impact on this genre would be Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye. To me these are two of the most talented artists of “Motown” music. Their voices are just so mellow and soulful that you can’t help but place yourself in a better state of mind. Not only do they both have a beautiful, delightful, distinct voice. Their songs have a message attached that im sure people can relate to.

  2.    robert shemanski said,

    November 6, 2010 at 1:09 am

    I love Motown music more than I thought. When I heard it in class I notice a very interesting beat with rhythm I never heard before. It gave me inner peace.
    MoTown gave black artists respect in the music industry which was overdue. I feel Diane Ross was the pioneer for black woman who were in the industry. She had an incredible voice and a great smile to go along with it.
    Smokey Robinson was an incredible artists also. His beats and rhythm was amazing. I actually listen to some of his music today. The reason I listen to it is it makes me feel good when listen to the beat. His songs relax me and put me to sleep now.

  3.    Amy Herzog said,

    December 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    So glad you love Motown as much as I do! I just read Philip’s feedback on your proposal on this subject, but am looking around trying to find my copy and can’t track it down. If you could get a copy to me asap that would be great, and apologies if I’ve missed it somewhere…

  4.    michaeltableman said,

    December 13, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Motown is awesome music. It is so catchy and upbeat and I really don;t think I have ever heard a bad motown song. A lot of music today stems from Motown. Motown was the start and really created the “Boy Bands” even though it was not labeled that till the days of New Kids on the Block and BSB. Groups like the Temptations who were almost as influential as the Beatles and still have music that is as popular today as it was back them. Artist such as Smokey Robinson and Diana Ross who are still mega superstars and legendary producer Bary Gordy who is still around and works with many artists today and is the reason for the fame of most of these artist and the father of Motown records and presumably the reason for the popularity of Motown

  5.    janki ahir said,

    January 27, 2014 at 1:26 am

    So glad you love Motown as much as I do! I just read Philip’s feedback on your proposal on this subject, but am looking around trying to find my copy and can’t track it down. If you could get a copy to me asap that would be great, and apologies if I’ve missed it somewhere…results-2014

  6.    games for mobile phone said,

    June 26, 2014 at 6:15 am

    Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post
    reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this.

    I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.

    Thank you for sharing!

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