As we wind down Women’s History Month we head back to Detroit. While we worship at the temples of Marvin, Stevie and The Temptations, The Sound Of Young America was built on the clicking of high heels. Not only was it the matriarchy of The Gordy Family that had Berry’s Back, early acts such as Mable John served not only as performers but as den mothers to the more youthful performers of the label.
Of course, the biggest cash cows once the label became profitable were the series of female singers like Mary Wells, The Marvelettes, Martha & The Vandellas and The Supremes. Beyond the hit records however, if they weren’t out showing the goods on the road, they were panning for gold in the studios of 2648 West Grand Boulevard and beyond.
It is interesting to note, that by 1964, where we’re starting this mix, Motown Records didn’t exclusively mean Detroit, as both Berry Gordy sought the influences of different markets like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, but all of those markets sought the blessing of the Motown Sound.
To all the women still with us and no longer on this plane, we thank you for being part of the most wonderful cultural phenomenons during the 20th Century. Here’s 21 tunes of tribute to keep you stepping into Spring.