5 Fascinating, Quirky Facts You Never Knew About Motown
Motown The Musical tells the powerful story of how Motown shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Based on Motown founder Berry Gordy’s autobiography, the production tells the true American dream story of his journey from being a featherweight boxer to becoming the heavyweight music mogul that launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many others.
5 fascinating and quirky facts you never knew about Motown:
- The Beatles were hugely influenced by Motown and recorded cover versions of four Motown tracks.
- Motown was the first record label to run its own “charm school” for artists, where they were taught how to perform.
- In 1966, Berry Gordy refused to sign the Jackson Five because he didn’t want to work with any more children. It was Gladys Knight who persuaded him to change his mind a year later.
- Dreamgirls was believed to have been based on the story of Diana Ross and The Supremes. In the film, the beautiful Deena Jones, played by Beyoncé, is made the lead singer of an all-girl trio, despite having a weaker voice than Effie White, played by Jennifer Hudson. Rumor had it that The Supremes’ Florence Ballard was asked to take a back seat in favor of the more photogenic Diana Ross.
- Berry Gordy actually wrote the Contours’ “Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)?” for the Temptations.