Library Rock's Backpages

Motown at 50

Alan Light,, January 2009

FIFTY YEARS AGO this month in Detroit, a 29-year-old African-American songwriter named Berry Gordy, Jr – a former boxer, autoworker, and Army veteran – borrowed $800 from his family. That's not usually an auspicious start to a story. But with that money, Gordy founded a company called Tamla Records, which would soon transform into Motown Records, the best-known and best-loved record label of all time.

Total word count of piece: 1445


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.