Motown 50 years old

There's been quiet a lot on the radio today about the 50th birthday of Motown records started by Berry Gordy in his basement.  A few years ago I was lucky enough to go to Detroit for work. The guy who headed up the consultancy I was working with was a bass player who was fanatical about Motown – and managed on one visit to get everyone to the Motown museum.  As Europeans we were crazy about the music which had come out of this city. We were working on Chrysler at the time and all I can say is that the US clients were bemused by this enthusiasm. For them Motown was black music – a minority interest.  So they hired Celine Dion as the voice of Chrysler <speechless!> I hope they got their money's worth.

Its not entirely suprising – I am sure there are types of minority music in the UK which are more popular in other parts of the world than they are among the white majority – but I still remember how surprised I was – if you make Chryslers in the same city as Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin wouldn't you find some way to make a virtue of that? Apparently not.  When I was in Detroit I hired the cheapest Chrysler (def not the one below!)and drove to the border in downtown Detroit to cross the border to Canada to visit relatives. My brother who is a DJ had made me up a tape of acid jazz and acid funk from the 70s – a lot of it from Detroit – so I wound the window town cranked up the sound and drove downtown.  Nobody bothered me – the local clearly thought I was insane.  But it felt gooooood..




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