StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Berry Gordy and the Rise of Motown - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet

Extract of sample
Berry Gordy and the Rise of Motown

Berry Gordy, Jr., created a recording company that became a legend in the music industry and an icon of American culture. Gordy wielded tight control over the company’s business practices, famously micro-managing both Motown’s finances and the lives and careers of its musical talents.The formula he established,both from a business and creative standpoint,stood the test of time and turned Motown into a mega-million dollar concern Following intelligent business principles, Gordy diversified into other branches of the entertainment industry, such as film, and moved Motown from Detroit, the city with which it is still identified, to southern California. Today, Gordy’s holds the double legacy as a successful businessman and creative musical impresario. Keywords: Berry Gordy, Jr., music industry, Motown, Detroit. CREATING AN ICON 3 Creating an Icon: Berry Gordy and the Rise of Motown For millions of music fans around the world, Berry Gordy and Motown Records are icons of the music industry and of popular culture in general. The “Motown sound” is still considered the most distinctive “urban” representation of the genre, an influence as seminal and profound in its way as Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Memphis had Stax and Sun Records, and Chess Records is still closely identified with the Chicago blues scene. Yet no music label has ever been more closely identified with a community than Motown with Detroit, a musical marriage the mere mention of which still encompasses its own aesthetic and mystique. All of this was due to the vision of Berry Gordy, the Detroit native whose foresight, business judgment and promotional flair helped grow a small, hometown label into a multi-media entertainment empire. As with any successful entrepreneur, once he was established as a leader in his field Gordy successfully diversified his business interests. Motown’s move into the film industry proved financially successful and by the time Gordy sold the company to MCA, it was worth more than $60 million. A Newsweek article from May 1983 ascribed the basis of Motown’s success to the fundamental desire of young people, both black and white, to dance to music with an infectious beat (Barol, 1983). This, the article contended, was the basis of Gordy’s genius: his faith in a formula that defined Motown like no other label. Its first great hit, “Shop Around” by Smoky Robinson, which sold a million copies in 1960, is a prime example of the timelessness of the music Gordy produced and the durability of his business formula as a music impresario. A true opportunist, Gordy leveraged the racial and cultural tumult of the 1960s, positioning Motown as CREATING AN ICON 4 a kind of unofficial urban musical “voice” of black America, and a symbol of Detroit, the city with which it is still identified, even though Gordy long ago moved his operation to Hollywood to take advantage of opportunities in the film industry. No sentimentalist, Gordy did not allow image to cloud his business judgment or convince him to act counter to his best interests. On June 28, 1988, Gordy sold Motown to MCA for $61 million, a deal that some said decidedly favored Gordy. “Right now, the company has nothing on the charts, it’s internally shot, people are looking to get out. It’s a sad ending to a good piece of American history. Berry Gordy is a great creative guy, but (he’s) not a strong manager” said a rival producer at the time (Ingham and Feldman, p. 195). It is a measure of Motown’s cultural power that Gordy came under such virulent criticism for having sold arguably the nation’s most visible black-owned business to a large corporation (p. 195). Motown may have been folded into a giant national conglomerate, but Gordy’s success was far from over. Motown’s subsidiaries comprised a considerable source of revenue, and Gordy brought them under one roof in 1990 when he formed the ...Show more


Berry Gordy, Jr., created a recording company that became a legend in the music industry and an icon of American culture. Gordy wielded tight control over the company’s business practices, famously micro-managing both Motown’s finances and the lives and careers of its musical talents…
Author : chelsie70
Berry Gordy and the Rise of Motown essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Berry Gordy and the Rise of Motown"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

Value Chain on Black Berry
The study discussed and analysed details and information regarding value chain on blackberry. A value chain activity includes various steps that create a clear and accurate value for a product or service. The aim of the value chain is to generate value that surpasses the cost of manufacturing the product, or providing service, consequently making a profit margin.
17 pages (4250 words) Essay
Chinas economic rise
Economic growth of a country can even occur with the increase in the key inputs of production mainly labor and capital, which helps in boosting up the productivity that result in the increase in the total production of the country.
16 pages (4000 words) Essay
Why or why not was Motown so important to the music industry
The Motown Music Company was founded in the year 1959. Motown was a Detroit based music company. It was Berry Gordy who was a visionary and the real founder of the Motown Music Company. Motown Music Company’s formation has been considered as a milestone for the American music industry.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Weirding the War by Stephen Berry
Weirding the war. In his book ‘Weirding the war’, Stephen Berry provides his reflections on the antebellum period from his experiences and those of the people around him. He focuses on the prevailing attitudes which dominated people’s thinking during this era.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Influence of Motown Era on Music
It did not only involve good music but also brought with it showmanship and style. The music in this era is characterized by songs with very deep lyrics. The name Motown emerged from a record company started by one Berry Gordy in the year 1960 in Michigan, United States.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Rise of big business
This paper seeks to explore the expansion of large businesses and its effects to the society, in the gilded Age after the American Civil war. After the Civil War in America, the economy grew at a fast rate owing to the availability of natural resources, new inventions and a receptive market, therefore, this upsurge in industrialization after the American Civil War was fueled by the availability of natural resources, which were used in industries as raw materials and fuel.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
The Rise of Neoliberism
The US experienced a Great Economic Depression that left thousands of people unemployed and industries and services bankrupt. Then there were the Stagflation crisis of the 1970s and the Developing World Debt Crisis of the 1980s (Wikipedia 2007).
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Why or why not was Motown so important to the music industry
Due to its establishment it helped the black’s in America to very well integrate their music in to the community, which was totally dominated by the whites. This resulted in a revolution in the music industry not only within America but also influenced the music of
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Rise of Nationalism
This was reflected in China’s transition from a dynastic empire to the Republic of China. The rise of nationalism in China has
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Eliminating sugar content from foods and replace with miracle berry
ng food; however, if excessively consumed it subjects the body to ill health since the excess sugar is converted and stored into the body as fats (Chen, Lui, and Cheng, 2006). The excess fats are harmful to body since they make the body vulnerable to numerous diseases including
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Contact Us