It's the summer
of 2006 and The Tigers, my favorite Motown team, is going to post season.
I remember 1968, while I was working for Motown Records, and the tigers took
the World Championship while the city went nuts. It's happening again
and it's just as exciting.
success and the success of any sports team in today's world depends a lot on
a thing called Diversity. In baseball you can be white, black, Latin,
Japanese, Korean, or from an igloo near the north pole. If you get the
RBIs, the hits and the gold gloves you work and get rich beyond your wildest
dreams. Race or ethnic background never excludes you from a roster
slot or membership in a team. How well you play the game and, perhaps, how
good you are being a team member are the only factors, except for salary
How It Was
The whole scene
is remarkably close to what Dr. Martin Luther King described in his "I Have
A Dream" speech. I'm quite familiar with the speech because Motown
Records recorded and released that speech, when Dr. King gave it in Detroit,
Michigan. This was just before I was hired in. The ideal scene described by
Mr. King is one where no one is excluded from opportunities because of race.
The whole scene
is remarkably close to Motown Records in the 1960s. At Motown you got
the job, retained the job and advanced because of two factors. One was
how well you did the job. The second was how good of a team member you were.
I know that BG
believed in Dr, King and what he stood for and practiced his philosophy in
business. Berry was in the record company business and the "Pop Music"
business, not the black music business. The kind of music that Motown
is known for didn't sound like traditional "R&B" music but a fusion of R&B
into Rock, Top 40 music. Motown made constant efforts to sell any kind
of music that would sell and which they could possibly provide. This
is why I heard "North To Alaska" coming out of the control room on my first
day, it was a country production for Motown's Country Music label, Mel-o-dy.
Company Pride, rather than Racial Pride prevailed at Motown in the 1960s.
Some Artist Diversity Facts
Records: Established in 1962 it focused on white country music
artists. Notable Mel-o-dy artists include
Dorsey Burnette. The label was dissolved in 1965.
McDonald (Dobbie Brothers) actually recorded an album for Motown
Chris Clark, a
Canadian signer got her first release on the Motown label in 1967
Seventies Motown released albums by T.G. Sheppard and Pat Boone and also,
again, signed Dorsey Bernette.
In 1961, Berry
Gordy released a single on the Valadiers called "Greetings
(This Is Uncle Sam)"
Seasons were signed to Motown in 1970.
Earth got several hit records for Motown, starting in 1968.
could go on and on, but some of the above was a bit surprising to me.