The Motown Sound Term Paper by Drachen

The Motown Sound
An overview of the history of Motown music and its fame.
# 117022 | 1,740 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Nov 08, 2009 in African-American Studies (1950-Present) , Music Studies (Blues, Jazz)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper describes how Berry Gordy established Motown Records and how it went on to achieve major successes in the 1960s. The paper discusses how Motown artists were able to change the white audience's impression of black artists by giving them a refined, elegant look. The paper also discusses how Motown Records was innovative in its style and production of music. The paper asserts that by showing that black musicians and performers were the equal of white performers, Berry Gordy changed America's perception of black music.

From the Paper:

"Motown Records started after Berry Gordy Jr. got bored of his assembly line job at Ford's Mercury Plant in Detroit in 1957. Because the pay was good and work was monotonous, Gordy was able to focus on songwriting during his downtime (Gordy 1). He became serious once he sold a few hit songs to Jackie Wilson and Barret Strong like "Lonely Teardrops" and "Money (That's What I Want)" ("Rock and Roll" 1). Gordy was able to recognize what makes a song have popular appeal and could see the potential in songs and the performers. He decided that there was more money in producing the songs himself, so on January 12, 1959, Gordy founded Tamla Records (that would become Motown Records in 1960) in the two-story Detroit house at 2648 West Grand Boulevard and called it "Hitsville, U.S.A." ("Rock and Roll" 1). He was able to begin recording a style of popular music that was accepted by both black and white audiences and gave the performers cross-over success."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • "Berry Gordy, Jr." Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. 2007. <>.
  • Bohannon, John. "These Are the Breaks: The Motown Sound's Influence on Hip-Hop Sampling." PopMatters. 28 January 2009. <>.
  • Brown, Geoff. "Motown Magician." MidDay, 2008. <>.
  • Gordy, Berry Jr. "Berry Gordy in his Hitsville Studio." African Americans - The Motown Sound, Music of Berry Gordy. 2007. <>.
  • Hundley, Jinjer. "What is the Motown Sound?" Music History Lesson. April 5, 2009., 2003. <>.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Motown Sound (2009, November 08) Retrieved August 13, 2022, from

MLA Format

"The Motown Sound" 08 November 2009. Web. 13 August. 2022. <>