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Motown: The Sound of Young America
Adam White

  • Monday 13 June 2016, 6.30PM to 7.20pm
  • Free admission
    Booking required
  • Ron Cooke Hub, University of York (map|getting to campus)
  • Wheelchair accessible

Event details

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The music of Motown needs no introduction. Founded by Berry Gordy in Detroit in 1959, Motown Records became a style unto itself, inspiring a whole generation with its distinctive, sophisticated and irresistibly catchy music. The ultimate record label ‘indie’ and the first aspirational brand to fuse sound, style and success, Motown established and nurtured the careers of some of the most successful musicians in the world, creating hit after hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

Drawing on many years’ worth of interviews with Motown stars and personnel, including Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson, Adam White tells the story of how a dedicated team of backroom believers turned a small family business into a popular music powerhouse. Adam contextualizes the Motown story within the social history of the USA at mid-century, from the boom and bust of the Motor City, to the harsh realities of segregation and the 1967 race riots, as well as the African-American civil rights movement. Adam’s talk is richly illustrated by many previously unpublished images of Diana Ross, Jackson 5 and the rest of the Motown family, which capture the glamour and style of the stars on stage, the key players hard at work behind the scenes, as well as private, unguarded moments in the lives of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and more.

About the speaker 

Adam White has written about music and the music industry for more than 40 years. A former Editor-in-Chief of Billboard, he has twice been Grammy-nominated for Motown retrospectives, and co-authored The Billboard Book of No. 1 Rhythm & Blues Hits. He was Vice President of Communications at Universal Music Group International from 2002 to 2012.


The book will be available to buy from the Waterstones' stall at this event.


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