Tag Archives | Motown Records
John William “Johnny” Bristol

John William “Johnny” Bristol – February 3rd in African American History

February 3, 1939 John William “Johnny” Bristol, musician, songwriter, and record producer, was born in Morganton, North Carolina. After serving in the United States Air Force, Bristol recorded several singles before his label was absorbed by Motown Records in the mid-1960s. At Motown, he teamed with Harvey Fuqua to write and produce some of their […]

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Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr.

April 1st in African American History – Marvin Pentz Gaye, Jr.

April 1, 1984 Marvin Pentz Gaye, Jr., instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, was fatally shot. Gay was born April 2, 1939 in Washington, D.C. He started as a member of The Moonglows in 1958 and after they disbanded in 1960, he moved to Detroit, Michigan and signed with Motown Records. Gaye experienced his first significant success […]

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William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr.

February 19th in African American History – William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr.

February 19, 1940 William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr., singer, songwriter, and record producer, was born in Detroit, Michigan. In 1955, Robinson co-founded a vocal group called The Five Chimes which was later renamed the Miracles. In 1959, they were one of the first groups to sign with the newly formed Motown Records.

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Michael Joseph Jackson

August 29th in African American History – Michael Joseph Jackson

August 29, 1958 Michael Joseph Jackson, the “King of Pop,” was born in Gary, Indiana. Jackson made his professional debut in 1964 as a member of the Jackson 5. In 1968, they signed with Motown Records and their first four singles, “I Want You Back” (1969), “ABC” (1970), “The Love You Save” (1970), and “I’ll […]

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Luther Allison

August 12th in African American History – Luther Allison

August 12, 1997 Luther Allison, blues guitarist, died. Allison was born August 17, 1939 in Widener, Arkansas but raised in Chicago, Illinois. Allison taught himself to play the guitar. During the 1950s and early 1960s, he worked the club circuit. He released his debut album, “Love Me Mama”, in 1968. In 1972, Allison was signed […]

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Harvey Fuqua

July 6th in African American History – Harvey Fuqua

July 6, 2010 Harvey Fuqua, singer, songwriter, record producer, and executive, died. Fuqua was born July 27, 1929 in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1951, he formed a vocal group called the Crazy Sounds. Later they moved to Cleveland, Ohio and were renamed The Moonglows. The group recorded their first single in 1953 and their 1954 single […]

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Renaldo “Obie” Benson

July 1st in African American History – Renaldo “Obie” Benson

July 1, 2005 Renaldo “Obie” Benson, member of the Four Tops, died. Benson was born June 14, 1936 in Detroit, Michigan. In 1954, Benson and three friends formed a singing group called the Four Aims. Two years later, they changed their name to the Four Tops and signed with Motown Records. By the end of […]

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