Tag Archives | Motown Records

May 7th in African American History – Thelma Jackson Houston

May 7, 1946 Thelma Jackson Houston, singer, actress, and songwriter, was born in Leland, Mississippi. In 1969 Houston released her debut album, “Sunshower,” and in 1971 she signed with Motown Records. Houston’s first successful single was “You’ve Been Doing Wrong for So Long” (1974) which earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal […]

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Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr.

Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. – April 2nd in African American History

April 2, 1939 Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. (Marvin Gaye), instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, was born in Washington, D. C. Gaye 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 in 1962 as co-writer […]

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John William “Johnny” Bristol

March 21st in African American History – John William “Johnny” Bristol

March 21, 2004 John William “Johnny” Bristol, musician, songwriter and record producer, died. Bristol was born February 3, 1939 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 […]

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Junior Walker

November 23rd in African American History – Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr

November 23, 1995 Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr. (Junior Walker), saxophonist and bandleader, died. Walker was born June 14, 1931 in Blytheville, Arkansas but grew up in South Bend, Indiana. In the mid-1950s, he started a band called the Jumping Jacks. In 1961, the band signed with Motown Records and their name was changed to Jr. […]

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Levi Stubbs

October 17th in African American History – Levi Stubbs

October 17, 2008 Levi Stubbs, lead vocalist of the Four Tops, died. Stubbs was born Levi Stubbles on June 6, 1936 in Detroit, Michigan. In 1954, he and three friends formed a singing group called the Four Aims. Two years later they changed their name to the Four Tops and in 1963 signed with Motown […]

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