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Where Did Our Love Go?


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About the Author

Nelson George is an executive movie producer and the prolific, best-selling author of The Death of Rhythm And Blues, Hip Hop America, and other books. He is co-executive producer of Vh1's Hip Hop Honors and a consultant to Black Entertainment Television's news division.


From its founding by Berry Gordy in Detroit in 1959 to its present in Hollywood, Motown Records has made a lot of money and inspired black musicians throughout the world. Despite the firm's noncooperation on this book, George, an editor at Billboard magazine and author of The Michael Jackson Story, interviewed many of those involved about ``the largest black-owned company in America,'' and he also tells the stories of singers Marvin Gaye, Shorty Long, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, the Miracles, the Supremes, the Temptations, and the Holland-Dozier-Holland and the Ashford & Simpson composing teams. By manipulating, pushing and stepping on people in order to establish his label and make it grow, Gordy became highly successful, but, concludes George, in the end Motown became ``just another record company.'' The excellent discography, printed on both sides of single leaves, would have been more useful as double-page spreads. Photos not seen by PW. February 3

George offers a concise history of Berry Gordy's Motown Records, emphasizing Gordy's enterprising and social-climbing bents. He deals with Motown's inception in the late 1950s; the creation of its hit-making machinery that propelled such acts as the Supremes, the Temptations, and Marvin Gaye to stardom; and its decline in the 70s. Though much of this material has been presented in other books, George has conducted interviews which provide insights into the label's history. Best are his sections on Berry Gordy's entrepreneurial background and his discussion of the musicians who backed the Motown stars and helped to create the Motown sound. An interesting book, written in a spritely style, this will give general readers an equitable glimpse of the Motown Empire. David Szatmary, Continuing Education, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

"A can't-put-down study of Berry Gordy and Motown. This is it, no punches pulled, as important a piece of pop history as has been published." --New York Daily News

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