Posts Tagged ‘Motown’

Motown musical moves Hitsville to Broadway

February 3, 2013

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A new stage musical telling the story of the legendary Motown label is to open on Broadway in April 2013. Titled Motown: The Musical, it will feature Brandon Victor Dixon who plays the label’s founder Berry Gordy Jnr, and Valisia LeKae taking the part of Diana Ross.

Gordy himself is one of the producers of the show, so it is expected to include plenty of classic Motown songs from its heyday in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s.

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Lenny Kravitz to star in Marvin Gaye biopic

February 3, 2013

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Lenny Kravitz is reportedly set to portray Marvin Gaye in a new film about the Motown legend’s final years, focusing on his European period when he lived in London and Ostend, Belgium in the early 1980s.

The movie will be directed by Julien Temple who was responsible for the musical Absolute Beginners and biographical films about The Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer and The Kinks’ Ray Davies.

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The Temptations to turn their Motown story into a Broadway musical

August 26, 2011

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The Temptations are planning to turn their Motown success story into a Broadway musical based on the acclaimed 1998 TV mini-series about the legendary group.

   Otis Williams, 69 – the only surviving member of the original group – is said to be working with Broadway producer Ira Pittleman on a stage spectacular featuring all of the group’s classic hits.

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The Temptations to turn their story into a Broadway musical

July 2, 2011

Visit our main website at: http://www.sh-boommagazine.com

The Temptations are reportedly planning to turn their Motown success story into a Broadway musical.

It will be based on the acclaimed 1998 TV mini-series about the legendary soul group.

READ FULL STORY…

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Check out our new SH-BOOM! digital magazine.

It’s free!

You can read a sample HERE…

Sir Cliff Richard promises a Soulicious new album and tour

June 26, 2011

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Despite being in his 53rd year as a singer, Sir Cliff Richard can still surprise his fans. In October he’ll be performing classic soul songs live onstage for the first time, alongside ten of the world’s greatest soul legends.

   He’ll also be releasing an album of soul duets, titled Soulicious, which he recorded inMemphis with legendary Motown producer Lamont Dozier.

   An eight-date Soulicious UK tour in October will see Sir Cliff performing onstage duets with his ‘soul partners’ from the album – including The Temptations’ Dennis Edwards, The Stylistics’ Russell Thompkins Jr., Candi Staton, Percy Sledge, Deniece Williams, Billy Paul, Lamont Dozier, Freda Payne, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr., and Brenda Holloway. The soul stars will each sing one of their own hits onstage.

   Produced and directed by TV celebrity David Gest, the tour will kick off with a show at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham on Saturday 15 October. It will then visit the Manchester MEN Arena (17 October), Liverpool Echo Arena (19 October), Birmingham LG Arena (22 & 23 October), London O2 Arena (25 & 26 October) and Newcastle Metro Radio Arena (28 October).

   “I’ve always sung with soul,” says Sir Cliff, “although no-one would have expected me to sing a bunch of soul songs. But I’m going to do my soul; they’re going to do their soul; and together we should end up sounding ‘soulicious’.” 

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Phil Collins Motown tribute tops UK album chart

September 27, 2010

Phil Collins’ 18-track Motown tribute album Going Back has lived up to its title by putting him back at the top of the UK album charts for the first time since 1998.

Going Back is Collins’ eighth studio album and his first full solo release for eight years. It features cover versions of many of the soul gems that influenced him as a teenager – including The Temptations’ ‘Papa Was a Rolling Stone’ and ‘Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)’, Martha and The Vandellas’ ‘Heatwave’ , and Stevie Wonder’s ‘Uptight’, along with other classic songs recorded by The Four Tops, The Supremes and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.

To make the album as faithful to the original Motown sound as possible, Collins brought in three surviving members of Motown’s legendary in-house Sixties studio band The Funk Brothers – bassist Bob Babbitt and guitarists Eddie Willis and Ray Monette.

Collins – who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year – says the album was a deeply personal labour of love for him. “These Motown songs, along with a couple of Dusty Springfield tracks, a Phil Spector/Ronettes tune, and one by the Impressions, make up the tapestry, the backdrop, of my teenage years.”

He says his intention was to make an ‘old’ record, not a ‘new’ record. “I didn’t try to bring anything new to these already great records,” he says. “I tried to recreate the sounds and feelings that I had when I first heard them.

“To be able to have three of the Funk Brothers play on all the tracks was unbelievable. I learned more about production skills and the wonderful songwriting of those concerned whilst making this album than I have from anything else.”

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Vote for your favourite Motown hit and help choose tracks for a new ‘Motown 50’ album

September 24, 2008

 

Universal Music is mounting an online survey to find out UK music fans’ favourite Motown tracks.

 

The 50 most popular songs will be included on Motown 50 – a special 50th Anniversary compilation CD – which will be released in the UK on December 1, 2008.

 

Sh-Boom! readers can try to get their favourite Motown songs onto the Motown 50 album by visiting: www.pollthepeople.com/motown50 – a special site set up by online polling community Poll the People.

 

You’ll be able to select your five favourite Motown songs from the database and place your vote.

 

Universal plans to release similar local versions of the compilation album in other countries, claiming this consumer-generated content approach is designed to “reflect each country’s favourite songs and celebrate the enduring popularity of Motown across the planet.”

 

Motown will celebrate its half-century on 12 January, 2009. Universal says celebrations are being lined up throughout the whole of next year under the banner: Motown 50 – Today, Tomorrow, Forever.

 

Berry Gordy Jr. founded the label as Tamla Records on January 12, 1959, with a loan of $800 from his family. The company was incorporated as Motown Record Corporation in 1960.

 

Vocal group The Matadors were the first act to be signed to Tamla by Gordy. They went on to find fame after changing their name to The Miracles.

 

By the mid-1960s, the groundbreaking Motown Sound had spread worldwide. And the label’s distinctive sound still resonates today – 180 Number 1 singles later – with Motown hits continuing to appear in TV commercials, TV shows and movies.

Legendary Motown songwriter and producer Norman Whitfield dies at 68

September 18, 2008

 

Soul legend Norman Whitfield – writer and producer of classic Motown songs such as ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ and ‘Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone’ – has died at the age of 68 after a lengthy battle with diabetes.


He was one of Motown’s most successful and influential songwriters and producers and wrote some of soul music’s greatest hits for acts like The Temptations and Marvin Gaye.

 

In a statement, Motown great Smokey Robinson hailed Whitfield as “one of the most prolific songwriters and record producers of our time. He will live forever through his great music.”

 

Born in New York’s Harlem district, Whitfield started his songwriting career in the early 1960s after his family moved to Detroit. The ambitious 19-year-old began hanging around Berry Gordy’s Hitsville USA offices until he was eventually given a chance to work for the growing Motown label in 1962.

 

After joining the label’s production team, Whitfield went on to become one of the driving forces of the Motown sound. He took over from Smokey Robinson as The Temptations’ record producer and, over the following decade, worked with virtually every major artist on the label – including Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight and The Pips, and many others.


Often teaming up with lyricist Barrett Strong, he co-wrote and produced classic Motown hits like ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’,
‘I Can’t Get Next to You’, ‘Cloud Nine’, ‘Ball of Confusion’, ‘Just My Imagination’, the Edwin Starr hit ‘War’, and, in 1972, the Grammy-winning ‘Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone’.

 

Whitfield also helped to pioneer and popularise the late-1960s sub-genre of psychedelic soul.

 

He left Motown in 1973 to form his own record label and enjoyed success with disco soul band Rose Royce – winning his second Grammy in 1976 for Best Original TV or Motion Picture Score for the movie Car Wash.

 

Whitfield returned to Motown in the early 1980s to produce the Temptations’ Sail Away album.

 

Sadly, he spent much of the last 20 years of his life battling health and legal problems – although one of the highlights of his later years was his induction into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 2004.


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