Rabz’ Radio Show July 2022: Motown and Soul

Two of my favourite musical styles. Motown of course, being named after the “Motor City” Detroit, which has experienced its share of hard times in the recent past.

Founded by Berry Gordy in 1958, the label was better known as Tamla Motown outside of the States. Motown’s most notable achievement was almost 80 top ten hits between 1960-1969, a significant proportion of which were attributable to its legendary songwriting team of Holland Dozier Holland.

When you hear a Motown classic from that era, you will know. It will lift you effortlessly off your feet.

Soul – there are no time limits on this magnificent musical style. I’d like to think of it as a more multidimensional expression of the Blues. It invariably focuses on those most basic and profound human emotions, love and heartbreak. Which makes it no different to most contemporary music, when you think about it – and yet it is.

One of my favourite Motown tunes – the original and the best:

Some knockout soul:

Enjoy, Cats!

82 thoughts on “Rabz’ Radio Show July 2022: Motown and Soul”

  1. Bruce – that film clip for one of the most awesome funk tunes of all time is just bloody awesome.

    Miss Charney – brunette magnificence. 🙂

  2. In any just world, Ike’s opening licks on Nutbush City Limits would have been heritage listed.

  3. Much copied, but the original and the best.

    Oops…I see it was listed in the header.

  4. Have to have another one with dancing.

    Aretha Franklin – Think (1968 & 1980)

    She can really act, a natural. Would be in great demand today, but sadly she’s no longer with us.

    (It’s the extended scene from the movie as the lead up dialog is so glorious.)

  5. Rendered in a more contemporary context

    The Stranglers doing Walk On By…? Cool!

    I had a couple of Stranglers albums, they were yummy. Can’t recall if they were vinyl or cassette, but I don’t have them now. Gone in a lost past phase change from one existence to another existence. I can’t remember when it was. I’m taking liberty to put up a Stranglers classic. Nothing to do with Motown, but seriously chunky.

    The Stranglers – No Mercy (1984)

    Rabz gave me the excuse to go off topic, blame him.

  6. the excuse to go off topic, blame him

    So in other words, no film clips featuring Miss Ellie’s magnifique new and improved bottomage, Cats.

    It’s enough to make you wonder what is going on.

  7. Sheldo – (it’s alleged) the producers at Muscle Shoals were stunned when she turned up and was not wearing the Justine Turdeaux shoe polish.

  8. a band I doubt most Cats have heard of

    Unearthed “Dear Science” this evening while ploughing through my CD collection on a fruitless search for “20 Greatest Motown Hits”.

    If I’ve lost the latter, much unhappiness will descend on Casa Rabz at some indeterminate point in the near or far future. 🙂

  9. I’m off. But in keeping with the idea where this all went here’s one place where it went. Rabz’ first track in the comments rapidly became this.

    Rolling Stones – Can I Get A Witness (1964)

    Motown and the Stones was a match made in heaven, or something. I’ve loved every minute of the progeny since then.

  10. r.e.s.p.e.c.t just because

    and you can leave your hat on
    not strictly motown but, of the era

    was at a Labor party gig once and my ex-missus did Aretha karaoke on the table with the swinging microphone and all

    same night Paul Keating did ‘leave yr hat on’ complete with a shirt button rip.

  11. Late to the party, as usual, and, rather than bring music, I’ll just share an experience.

    A short work assignment in Detroit meant a little opportunity to do some touring on the weekends. The Henry Ford museum is a must: I could probably take two days to do justice to both the indoor display area (trains, Edison’s VW Kombi camper, Rosa Park’s bus, many presidential limos including that one) and Greenfield Village (a Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement on steroids with relocated buildings and artifacts of historical significance). Nearby Niagara Falls lives up to the hype – take the behind the falls tour though rock tunnels that show the water from the inside. By contrast, the Detroit overhead railway, while not a monorail, was worth riding only to experience its Simpsons-esque decrepitude.

    On a main road in a dilapidated part of town (one of them), where every second house is abandoned and the KFC five doors up the road has 4″ plexiglass between the servers and the customers with a shuffle box in the counter, is Motown’s Hitsville studio, now a museum. Two houses joined together, filled with memorabilia and dedicated guides to take you through the buildings. Apart from the memorabilia on the walls and the stories related by the guides, naturally the highlight is the main studio, still set up with various instruments and period consoles for the producers beyond the windows. We were given a chance to perform our own acapella renditions of My Girl for the gents and Stop! In The Name of Love for the ladies of the tour group. Photos were officially forbidden but I see one has escaped into the wild and is as I remember it. It’s smaller than the photo suggests, or maybe that was the size of our group.

    A worthwhile visit. As a bonus, our rental car was where we left it, around in a side street, and unmolested.

  12. Actually, in the 15-odd years since I was there, many of the houses – both the abandoned ones and the ones in-between that were obviously loved – have been razed. Check out the streetview images between 2009 and recent.

  13. Oh, and the Motown rule of thumb for predicting hits among the staff (as related by our guide): Imagine you’re a school kid in the ’60s with money in your pocket to buy lunch. Would you forego your lunch and instead buy this single? If enough of the staff at-least thinks the prospect worthy of consideration, the single passes the test.

  14. Standing in the shadows of Motown is a great documentary. It’s about the musicians that played on most of the tracks from that era.

  15. Thanks Rabz for a fine night of great music!

    Really contrasts the desert of music now, I don’t know why since we still have all those instruments and so much more to work with. I was in a bottleshop yesterday, they were playing Don’t Bring Me Down by ELO. Which is from 1979. You rarely hear anything modern and interesting in shops and public spaces, it’s all this golden era stuff. Which is great! But shows up the current age of rap and elevator music.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.