What is Motown, you ask?
Only the best record label ever to have existed!
Motown is an American record company set up by Berry Gordy in 1959 in Detroit, Michigan. Its name (which has also become a nickname for Detroit) is a combination of the words motor and town. Motown played an important role in the racial integration of pop music as an African American-owned record label that achieved significant crossover success (i.e. songs that appear on several different record charts). In and around the mid-1960s, the label released music that came to be known as having the “Motown Sound” – a style of soul music with a distinct pop influence.
Throughout the 1960s, Motown achieved amazing success for a small record company. It had 79 records in the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100 record chart between 1960 and 1969. From its inception until 1972, the company was based in Detroit (specifically in its studio named “Hitsville USA”). It then relocated to Los Angeles, and continued to release material throughout the rest of the 1970s and 1980s, remaining there as an independent company until 1988, when Berry Gordy sold it. It was bought by MCA and Boston Ventures, but they did not take over full ownership of the label until 1991. It was then bought by PolyGram in 1994; it has since been sold and moved about several times. It currently operates as a separate subsidiary label owned by Universal Music.