Some stories never get old.
Not much time passed during Thursday’s South by Southwest keynote interview before Smokey Robinson told his classic tale about meeting Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. and how the experience changed his life both personally and professionally.
SXSW happened last month … sure, but there were some interesting events to look back on. Goldmine’s Chris M. Junior was everywhere at once and remembers the highlights.
The buzz going around Motown after the Jackson 5 auditioned for Berry Gordy on July 23, 1968, was deafening.
Here was a seemingly rag-tag group of siblings — the oldest being Jackie at age 17 — from Gary, Ind., with a strict tyrant of a father and a devout Jehovah’s Witness of a mother, that danced up a storm and sang like angels. And they did it so professionally that they were about to outshine many of Motown’s biggest adult stars.
The world was on fire when Motown Records was born. It was Berry Gordy, the label’s founder and a one-time boxer and auto worker, who helped get the blaze under control.