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In its heyday Motown Records was a household word, one of the most famous and successful black-owned businesses in American history, and, arguably, the most significant of all American independent record labels.
How it got to be that way and how it changed the face of American popular culture are the subjects of this concise study of Berry Gordy's phenomenal creation. Author Gerald Early tells the story of the cultural and historical conditions that made Motown Records possible, including the dramatic shifts in American popular music of the time, changes in race relations and racial attitudes, and the rise of a black urban population. Early concentrates in particular on the 1960s and 70s, when Motown had its biggest impact on American musical tastes and styles.
With this revised and expanded edition, the author provides an up-to-date bibliography of the major books that have been written about Motown Records specifically, and black American music generally. Plus, new appendices feature interviews with four of the major creators of the Motown Sound: Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and Marvin Gaye.
"Anyone interested in the genesis of American music will find One Nation Under a Groove a fascinating read."
—Central Coast Free Press
"Gerald Early and Motown, together at last in One Nation Under a Groove, seem as inevitable and harmonious a coupling as Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell."
I. Family Happiness 9
II. A Usable Black Present or the Lessons of Booker T. Washington and Joe Louis 35
III. The Midwest as Musical Mecca and the Rise of Rhythm and Blues 67
IV. The Shrine and the Seer 107
Gordy Speaks: The Billboard Interview 139
Just the Music: The Diana Ross Interview 169
Interview with Stevie Wonder 187
What's Really Going On with Marvin Gaye? 197
Selected Bibliography 225