Airs Sunday, February 17 at 2:00 PM on WVIZ/PBS
Journalist Gwen Ifill interviews entrepreneur, songwriter, record producer, movie director and producer Berry Gordy. Gordy has left an indelible influence on music and films both nationally and internationally. Performing one tribute song from Gordy’s musical career, representing the old and new school Motown, are Valerie Simpson (Ashford & Simpson) and R & B musician KEM. Gordy’s son, Stefan Gordy—known to the music world as Redfoo—one-half of the hip-hop musical group, LMFAO. Gordy began in Detroit where he founded Motown Records in 1959 and grew the company into the most successful African American-owned enterprise in the United States. He began writing and selling songs that were recorded by several local artists. In 1960, Motown released the song “Shop Around” recorded by The Miracles with Smokey Robinson on lead vocals. The song helped to launch the most influential era in the history of popular music. Motown quickly turned out successive hits by signing and grooming recording artists such as Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.