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Beyond the Rhetoric

They can’t take away our music –especially the Motown sound

Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow ow contribuor | 5/23/2019, midnight

Motown is one of the most successful Black owned corporations known to the world. Marvin and Anna Gaye were major players in that activity. Motown specialized in “the Motown Sound”. The Hitsville studios remained open and active 22 hours a day. Berry Gordy initially rejected two of Marvin Gaye’s tracks that would become critical and commercial successes, “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” and “What’s Going On”.

Harry knew all 28 songs that were performed during the musical. I didn’t know half of the songs. I was just a sweet little girl when Marvin came on the musical scene. But nevertheless, it was most enjoyable. Quentin Perry, the producer (and family friend) used a technique where they would flash actual newspaper clippings onto the background screen. Everyone gasped when they read that Tammi Terrell was just 24 when she died, in 1970 from a brain tumor. I assume that most knew Marvin was shot to death by his father, but when newspaper headlines appeared on screen, we were knocked back in our seats again.

The songs and choreography in the play were so exciting. There were times when Harry wanted to jump up and start dancing. The audience was indeed “pumped up”. “Pride and Joy” will soon be coming to a town near you and you should certainly put it on your “to do list”.

Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce ®. Kay DeBow is the co-founder, executive vice president of the Chamber. Website: www.nationalbcc.org Emails: halford@nationalbcc.org  kdebow@nationalbcc.org

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