Coverville 629: The Berry Gordy Jr./Motown Cover Story

November 24, 2009


With Berry Gordy, Jr.’s 80th birthday coming up in a few days, listener Roger reminded me that it would be a great time for a Berry Gordy & Motown Cover Story. I happily agree!

47 minutes |

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1 Album

I Wish It Would Rain
Paul Carrack
Still Groovin’
Orig. Temptations
2 Album

Shop Around
Clarence Reid
Dancin’ With Nobody But You Babe
Orig. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Clarence Reid - Dancin' With Nobody But You Babe - Shop Around
3 Album

Come See About Me
The Originals
The Ultimate Rarities Collection 1: Motown Sings Motown Treasures
Orig. Diana Ross & The Supremes
The Originals - Motown Sings Motown Treasures - Come See About Me
4 Album

I Want You Back
Orig. Jackson 5
Sonos - SONOSings (Bonus Track Version) - I Want You Back
5 Album

I’ll Be There
Barry Biggs
Reggae Pulse 2: Hit Songs Jamaican Style
Orig. Jackson 5
Barry Biggs & The Dragonaires - Trojan: Motor City Reggae Box Set - I'll Be There
6 Album

You’ve Made Me So Very Happy
Brenda Holloway
Greatest Hits and Rare Classics
Orig. Brenda Holloway
Brenda Holloway - The Very Best of Brenda Holloway - You've Made Me So Very Happy
7 Album

Remove This Doubt
Elvis Costello
Kojak Variety
Orig. Diana Ross & the Supremes
Elvis Costello - Kojak Variety - Remove This Doubt
8 Album

Reach Out (I’ll Be There)
Kieran Goss
Trio Live
Orig. Four Tops
Kieran Goss - Trio Live - Reach Out (I'll Be There)
9 Album

Money (That’s What I Want)
The Flying Lizards
Just Can’t Get Enough: New Wave Hits Of The ’80s
Orig. Barrett Strong
The Flying Lizards - The Flying Lizards - Money
10 Album

Lonely Teardrops
Huey Lewis
Duets Soundtrack
Orig. Jackie Wilson

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  1. A hell of a lot of those early Motown classics were simultaneously recorded by pretty much all the stars on the label, I think as a means Berry had for instilling competition and not letting anyone get too big for their boots. He then selected the best of the bunch to release. I have always wondered too if Berry was really a writer, or was this again part of a way of getting in on the action and controlling things in all respects? A bit like Executive Producers in movies!

  2. Certainly, Gordy wrote those early Jackie Wilson songs, indeed his 1st five hits. The story behind Money was that he was challenged by someone – Smokey? – to write about something he cared about besides the ladies; clearly his. The exec producer label would make more sense if he did it more often, but for every song to which he was co-writer (You Made Me..), he was solo listed on others (Do You Love Me, which BTW was supposed to be a Temptations song, but they weren't available.)

    Now The Corporation (TM), formed in response to the departure of Holland-Dozier-Holland, I've not read that anyone has ever said who wrote what; it's always been billed collectively, or later, as four individuals, including Gordy.

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