Friday 1 October 2010
Day 35 – We Heard It Through The Grapevine
Putting this retail annoyance behind us, our drive this morning took us by Chicago. We do love visiting there, but as it’s a place we’ve been so many times before, we decided not to stop. Although I did get to see the White Sox stadium for the first time…it’s not as good looking as the Cub’s Wrigley Field. Between there and state number 21 - Indiana - all we found were $8 worth of tolls and two different semi-trucks trying to push us off the road…Scary!
The history made at Hitsville USA is a true success story in the music world. In 1959, after bankrupting himself on an ill-advised jazz record store, Berry Gordy borrowed $800 from his sceptical family to set up a record label. Just a short couple of years later he’d turned it into the multi-million dollar company, Motown Records, by having a talent for knowing how to write a great song & pick the right singer for it.
It was quite an achievement, especially considering he had to overcome the widespread racism of the 50’s & 60’s. One of the clever ways he got around white radio stations not wanting to play music made by black people was by using artwork on the earlier record sleeves instead of the artists photo. That way the radio stations didn’t know what the singer looked like, just that they were hearing a great song. Eventually the stations stopped caring about the artist’s skin color because the music was topping the charts and making bucket loads of money, so the photos went back on the record sleeves!
So, until tomorrow…
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