Music and Popular Culture: Lecture Notes
Lecture 7: February 28 th
Black Popular Music in the 60s: The Rise of Motown and Southern Soul
Motown
- The creation of Motown music occurred around the same time as civil rights
movements
- It was adapted from the brill building system to produce hits
- The main producer responsible Motown was Berry Gordy, who wanted to make money
for his artists and himself
- Unlike the brill building movement, Motown artists were chosen for talent and not just
image
- Artists took speech, dance, and etiquette classes so that they could perform at the
highest level.
- Each group was controlled by the producer
Musical Example: The Temptations = “The Way You Do the Things You Do
oProduced by Smokey Robinson
oThere are backup vocals (doo-wop influence)
oThere are handclaps (brill building influence)
oVocals are clean, round and well trained (Tin Pan Alley influence)
oThere are brass instruments (sax) used (Electric Blues and jazz influence)
oLoud bass, piano in rhythm section
oHomogenous sounds
oLyrics are not controversial at all
oThe Temptations constructed an image that appealed to the middle class
- Other important producers included Holland-Dozier-Holland (a producing team that
would later make numerous motown hits, they were considered the brill building
powerhouse team of motown)
- The artists under Holland Dozier Holland took speech and dance classes
- They were disallowed from dating and were given allowance for their work
Musical Example: The Supremes – “Baby Love”
oBackground Vocals (doo-wop influence)
oSaxophone sound (jazz blues)
oClapping sound (brill building sound)
oHouse band sound
oThis song appealed to the widest possible audience
oIt was completely innocent, and did not possess any sexual innuendo or
references.
oThe song is about completely innocent love
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Document Summary

Black popular music in the 60s: the rise of motown and southern soul. The creation of motown music occurred around the same time as civil rights movements. It was adapted from the brill building system to produce hits. The main producer responsible motown was berry gordy, who wanted to make money for his artists and himself. Unlike the brill building movement, motown artists were chosen for talent and not just. Artists took speech, dance, and etiquette classes so that they could perform at the image highest level. Other important producers included holland-dozier-holland (a producing team that would later make numerous motown hits, they were considered the brill building powerhouse team of motown) The artists under holland dozier holland took speech and dance classes. Motown also did a style known as detroit soul . This was a rougher edge of motown, yet a lighter reflection of what was happening in the southern us states at the time (i. e. southern soul)

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