2011 – On This Day In Rock The White House celebrated the music of Motown Records today with a special concert featuring Motown legends Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson as well as contemporary stars such as Jamie Foxx, Sheryl Crow and Nick Jonas. President Obama held the event as part of an ongoing celebration of […]
2008 – Motown producer and songwriter Norman Whitfield, who helped craft some of the Detroit label’s biggest hits, died Tuesday at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Hospital. He was 65. While an exact cause of death wasn’t revealed, Whitfield reportedly suffered ailments from diabetes. Whitfield started out at Motown as a tambourine player before writing some early […]
1976 – Stevie Wonder announces he’s signed a $13 million contract with Motown. He makes good on the deal with commercially triumphant and critically celebrated Songs in the Key of Life shortly afterward.
2005 – Bruce Springsteen kicks off his solo “Devils & Dust” tour in Michigan, at Motown’s Fox Theatre.
2000 – Motown legend Smokey Robinson joins the ranks of music stars-turned-radio stars when he dons his own on-air persona on Los Angeles station KCMG (Mega 92.3) with the show “Intimate With Smokey Robinson.”
1999 – Motown act the Temptations earn their first official RIAA-certified platinum award for their 56th album “Phoenix Rising.”
1997 – Lawrence Payton, a member of the Four Tops who gave the Motown group its distinctive harmonies on hits such as “Baby I Need Your Loving” and “Reach Out (I’ll Be There),” dies from liver cancer at the age of 59.
1991 – Rod Stewart’s “Motown Song” reaches its chart pinnacle of No. 10. It’s only slightly worse than the current No. 1: Color Me Badd’s “I Adore Mi Amor.”
1985 – On TV tonight, you can watch the premiere of The Motown Review, hosted by Smokey Robinson.
1984 – It’s reported that Motown has shipped 2 million copies of the Jacksons’ Victory album.
1977 – Students at UCLA are shocked when Stevie Wonder appears as a guest lecturer, talking about his experiences with Motown and then performing music by way of illustration.
1971 – Donald McPherson of the Main Ingredient dies of leukemia. Age 29. The group’s biggest hit is the million-selling No. 3 song “Everybody Plays the Fool.” by Aaron Neville. Much too young! The group was formed in Harlem, NY in 1964 as a trio called the Poets, composed of lead singer Donald McPherson, Luther […]