Berry Gordy lives the American dream!
Berry Gordy is the man behind the famed record label Motown, possibly the biggest contributor to American and worldwide popular culture ever.
Gordy became obsessed with songwriting already at the age of 7. This focus on the song, the tune, what people sang and danced along to, was to become the secret behind his unrivaled success.
During the 50s, Berry struggled as he joined the army, worked in a car production plant, as well as owned and lost a jazz record shop to the new emerging R&B genre.
A determined Berry learned from his mistakes and had the vision to take the formula of the car plant and apply it to songwriting.
He knew songwriters made money and that the right records, with popular tunes, sold. In 1959 he created an R&B record company with the vision of a house band, a studio, different singers, and a record label all operating in the same house, just like a car production line.
This record company operated under many different names but has become known to the masses as Motown.
His legacy is so enormous it can’t just be summed up in a few words, so here’s a glimpse of what he did.
Berry Gordy discovered, signed, and released albums and singles by these ten well-known artists and bands: Jackie Wilson, Lionel Richie, Martha and The Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, The Supremes, and The Temptations.
That’s a pretty impressive list… Remember how Berry knew the secret to his success was the song, the tune, what people would sing and dance along to?
These are just twenty of the tunes that he released.
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Tarrell), Can I Get A Witness (Marvin Gaye), Dancing In The Street (Martha And The Vandellas), Easy (The Commodores), Get Ready (The Temptations), Hello (Lionel Richie), I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye), I Want You Back (Jackson 5), I Wish (Stevie Wonder), Jimmy Mack (Martha And The Vandellas), Master Blaster (Jammin’) (Stevie Wonder), Money (That’s What I Want) (Barrett Strong), My Girl (The Temptations), My Guy (Mary Wells), Papa Was A Rolling Stone (The Temptations), Reach Out (I’ll Be There) (The Four Tops), Superstition (Stevie Wonder), The Tears Of A Clown (Smokey Robinson), What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye), and You Can’t Hurry Love (The Supremes).
It looks to me like his vision of a car factory’s production line, with a focus on writing songs worked out!
Berry Gordy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
Money (That’s What I Want) – Chords
Money (That’s What I Want) is a song written by Motown Record Executive Berry Gordy. First performed by Barrett Strong, it has since been covered by many.
As you learn this, I’ll reveal several ways you could play this song, including how to improvise a solo.
Money (That’s What I Want) – Lyrics
The best things in life are free,
but you can give them to the birds and bees,
I need money (that’s what I want).
That’s what I want (that’s what I want).