The Soul Of Tamla Motown



Welcome to the first in a short series of programmes where we look at the music of four of the most influential soul music labels of the twentieth century. Tamla Motown, a label set up in the UK to release material produced by Berry Gordy Jr who borrowed $800 from his family to start the label, originally to be called 'Tammy' after a number one hit by Debbie Reynolds but as it was already registered as a label in the States, had to change it to Tamla his first label followed by Motown, an abbreviation of the motor town of Detroit. Tamla Motown as a single label never existed in America.

Motown was built on the idea that there was only one way to survive in such a competitive world-single by single, song by song and hit by hit. In 1959 when Gordy Jr, released 'Come To Me' by Marv Johnson, the first single on Tamla, the odds against the company changing the face of the music business wasn't even worth contemplating but today their labels are still held in the highest esteem by soul fans all over the world.