Tag: Berry Gordy

R.I.P. Joe Jackson, 89, Patriarch of Musical, Legendary Jackson Family

Joe Jackson (photo via latimes.com)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Joseph Walter Jackson aka Joe Jackson, the patriarch of one of the most famous singing family acts of all time, has died, according to the Los Angeles Times. He was 89. Jackson died at 2:55 a.m. Wednesday at Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas, Clark County coroner John Fudenberg told the Associated Press.

Jackson was born in the tiny town of Fountain Hill in southeast Arkansas on July 26, 1929, to Samuel and Chrystal Lee Jackson. His father was a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse; she was one of his students. After the parents separated, Jackson went with his father to Oakland and later joined his mother in Indiana. An early marriage was annulled. He married Katherine Scruse in 1949.

A onetime amateur boxer, Jackson was working as a steelworker in Gary, Ind., when he began relentlessly coaching his children to be singers, plotting a record deal even before it grew clear that Michael, at the time four years old, wasn’t just another voice in the crowd, but would soon become the lead singer of the Jackson 5 on the Motown label and eventually a world-reknowned superstar solo act.

Motown founder Berry Gordy recalled seeing 9-year-old Michael try out in 1968. The boy singer crooned Smokey Robinson’s “Who’s Loving You” like “a man who had been living with the blues and heartbreak his whole life,” Gordy recalled. “I couldn’t believe it.” It was a prelude to future breakout performances.

Who could have imagined what it was like to grow up a poor black man in the South, robbed of dignity, bereft of hope … working long hours in the steel mills? Is it any wonder why he pushed his sons so hard to succeed as performers? – Michael Jackson

The Jackson 5’s first three singles sold millions of copies, and their national television debut in 1969 was a sensation. As time went on, other family members, such as Jermaine and  baby sister Janet, had solo musical success. But Michael Jackson’s fame would prove stratospheric. Jackson managed his childrens’ careers until the 1980s.

Joe Jackson is survived by his wife, Katherine, and their children: Janet, Jermaine, La Toya, Rebbie, Randy, Jackie, Marlon and Tito Jackson, as well as several grandchildren. He is also survived by daughter Joh’Vonnie Jackson, his child with longtime girlfriend Cheryl Terrell.

Motown Museum Receives $500,000 Donation From Hudson-Webber Foundation for Expansion

Hitsville USA in Detroit, MI (photo via wikipedia.com)

by Nigel Roberts via newsone.com

The vision of an expanded space for the world famous Motown Museum is closer to fruition with the donation of $500,000 from the Hudson-Webber Foundation, Business Insider reported.

“Every time we get another one of these significant lead gifts in the campaign, not only does it encourage us as a team, but also sends a message to the rest of the funding community about this project, the importance of this development and also makes clear that this is real,” Robin Terry, chairwoman and CEO of the museum, told the Detroit Free Press when the foundation notified her about the award.

This donation comes after the museum received a $1 million donation from the Fred A. and Barbara Erb Family Foundation. In October 2016, the museum announced plans for a $50 million, 50,000-square foot expansion project. The new space will include more interactive exhibits, a performance theater, recording studios, retail shops and meeting spaces.

Motown Museum Expansion Expansion Artist Rendering (photo via freep.com)

Museum-goers currently only have access to two houses on Grand Boulevard and the funds from the campaign will allow a third house with more exhibits to be built. The expansion will foster job creation and economic growth in Detroit, providing the local community with nearly 250 job opportunities.

“The Motown Museum project will increase the vitality of the surrounding neighborhood and will expand the museum’s ability to serve as an educational and cultural amenity for the city and beyond,” Melanca Clark, president and CEO of the foundation, told the newspaper. “We’re so proud to support an iconic Detroit institution that connects our city to the world.”

Motown founder Berry Gordy’s sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, established the original museum in 1985.

Source: Motown Museum Receives Donation From Hudson Webber Foundation | News One

Motown Museum Garners $6 Million Donation for Expansion from Ford Motor Company

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An artist rendering of the expanded Motown Museum in Detroit. (Image courtesy of Ford)

article via eurweb.com

Ford Motor Company and UAW-Ford have announced a $6 million investment towards a planned expansion of the Motown Museum in Detroit, reports Billboard.

The figure makes the auto giant and union the lead donors in a recently announced $50 million upgrade that will create a new Ford-branded theater, space for interactive exhibits and a recording studio at the tourist attraction.

“We are thrilled to play a role in the next chapter of a global music icon,” said Joe Hinrichs, president, The Americas, Ford Motor Company. “The enhanced museum will not only upgrade the visitor experience, it also fits with our commitment to investing in the cultural heritage of Detroit and southeast Michigan.”

As part of the Ford/UAW investment, the expanded Motown Museum will include a new venue to be called the Ford Motor Company Theater, as well as a new interactive activity called the CARaoke Experience that will incorporate music with Ford vehicles. The donation will also fuel educational, music and other programming.

The Motown Museum is located in the Hitsville U.S.A. house where record company founder Berry Gordy launched his music empire in 1959. Scores of stars and hits were created there before the label moved to California in 1972.

To read original article, go to: http://www.eurweb.com/2016/11/ford-donates-6-million-toward-motown-museum-detroit/#

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum to Host FREE Admission Day with Special Events in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, OH is hosting its 14th annual FREE admission day in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 19, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Museum will offer a day filled with live performances, education programs and family activities that will highlight how people use music to find their voice and create a sense of community.

Visitors are invited to experience the Rock Hall’s many exhibits that showcase how Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and other artists have used popular music to communicate ideas to a wide audience and bring about social change.  The day of events is sponsored by KeyBank.

In addition to free admission, visitors will be able to enter for a chance to win a Museum membership, as five Family Roller memberships will be raffled off during the day.  For a list of current exhibits and for more information about this and other Rock Hall events, visit http://www.rockhall.com.

Klipsch Audio stage entertainment lineup:

Jason Walker of Sounds of Entertainment will emcee the events.

The Antioch Spiritual Arts Choir, an acclaimed co-ed choir from Antioch Baptist Church who focus on spirituals, folk and gospel music.

West Side Community House’s Summer of Sisterhood program began in 2010 under the leadership of Ali McClain, youth services director.  The program teaches girls ages 10-18 how the power of creative expression can positively change their community and even the world.  The girls work intensively for eight week with professional teaching artists to create original songs, music videos, and live performances of their work.

The Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word, a powerful performance arts and spoken word group comprised of adolescent males (age 12-19) from various inner city Cleveland communities.

Inspire *1* One, a band comprised of former students from Cleveland School of the Arts.

Lake Erie Ink, a writing space for youth is a non-profit that provides creative expression opportunities and academic support to youth in the greater Cleveland community.  LEI works with youth from different socio-economic, cultural and academic backgrounds, using creative writing to increase literacy and social engagement. The organization offers creative expression workshops onsite and off, to youth of all ages, including an after school program, weekly evening workshops for teens, and monthly weekend workshops and open mics.

Foster Theater Programming:

Programming will be taught by the Rock Hall’s award-winning education staff.  Seating is limited. Attendance will be on a first-come first-served basis.

Special Presentation:  “Rock and Roll and the Civil Rights Movement”
This program will explore how a range of artists, from Mahalia Jackson and Sam Cooke to Berry Gordy at Motown and rock and roll pioneer Fats Domino created a popular music that empowered African Americans to take their rightful place in American society. Young people of all races flocked to their performances and embraced their music, which helped to break down the walls and barriers that the Civil Rights movement was fighting against.

Album Spotlight: Marvin Gaye’s What’s Goin’ On
This special presentation will focus on the making and impact of Marvin Gaye’s landmark 1971 album, which still resonates for listeners today. The full album will be played, with no interruption, with discussion to follow. Continue reading “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum to Host FREE Admission Day with Special Events in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Announces a Month-Long Celebration Honoring Civil Rights Legends

Oprah Winfrey and

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network recently announced a month-long celebration in January honoring civil rights legends who paved the way as we approach the 50th anniversary of the historic Selma to Montgomery marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The network will air the star-studded television event Oprah Winfrey Presents: Legends Who Paved The Way (Sunday, January 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT) where Oprah Winfrey hosts a gala of events honoring some of the legendary men and extraordinary women of the civil rights movement, the arts and entertainment who made history and redefined what was possible for us all. Honorees include Ambassador Andrew Young, Berry Gordy, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Diane Nash, Dick Gregory, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., Congressman John Lewis, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Juanita Jones Abernathy, Julian Bond, Marian Wright Edelman, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Quincy Jones, Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte.

On January 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Oprah sits down for a special episode of her popular series Oprah Prime celebrating the life of Dr. King and the Selma marches 50 years later. The episode features an in-depth conversation with the star of the upcoming film Selma, acclaimed actor David Oyelowo who portrays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., along with the film’s award-winning director Ava DuVernay. The episode will also feature stories of those who were impacted by the march and their reflections today on that time in American history.

The month of special programming begins on New Year’s Day as NBC News correspondent Tamron Hall hosts Race on The Oprah Winfrey Show with Tamron Hall (Thursday, January 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT) which highlights those trailblazing Oprah show episodes that elicited shocking audience responses and sparked opportunities for growth towards greater connection, empathy and healing.

Other special programming airing throughout the month include special episodes of Oprah: Where Are They Now? (Thursday, January 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT) which spotlights memorable civil rights newsmakers and Oprah’s Master Class (Sunday, January 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT) featuring powerful firsthand accounts from iconic “masters” such as Berry Gordy, Cicely Tyson, Dr. Maya Angelou, Diahann Carroll and many more.

In addition, the world television premiere of the OWN original documentary Light Girls will air on Monday, January 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT featuring an in-depth look into colorism and the untold stories of lighter-skinned women around the globe. The documentary features interviews with notable celebrities including Russell Simmons, Soledad O’Brien, Diahann Carroll, india.arie, Iyanla Vanzant, Michaela Angela Davis, Kym Whitley, Salli Richardson-Whitfield and more.

Continue reading “Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Announces a Month-Long Celebration Honoring Civil Rights Legends”

R.I.P. “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” Singer and Motown Veteran Jimmy Ruffin

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NEW YORK — Jimmy Ruffin, the Motown singer whose hits include What Becomes of the Brokenhearted and Hold on to My Love, died Monday in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 78.

Philicia Ruffin and Jimmy Lee Ruffin Jr., the late singer’s children, confirmed Wednesday that Ruffin had died. There were no details about the cause of death.

Ruffin was the older brother of Temptations lead singer David Ruffin, who died in 1991 at age 50.

Jimmy Lee Ruffin was born on May 7, 1936, in Collinsville, Miss. He was signed to Berry Gordy‘s Motown Records and had a string of hits in the 1960s, including What Becomes of the Brokenhearted, which was a Top 10 pop hit. He had his second Top 10 hit, Hold on to My Love, in 1980.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Motown Founder Berry Gordy Recipient of Marian Anderson Award

PHILAPELPHIA – A star-studded gala took place last night in Philadelphia to honor Motown Records founder Berry Gordy.  The legendary record producer and songwriter is recipient of the 2013 Marian Anderson Award, which pays homage to critically acclaimed artists who have made a significant impact.  Tuesday night’s gala dinner and award presentation at the Kimmel Center was hosted by comedian-actor Chris Tucker. It featured performances by Boyz II Men, Kool and the Gang as well as Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon, who stars as Gordy in “Motown The Musical.”

R&B icon Smokey Robinson presented a tribute, along with “Philly Sound” songwriting and producing pioneers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.  Gordy, a high-school dropout who had a short professional boxing career, started Motown Records in Detroit in 1959. The record company is credited for opening doors for African-American performing artists, launching the careers of everyone from Michael Jackson to Stevie Wonder to Diana Ross & the Supremes.  “This year we will be honoring an individual who created a new genre of American music that is beloved around the world, by young and old, black and white,” said Award chair Pamela Browner White.

Continue reading “Motown Founder Berry Gordy Recipient of Marian Anderson Award”

Berry Gordy to be Honored by Songwriters Hall of Fame

Berry Gordy poses in the press room during the 27th Annual Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Public Hall on April 14, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Berry Gordy poses in the press room during the 27th Annual Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Public Hall on April 14, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

As the head of Motown, Gordy helped establish careers and hits for Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five. A Broadway musical about Gordy’s life, “Motown: The Musical,” debuted this week.  Previously announced inductees include Tony Hatch, Mick Jones and Lou Gramm, Holly Knight, JD Souther, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press via thegrio.com

Paul McCartney Helps Restore Historic Motown Piano

Sir Paul McCartney performs during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Sir Paul McCartney performs during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

DETROIT (AP) — A damaged 1877 Steinway grand piano used by Motown artists during the record label’s “Hitsville USA” heyday has been restored, thanks to a little help from Paul McCartney, and he’s set to play it when it’s unveiled next month. Continue reading “Paul McCartney Helps Restore Historic Motown Piano”