Netflix has picked up an original animated children’s series that will feature contemporary artists performing hit songs from the Motown catalog that will serve as inspiration for each episode.
From writer/director Josh Wakely (“Beat Bugs”), the as-yet-untitled project will feature Motown icon Smokey Robinson as its executive music producer.
The series will include 52 classic Motown hits, including those made famous by all-time greats like Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Lionel Richie, The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and many more.
The series revolves around a lovable, funny and slightly shy eight-year-old boy named Ben, who discovers he has the extraordinary ability to bring street-art to life. Ben and his family live in the imaginary city of Motown, based on Detroit and its rich musical heritage. Inspired by the words and melodies of Motown’s classic songs, Ben and his friends Angie and Mickey, along with an amazing cast of enchanting street art characters, discover that creativity is magic as they revive vibrancy to their city and learn life lessons.
John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” and The Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go,” are part of the incoming class added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress this year. The diverse crop of new inductees also includes the Vienna Philharmonic’s 1938 recording of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” and live coverage from Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game.
The registry adds 25 recordings — deemed significant to American history and culture — each year. The field this year includes pop, (Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”), classic R&B (“Where Did Our Love Go,” The Impressions’ “People Get Ready”), field recordings (W.H. Stepp’s “Bonaparte’s Retreat,” captured by Alan and Elizabeth Lomax in 1937) and comedy (George Carlin’s “Class Clown”). Joining these performers is Secretary of State George C. Marshall proposing what became known as the Marshall Plan to aid Europe after World War II.
The National Recording Registry now totals 450 recordings, the library said. A full list can be found at www.loc.gov.
Superstar singer Diana Ross has inked April dates for the first nine performances of her new mini-residency contract at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Soon to follow in this new entertainment lineup set for the former “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular” theater will be Janet Jackson, Lionel Richie and Ricky Martin.
Diana, named “Most Successful Female Vocalist of All Time,” takes the stage for her new show “The Essential Diana Ross: Some Memories Never Fade” as of April 1. Tickets are on sale for three weekends of shows April 1, 3-4, 7-8, 10-11, 15 and 17-18. To purchase, click here.
She will include songs from her remarkable, nearly five-decade career that made music-history milestones and a significant contribution to pop culture music of the 20th century. She’s promising Motown classics “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to pop favorites “I’m Coming Out” and hits including “Endless Love.”