Motown Revue Reunion

Motown Revue Reunion (1989)
Duration: 00:25:08

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Themes: Musical Roots and Branches | Motor City and Motown |

Guests: Johnny Bristol, Sylvia Moy, Ian Levine, the Satintone, the Velvelettes
Host : Trudy Gallant
Producer : Tony Mottley

Summary: In 1989, a British record producer who had grown up listening to the hits of Detroit's Motown Records during the 1960s decided to bring together many of the old groups together for to make a series of new recordings. In this program, host Trudy Gallant interviews the producer, Ian Levine, and two of the former Motown songwriters - Sylvia Moy and Johnny Bristol - who were involved in the new project.

Levine, who was in his teens when Motown was at its peak, says he has already produced 168 different tracks by 78 different artists who had recorded with Motown in the late 1950s and 1960s. Among those artists, he says, are the Miracles, the Contours, the Marvelettes, the Velvelettes, Mary Wells and Rare Earth.

"The world has never seen anything, to me, musically so magical" as Motown, Levine says. "Motown was a sound. It was hopes and aspirations.... My idea is to keep the Motown Sound's heritage going into the 1990s."

Moy and Bristol talk about their experiences at Motown in the record company's early years. Moy wrote "My Cherie Amour" and "Uptight," which were hits for Stevie Wonder, and Bristol wrote "Someday We'll Be Together" for the Supremes.

Bristol says he has enjoyed the new project because it has enabled him to see friends and former colleagues he hadn't seen in years. "You can never repeat that history of Motown, but suddenly you feel like you're living it again," he says.

In addition to the interview, the program features videotaped performances of three of the new songs from the project performed by the Velvelettes and the Satintones, which was one of the first groups signed by Motown Records.

The program is interesting for the historical observations of Moy and Bristol about the creative process at Motown Records during its heyday, but it also illustrates the perennial fascination with the Motown Sound that has captivated so many fans for decades.

Related Production Materials held at MSU Libraries, Special Collections:
Box 1, File 18, Music – Detroit Style – February 19, 1980
Box 1, File 43, Masters of Music - 1982
Box 8, File 26, Behind the Scenes in Music – February 16, 1994 – Show # 2521
Box 15, File 11, Black Music Shows
Box 19, File 16, Musician Bios