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Berry Gordy

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  • George Clinton's bottomless well of funk

    Over 10 minutes, Funkadelic's "Baby Like Fonkin' It Up" throws in about 17 different types of melody — horns play jazz, singers trill familiar-sounding "da da das," a rapper demands to "promise you'll keep the funk" and George Clinton's unmistakably hoarse baritone cackles and spews out a nonsensical rhyme ending in "till you hiccup." These melodic chants and choruses have been key to Clinton's bandleading empire, which includes Parliament, Funkadelic and an amalgamation of the two known as P-Funk, since he began reinventing funk music in his own cartoonish image in the late '60s.
  • 'Motown' is music to the ears, but the message is missing

    The story of Motown Records is a rich and important one. It's not only the rags-to-riches story of a record label that rose out of inner-city Detroit to become a cornerstone in the foundation of postwar American music, but one in which a body of work...

    Motown creator Berry Gordy charts his musical trajectory

    Motown creator Berry Gordy charts his musical trajectory
    Motown Records didn't release every indelible pop-soul hit from the '60s and '70s, although sometimes that's how it seemed. The Drifters' "On Broadway," for example, was one that got away, to Atlantic. Berry Gordy, the Detroit auto plant worker, onetime...

    Johnny Mathis: Time for a full-scale comeback?

    Johnny Mathis: Time for a full-scale comeback?
    An unlikely act stole the show last month at the annual all-star gala Clive Davis hosts the night before the Grammy Awards. As usual, the veteran producer and record executive had assembled a cast of hot young hitmakers — among them Sam Smith,...

    Aretha Franklin Making Sure 'Good People Of Bridgeport Have A Good Time'

    Aretha Franklin Making Sure 'Good People Of Bridgeport Have A Good Time'
    Selling a pair of her homes is almost easier for Aretha Franklin than putting together a set list. "I'm liquidating right now," Franklin said while calling from her Manhattan apartment. "I'm putting my Michigan home on the market. I'm juggling that with...