| May 15, 2012
As the bass player on dozens of the most soulful hits in the history of pop music, Donald "Duck" Dunn often found himself out on the road playing to fans who had assumed he was black like the stars he supported, notably Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and...
| Aug 28, 2011
When Berry Gordy Jr. wanted to borrow $800 from his family to found Motown Records in 1959, he knew that the most formidable resistance would come from his oldest sister, Esther.
"You're 29 years old and what have you done with your life?" his sister...
| Jan 28, 2011
When a record label's female vocal groups include the Supremes and Martha and the Vandellas, it's easy to see why the Marvelettes are often relegated to footnote status. But the Detroit group has a unique distinction in the saga of Motown Records —...
| Feb 1, 2012
| 6:58 PM
Don Cornelius, who died Wednesday at 75, was a civil rights pioneer disguised as a dance-music-show host. He used to sign off the “Soul Train” show he founded in Chicago by wishing his viewers “love, peace and soul,” and devoted...
| Aug 23, 2011
| 12:13 PM
The songwriting world lost two titans Monday when Nick Ashford and Jerry Leiber died within hours of each other.
Ashford, 70, cowrote a string of hits with his wife, Valerie Simpson, that helped define soul, R&B and funk in the ‘60s, ‘70s and...
| May 21, 2012
| 2:58 PM
When Black Ensemble Theatre opened its beautiful new building in November, it did so with a show, "The Jackie Wilson Story," that not only was under-rehearsed but was merely a pro forma remount of a hit from the past. The second, far more successful...
| Jun 11, 2011
He's been called the godfather of Rodeo Drive. And it's not all hyperbole. Before Beverly Hills was the land of designer logos, before it was teeming with tourists and rolling with Rolls-Royces, the city was home to Fred Hayman, the proprietor of the...
| Dec 28, 2010
Long before she became an '80s funk-pop infanta, or Rick James' protégé and lover, Teena Marie was a Motown-enamored schoolgirl in one of L.A.'s last historic black enclaves.
The singer-songwriter, who died Sunday at her Pasadena home at age 54, grew...
| Jan 13, 2012
| 4:35 PM
Last week LMFAO had the No. 1 song in America. Again. This time it was for the L.A. rap/dance/pop duo's ode to self-infatuation, "Sexy and I Know It" — an infectiously simple dance-floor ditty with a relentless rhythm and a video that has been...
| Feb 17, 2012
| 9:42 PM
Whitney Houston's closest family and friends gathered Friday evening in Newark, N.J., for a private viewing of the body of the singer, who died Saturday at the Beverly Hilton. Whtiney Houston's mother Cissy Houston, daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown and...
| Feb 21, 2012
| 4:36 PM
In making a big fuss over the Academy's predominantly older-than-50 membership, The Times evidently feels that the experience in craft and in life that comes with age is not as valuable as that which comes from a presumably younger and more diverse...