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Motown - iii House Band The Funk Brothers 1 James Jamerson...

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Motown 1) Created in Detroit by Berry Gordy (1960) 2) Related record labels: a. Tammie (changed to Tamla, 1960) b. Motown c. Gordy 3) Representative Motown artists: a. The Temptations b. The Supremes c. The Jackson Five d. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles e. Marvin Gaye (solo, and with various women in duets – Tammi Terrell) f. Stevie Wonder 4) Characteristics of Motown Sound a. A lead singer supported by backup singers b. Close vocal harmonies c. Voices predominant over instruments d. Band is very much in the background e. More polished sound than Soul f. Not many instrumental riffs or vamps g. Strong beat generally emphasizing all four beats in a measure equally (flat four beat) h. Some emphasis of backbeat, often with handclaps i. Very often uses a string orchestra in background j. In performances, very visually oriented with choreographed moves by backup singers (visual, not aural; not felt on recordings) 5) The Motown “Assembly Line” i. Etiquette/Fashion: Maxine Powell
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ii. Choreography: Cholly Atkins
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Unformatted text preview: iii. House Band: The Funk Brothers 1. James Jamerson, bass, arranger 2. Earl Van Dyke, piano 3. Bennie Benjamin, drums 4. House band gives Motown acts a uniform sound iv. Composition/Production 1. Smokey Robinson 2. Norm Whitfield 3. Eddie & Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier (Holland-Dozier-Holland) 6) Stevie Wonder (b. 1950) a. Child prodigy, first billed in 1960’s as “Little” Stevie Wonder b. Career mainly takes off in 1970’s c. Style, 1970’s i. High baritone/low tenor vocal range ii. Heavy, rhythmic bass iii. Tightly arranged horn section iv. Percussive keyboards, especially synthesizers, clavinet v. Precise drumming d. After 1972 i. Songs are interconnected ii. Lyrics embrace social, political, and mystical/spiritual concerns iii. Studio is part of the composition process, much overdubbing iv. Increasing interest in electronic keyboards (synthesizers)...
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