Berry Gordy remembers Chess


Berry Gordy | Oprah | tc188

““I started here, before there was Motown,” said Gordy, as he charted his connections to this city. “I was an independent producer, and was good friends with Leonard Chess at Chess Records. ‘Bad Girl’ by The Miracles, and was my first-ever release for the Motown record label and Chess Records picked it up.””

Berry Gordy told the audience at Chicago’s Hard Rock Cafe to welcome to Chicago the national touring company production of “Motown, The Musical”.

“There are so many memories,” Gordy continued. “The way Johnson Publications put us on the covers of Ebony and Jet magazines, and my special arrangement with WVON radio [every song Berry produced was immediately sent to the radio station, before it went to any others]. Scenes in my film, ‘Mahogany’ [about a young woman living in the Chicago projects who dreams of becoming a fashion designer] were shot at Marshall Field’s on State Street. And then there was the Regal Theatre. In 1962, during a Motortown Revue, we taped Stevie Wonder doing ‘Fingertips’ [his first live, non-studio song to hit Number 1 on the Billboard chart].

Source: Chicago Sun-Times


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