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Spotlight on Berry Gordy Jr.

 
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Berry Gordy Jr. | Phoby Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Berry Gordy Jr. | Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

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Updated: May 1, 2014 12:34PM



Berry Gordy, whom I interviewed while he was in Chicago last month to talk about “Motown the Musical,” continued his conversation with me via e-mail.

Q. How did you “find” most of your artists?

A. I found them in many different ways. Gladys Knight I saw at the Apollo. Marvin Gaye was brought to me by my sister, Anna. Smokey [Robinson] and the Miracles bumped into me at an audition they were doing for somebody else. Diana Ross and the Supremes auditioned for me at Motown. Stevie Wonder was brought to us by one of The Miracles. Martha Reeves was a secretary, and then we needed a stand-in.

Q. You had a special relationship with Marvin Gaye. What were the things that made you two bond so closely?

A. For one, Marvin was my brother-in-law. I also considered him the truest artist I have ever known. We talked about crazy things.

Q. What was the most difficult “chapter” of the Motown story to write about for this show?

A. The love scene between me and Diana Ross.

Q. If you could perform one of the hits you produced, what song would it be?

A. A song I co-produced with Smokey Robinson called “I’ll Try Something New.”

—Hedy Weiss



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