An Evening with Barry Gordy at History Makers

It was a historic evening with Barry Gordy at The Art Institute for the History Makers affair, Saturday, November 17.  Barry Gordy, the musical icon was on stage being interviewed about his  luxurious career by award winning journalist Gwen Ifill. Gordy the creator of Motown revealed that he was the accomplished song writer in adddition to being a superb businessman.  The evening was beautiful as his story unfolded.  Julieanna Richardson the founder and executive director of History Maker tried for twelve years to capture the Gordy glory .  The interview will be shown on a PBS station in 2013.

He played the piano, showcasing his first composition.  Tributes were given on tape and on stage by his friends to include Smokey Robinson, and  Quincy Jones.  On stage in person were Suzanne dePasse, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Clarence Avant. They all told of the genius of  Barry and his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.

The stars came out. The originals, the pioneers the creators of the Motown Sound were on hand to include, Claudette Robinson, Freda and Sherrie Payne, The Velvelettes and Barry;s  son Stefan Gordy.   The new motowners were there too  -     Kem and Janelle Monae.

The audience was treated to a glimpse  into the upcoming Broadway play, Motown the Musical,  scheduled to open April 2013 with lead roles being played by Valisia Lekae as Diana Ross and Brandon Victor Dixon as Berry Gordy.

Barry Gordy is a legend in his own time, making beautiful music with the likes of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles  The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye and countless others.  During the interview he told how he formed an entertainment assembly line just like at the car factories, where everyone had clear defined roles on the production line.  In addition to the music Gordy created auxuliary professions , from fashion designers to newspapers.

Beautiful evening, Miss Ross was missing.   It was the best history makers.


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  • I watched the televised show on PBS last night. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed it. There was not only phenominal talent, Kem, Brandon Victor Dixon, Valerie Simpson, Valisia LeKae and Mr. Berry Gordy Jr., but the interview, conducted by Ms. Gwen Ifill, was entertaining, insightful and brought back a lot of sweet memories. I even enjoyed the cameras perusing the room of great artists and noteworthy people I have not seen in years. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I cannot wait to see the play, Motown the Musical. The talent of Brandon Dixon and Valisia LeKae are on a superior level. Ms. LeKae even speaks like Diana Ross! Her voice was positively unreal. Such an amazing experience. I can only imagine what was going through the minds of the audience. Great show.

  • It was an exciting evening and I can't wait to see the broadway production. Gordy will introduce a new generation to real music.

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