Step Outside Your Musical Box: Motown

In honor of Black History Month, we are celebrating the musical achievements of the Motown movement. Motown Records was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in 1960 and achieved crossover success during a time when the country was very segregated. Motown was the first US record label to be owned by an African American, and from 1961 to 1971, Motown produced 110 US top 10 hits. Motown’s sound bridged genres and crossed racial lines.

Our “Step Outside Your Musical Box: Motown” playlist is from our vault and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.  


Detroit, Michigan, nicknamed “Motor City,” was the original home to Motown Records and the label’s namesake. Although it’s a record company, the Motown sound is considered a genre as well. It’s a sound that combines soul, rhythm and blues, pop, and characteristics of gospel music and its artists are largely African American. The Motown sound covers a time period predominantly from 1960 through the late 1980s and early 1990s. While there is historical significance to the Motown sound, which took the music scene by storm in the heart of the civil rights movement, the cross-generational and widespread demand for the music was seen as contributor to the breakdown of racial barriers.

This catchy, universally loved, upbeat sound by artists such as Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and the Supremes, James Brown, Ike and Tina Turner, and the Jackson 5 are just a few of the names synonymous with Motown.

One of my favorite songs and probably one of the top songs used by indoor cycling instructors is

One Response to “Step Outside Your Musical Box: Motown”

  1. Cyclequeen says:

    Growing up 60 miles from Motown these are the songs my class listened to while growing up. Comments from my class ranged from “great music. Fun. Not one bad song in the list” Thank you for the playlist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *