Happy 50th, Motown!

Happy 50th, Motown!

50-video series celebrates the iconic record label's musical stars and untold stories. Smokey, Stevie, the Supremes -- they're all here, and more. (Detroit Free Press)

With Motown Records celebrating its 50th anniversary on Jan. 12, 2009, the Detroit Free Press (Freep.com) went for the gold. Its staff traveled coast to coast seeking out the stories — and stars — that demonstrate the label’s continued relevance. The results are unveiled in a series of 50 Motown behind-the-scenes video vignettes, featuring dozens of top musical stars from Stevie to Smokey, and from the Four Tops to the Temptations, in current and vintage footage.

Here’s a small sampling of the scope of each video:

* It’s been more than 40 years since the legendary songwriting team known as Holland-Dozier-Holland sat down together to look back on their work. In an L.A. studio, master tapes in hand, the trio breaks down their Supremes hit “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” providing a revealing look into their creative genius.

* In a tidy room at Universal Music studios in New York, Motown master tapes are stored, preserved and curated. Take an exclusive peek inside one of the label’s vaults.

* In the world of bass playing, they call him by a single name — Jamerson. Musicians herald his Motown legacy.

Lead writer and producer: Brian McCollum

Lead videographer and producer:
Romain Blanquart, Marcin Szczepanski

Project leader and executive producer:
Kathy Kieliszewski

Project leader and editor:
Steve Byrne

Videographers and producers:
Brian Kaufman
Eric Seals

CHANNEL: Detroit Free Press