LAGUARDIA ON CROSSCURRENTS, 12/11: Crusader all his life in the interests of the underprivileged and the oppressed, the three-time mayor of New York, Fiorello La Guardia was born on this date in 1882. The mayor is hosting Gavin and Wyatt in his office. John will be hosting a La Guardia celebration to which you are invited on Crosscurrents, 12/11 at 8 am.
BERRY GORDY Jr. ON CROSSCURRENTS, 11/27: Record entrepreneur, music producer, and founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy was born in Detroit on the 28th of November 1929. Gavin and Wyatt are in the Motown recording studio for an audition. We explore some of the rare gems in the Motown archives in advance of Berry Gordy’s birthday on Crosscurrents, 11/27 at 8 aMotown was founded by Berry Gordy, Jr., who was once a professional boxer before the U.S. Army draft for the Korean War.
Facts and Trivia:
Gordy borrowed $800 dollars from his father in 1959 to start Motown. He then released Marv Johnson’s song, “Come to Me.”
Motown’s founder, Berry Gordy, is a producer and songwriter. His first group and first million-selling act was The Miracles.
Gordy wrote or co-wrote over 200 songs for Motown’s music catalog, consisting of approximately 15,000 songs.
Motown was the first record label to run its own “charm school” to teach artists how to perform.
The backing band on almost all of the Motown recordings are a group of highly dedicated and tight-knit group of musicians called The Funk Brothers. The surviving members received The Grammy Legend Award in 2004 and were induced into The Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville in 2007.
Between 1961 and 1971, Motown produced 110 US top 10 hits.
“Motown” derives its name from “Motor City”, the nickname for Detroit where the label was founded. At the time the biggest car factory, Ford was based here. Berry Gordy Jr, the label’s founder once worked for Ford.
Awards and accolades
Gordy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
Gordy was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1998.
Gordy received the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s Pioneer Award on June 13, 2013. He is the first living individual to receive the honor.
In 2016, Gordy received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama for “helping to create a trailblazing new sound in American music. As a record producer and songwriter, he helped build Motown, launching the music careers of countless legendary artists. His unique sound helped shape our Nation’s story.”
ALISTAIR COOKE ON CROSSCURRENTS, 11/20: The esteemed journalist and imperturbable and honey-voiced host of “Masterpiece Theatre”, Alistair Cooke, was born on this date in 1908. Gavin and Wyatt hope to be cast in Alistair’s next “Masterpiece Theatre”. You can be part of the troupe singing Broadway show tunes on Crosscurrents, 11/20 at 8 am.
Playlist to include: Phantom; Les Mis; Hamilton; Lions; Cats; Rocky; Shop; Sweeney; Hair; Tommy; J.C.; Newsies; Annie; Heights, and of course Shakespeare.
STEVENSON ON CROSSCURRENTS, 11/13: The Scottish writer who authored “Treasure Island”, Robert Louis Stevenson was born on this date in 1850. Gavin and Wyatt hope that the novelist will take them for a walk in the Scottish countryside. You can anticipate a playlist of artists from Scotland for the Stevenson birthday on Crosscurrents, 11/13 at 8 am.
SOUSA ON CROSSCURRENTS, 10/06: American composer, conductor, and everyone’s favorite bandmaster, John Philip Sousa was born on this date in 1854. Gavin and Wyatt “herd” the marching band along on the field. You are invited to the Sousa indie band music to be “heard” by marching to Crosscurrents, 10/06 at 8 am.
SILVERSTEIN & CROSSCURRENTS, 9/25: The unique poet, illustrator, and songwriter with a silly, enchanting, and strange character, Shel Silverstein was born on this date in 1930. You are invited to draw on your goofy and imaginative side for Uncle Shelby’s birthday on Crosscurrents, 9/25 at 8 am.
Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy and Crosscurrents, 8/28: The Russian author of War and Peaceand Anna Karenina, Lev Tolstoy was born on this date in 1828. A celebration of this prodigious thinker, writer, and philosopher Leo Tolstoy will be held on Crosscurrents, 8/28 at 8 am.