Motown Records was established by Berry Gordy in January 1959, with a loan of $800 that he took from his family. The Detroit-based outfit picked up so fast that within a few years, it was selling more singles and had more hits released than other record companies. The sound of music from Motown Records has proved to be one of the most significant accomplishments in music and impressive success stories of the twentieth century (“Motown: The Sound that Changed America” n.pag.).
Berry Gordy stood out as a man of vision, drive, talent as well as determination. He wanted to nurture the talent in many individuals. Through determination and support received from Motown family of artists, Gordy was able to achieve his vision. Under his leadership, Motown forged new grounds for minorities and its sound became a worldwide phenomenon loved by millions of people to this day. In the late 1960s, Motown music and efforts saw the “crossover” from the classical era to a defined pop music. Actually, this came about by Motown breaking down barriers and securing of slots for its artists on radio and television (“Motown: The Sound that Changed America” n.pag.).
The mark that was made by Berry Gordy’s legendary Motown transcended the music industry to impact the society at large. Motown’s energetic product was a reflection of striving toward progress as well as optimism of a generation of long-oppressed people and the nation at large. Motown Records was instrumental in helping the country to overcome the overt racial barriers that had plagued it from its inception. The work by Motown was a reflection of the unstoppable trend towards integration of black and whites that had engulfed America (“Motown: The Sound that Changed America” n.pag.).
Sly and the Family Stone
Sly and the Family Stone music emerged in 1967. It musically fused soul, rock and R&B into a growing genre known as “funk”. It should be noticed that it made Sly and the Family Stone one of the earliest and greatest funk groups ever. Notably, Sly and the Family Stone music drew some inspiration from Motown, namely jazz, folk heroes and rock (Covach n.pag.).
The songs released by the band, such as “I want to Take You Higher”, were explosive on stage as compared to the other songs which had initially been common. The precision adopted by the members of a psychedelic brotherhood looked like that used by Motown artists. As in Motown Records, the Sly and the Family Stone had a defined and important influence on black pop in the late 1960s (Covach n.pag.). Generally, Sly and the Family Stone enabled the realization of social as well as political ambitions of a generation in the late 1960s. It was a fully integrated band with male and female members and skillfully wedded black music and psychedelic rock in an attractive synthesis. The Family Stone was comprised of members of both white and black origins, which made the band the very first fully integrated group in the history of rock music (Patrin n.pag.).
The Beach Boys
The iconic Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys was released on May 16th, 1966. Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys’ star, has admitted that Pet Sounds was largely inspired by the Beatles Rubber Soul. The Beatles were Brian’s worthy competitors; he respected and admired them. Brain once hosted Rubber Soul in his house and since that time he created the ideas for Pet Sounds. He was so much impressed by Rubber Soul and purposed to record an album that was as good as Rubber Soul. While recording Pet Sounds, Wilson knew he was creating rock & roll masterpiece and was determined to beat the Beatles (“Brian Wilson Credits the Beatles’ Inspiration for “Pet Sounds” n.pag.).
Following the success of Pet Sounds, Wilson was out to take the competition between him and the Beatles a notch higher by promising to release an album better than Pet Sounds. He entitled his new song as “Smile”, but did not complete it due to the difference that rose between him and the Beach Boys. Nevertheless, the Beach Boys finally released a diluted version of the “Smile”, “Smiley Smile”. The latter version was a more restrained mix compared to “Smile”. It rejected the radical production techniques that had been pioneered by Wilson in “Smile” (“The Beach Boys Biography” n.pag.). However, in 2004, nearly forty years later, Wilson revived “Smile”; assisted by his original lyricist, he released the later version as a solo project.