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Can’t Forget the Motor City

May 10, 2011

2011 Freep Marathon medal

I’d be remiss in my paternal duties if I did not pump this kid’s ears and heart full of Motor City soul. Like the Good Book in the Bible Belt, we Detroiters are keepers of a pop canon passed with pride from one generation to the next.

Berry Gordy’s pride and joy has been a staple in my music stable my entire life. I even managed to weave in a Motown set into each broadcast of my modern rock college radio show.

For His First Mix, I decided rather appropriately to include a “Big Three” of my timeless Motown favorites. These songs are sown firmly into my fabric, so it actually wasn’t difficult to choose a 101 intro for junior.

The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” gets me moving every time I hear that instantly recognizable, immediately pleasing bass line. The horn punch probably solidified this as my very first favorite Motown song.


In similar fashion, the funky guitar trickle-in of “I Want You Back” is quintessential Motown. Young Michael is instantly irresistible from the introductory “ohh ohh ohh” and the energy never stops.


The late great Marvin Gaye is my all-time favorite Motown artist and his early hit “Stubborn Kind of Fellow” captures everything I love about him.


Gaye has a way of injecting passion into every track, whether he’s sexing you up as he frequently did later in his career or delivering sixties ditties like this number.

The way he nearly falls out of range in the second verse of “Stubborn” gets me every time.

We’ve sampled these three tunes for Kass and Taylor informs me he is already swingin’ and swayin’ to the beats. Can’t wait to dance with the little guy!

Please share your own “Big Three” Motown jams below!

A note about the His First Mix project: I am creating a mix for my unborn son in an attempt to indoctrinate him with excellent musical taste prior to his arrival this July. The plan is simple enough: Plunder my memory vaults in search of the sounds that shaped my life, prune selections to suit my wife’s taste, and pray this pre-birth jukebox gives my better third a head start on a lifetime of musical exploration. I’ll chronicle the process on Post Rock and on the Twitter with the hashtag #hisfirstmix.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2011 7:19 am

    To me The Four Tops, ” Baby I Need Your Loving ” is the National Anthem of Motown.

    Paul Williams was the Soul & Backbone of The Temptations with what should of been The Temps first hit, ” I Want A Love You Can See “.

    And will forever believe that one of the best Motown female vocal artists was Brenda Holloway. Holloway’s ” Every Little Bit Hurts ” & ” When I’m Gone ” were awesome. The first she sang with pure emotion pouring out of her heart & soul. This singer should of gained so much more recognition.

    The reality is Berry Gordy cheated some exceptional talents being fixed on certain individuals and that hurt a great many people and careers which to me was unforgivable.

    • May 24, 2011 12:33 pm

      Thanks for sharing those cuts. All amazing songs and I agree Holloway is an amazing vocalist. “Every Little Bit” always gives me shivers.

      Nice blog, too. I’ll be reading!

  2. May 23, 2011 7:26 am

    That is: The Temps

    ” I Want A Love I Can See ”

    Word press should put an edit on our own comments to correct mistakes.

    I only just posted a Blog on this song this morning. LOL

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