Motown and Stax


Motown and


Soul Music

Breaks the

ColourBarrier of the



Much of soul music can be traced back to gospel music of the slave era


-Plantation owners would require their slaves to attend church and become Christians. This was the only time when the slave community was allowed to gather and not have to work. Church became a joyous event in the slave community, and its functions (worship, prayer, music) began to reflect that joy.

This is why the atmosphere in many

Gospel churches resembles that of a party, not of a solemn occasion.

-Religious hymns became influenced by the musical roots of

Africa which is apparent in the rhythms, dancing, call and response, note bending, shouting and general exuberance

-this sound would pave the way for “Soul Music”

Ray Charles

“I gotta woman” is an excellent example of this.

The lyrics offended his own community.

See if you can figure out why?

Stax Records

 Memphis


Owned by a white couple…

Who planned to make country records

Instead, they catered to recording the unpolished, but raw talent of

Southern R&B Artists

Booker T and The MGs, a multiracial house band that accompanied all the Stax artists

Sam & Dave

“Soul Man”

Otis Redding

“Try A Little


Motown Records

Detroit Michigan

Founded by:

 Berry Gordy Jr

Wanted to record black music with the same quality as “Sinatra” and other white artists. He wanted to replace the sound and marketing of

“race records” Motown was a black record label to reach all audiences.

He hired a far superior musician to be his partner

 Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson himself

The Funk Brothers

This group of 15 to 20 became Motown’s house band

They played on more number one hits, than The

Beatles, The Beach Boys and Elvis….COMBINED

Backing up artists like these on all their hits.

The Jackson 5



Edwin Starr


A Motown song protesting the

Vietnam War

(which will talk about next time, so just enjoy

However, it wasn’t all fun

The Civil Rights movement occurs during the 1960’s.

Despite being

“free” for almost

100 years, blacks in the south still faced legalized segregation.

Those who stood for change

Rosa Parks refused to sit in the “coloured” section of the bus.

This caused the bus protests that swept America

Brown vs Board

 The Brown family wanted their child to attend their local school, which was for whites

The two strongest voices

Martin Luther King

 Wanted to bring equality through peaceful means

Malcolm X

 Wanted to bring equality by any means necessary

The Soundtrack of Social Change

The Black community is represented on the countries airwaves through

Motown and Stax Records

These record companies would also reach across the colour barriers of the music industry

Marvin Gaye

Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Race Riots sweep Detroit and other major

American cities

What’s Goin’ On?

Mother, mother

There's too many of you crying

Brother, brother, brother

There's far too many of you dying

You know we've got to find a way

To bring some lovin' here today -Ya

Father, father

We don't need to escalate

You see, war is not the answer

For only love can conquer hate

You know we've got to find a way

To bring some lovin' here today

Picket lines and picket signs

Don't punish me with brutality

Talk to me, so you can see

Oh, what's going on

What's going on

Ya, what's going on

Ah, what's going on

Father, father, everybody thinks we're wrong

Oh, but who are they to judge us

Simply because our hair is long

Oh, you know we've got to find a way

To bring some understanding here today

Picket lines and picket signs

Don't punish me with brutality

Talk to me

So you can see

What's going on