The Most Popular Songs To Come Out Of The Motown Record Label

Jackson Sawa | November 15, 2018 11:03 am

Originally known as Tamla Records, Motown is an American record company founded by Berry Gordy Jr. The label soon became known as Motown, a combination of the words motor and town, a reference to Detroit’s motor industry. Motown helped to play an important role in the racial integration of African American culture and style into popular music.

Motown Records and other similar labels helped to establish what became known as Motown Sound, a distinct style of music with a pop influence. The record label and style of music became wildly popular during the 1960s for decades and was the highest-earning African American business in the United States. Now, check out some of the most popular songs to ever come out of Motown Records and the legacy they left behind.

Marvin Gaye: “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”

Rob Verhorst/Redferns
Rob Verhorst/Redferns

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is a song written by Norman Whitfield for Motown Records in 1966. Another recording of the song was done by Gladys Knight & the Pips and was released as a single in September 1967, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard chart.

However, Marvin Gaye’s version on his 1968 album In the Groove caught the attention of disk jockeys and was released as a single. The song went on to top the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks and was one of the biggest hit singles on the Motown label of all time.