During the British invasion, Detroit
became the nerve center for the American music that first held
the Union Jack at bay and, not coincidentally, influenced many
of the invaders. As envisioned by songwriter, producer, and Motown
Records impresario Berry Gordy, the "Sound of Young America"
expanded the horizons for modern rhythm & blues by focusing
on universal (and often teen-friendly) themes, adding the sweep
and drama of widescreen pop. Gordy's assembly line was manned
by competing teams of crack writer-producers who directed a formidable
repertory company of studio musicians like legendary bassist James
Jamerson to build crossover vehicles for a well-drilled roster
of superb singers. What emerged was a collective style that made
the label synonymous with one of the '60s' most vital pop styles--and
an enduring influence on pop, rock, and urban music ever since.