Motown was the sound of a generation, the sound of the 60’s and beyond, and it still sounds great. Berry Gordy’s tiny Hitsville USA Studio in Detroit created a force for social and cultural change, while producing almost 200 number one hits worldwide.
Mixing pop, R&B and soul sounds, Motown’s driving bass lines and steady 4/4 drum tempos grounded gospel-influenced vocals of clever song lyrics and sophisticated melodies, framed with overdubbed studio trickery and AM radio-friendly crisp treble-heavy sound. It was a recipe for hit records.
The world premiere of Motown Magic Tribute: 60 Years of Music Hits celebrates that sound at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m.
Starring Canadian singer and actress Leina DeBoer and Toronto-born, Nova Scotia-based Owen Lee, the Renee James Production features the six-piece Motown Magic Band and Danica Doman, Karina Evangeline, Teagan Gibson and Rebecca Laurenti.
Set in Detroit and showcasing 20 classic Motown hits like “My Girl,” “Superstition,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I’ll Be There” and “Dancing in the Streets,” the performances feature the music of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas and other Motown stars.
Tickets are $46.50, available at the McPherson box office, online at rmts.bc.ca or by phone at 250-386-6121.
– Joseph Blake for Monday Magazine