Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Berry Gordy: Motown Founder Gets Candid and Emotional About Being Accorded Berry Gordy Square

Berry Gordy Jr (berry gordy square - Herb Wesson Mitch O'Farrell Smokey Robinson Berry Gordy Stevie Wonder) - photo: Twitter via Mitch O'Farrell office
LA City Council President Herb Wesson, City Councilperson (Hollywood) Mitch O’Farrell, Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder (photo: Twitter via Mitch O’Farrell office)

*As you know by now, this past Monday (11-25-19), Berry Gordy Jr., was accorded another place in history when the City of Los Angeles created and dedicated Berry Gordy Square in his honor.

The square is located in Hollywood at the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Argyle street which is the former location of Motown Records’ West Coast office.  It’s where he relocated the company to after moving operations in Los Angeles to expand his vision into television and film.

But before the big reveal happened, EURweb’s fearless leader Lee Bailey was invited to hang out and cover the festivities that went down in the VIP room (with Smokey Robinson, Debbie Allen, and Stevie  Wonder, among others) for the event in the same building that once housed Gordy’s iconic creation.

Needless to say, the room was filled with friends, family and celebs up the kazoo! They were there, of course, to greet the man himself and shower him with love and appreciation. And that they did the moment he arrived. As you can see in the video below, they were all over him and he was obviously luxuriating in the well-deserved attention. But underneath, Gordy, who also turns 90 on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, was overwhelmed with it all and he exclusively admitted it to Lee Bailey. Watch it via the player immediately below.

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Well, that was then. But being the seasoned pro that he is, when it came time to deliver his speech to the assembled crowd at the dedication itself, he was more than ready to deliver his thoughts on his big day in Hollywood.

“What a wonderful day for me,” said Gordy. “There are so many people here that made a wonderful impression on my heart. I never imagined I would end up here and on this stage. By honoring me, you are also honoring the entire Motown family – those who make Motown what it is today.”

The living legend also went on to say …

“Thank your parents and grandparents,” referring to the original buyers who got the label on its way.”

The ceremony ended with Wonder, Smokey and others serenading the man with Stevie’s version of ‘Happy Birthday” and presented him with a vegan birthday cake. It was a good day.

But how did this bit of history come to be in the first place? Well, you can thank LA activist Najee Ali and Gordy’s niece, Karla Gordy Bristol, for spearheading the efforts to have him immortalized in Hollywood. But let’s let them tell their stories of how it happened.

First here’s Najee Ali to break it down:

Now here’s Karla Gordy Bristol:

Thank you, Karla and Najee. Y’all did good. Real good. You definitely get a gold star from us. 🙂

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. It was a great turn out…a Motown reunion. Here’s a list of some of the attendees (titles not included) for the record and for your own archives. I regret I did not get all the names; you may add names of those attendees (not on the program) who were not included. This is like an online yearbook, so please add other names who were in attendance. Also, if you weren’t there, you may want to leave a comment and congratulate Mr. Gordy and wish him Happy Birthday 11/28!!

    Thelma Houston, Debbie Allen, Suzanne DePasse, Clarence Avant, Mickey Stevenson, Cornelius Grant, Marvin Marshall, Brenda Holloway, Danny Bakewell Sr., Herb Wesson, Leon Isaac Kennedy, Glodean White, Scherrie Payne, Greg Mathis, Debbie “Mama D” McCre, Shelly Berger, Judy Pace, Claudette Robinson, Susaye Greene, Janie Bradford, Iris Gordy, Robert Gordy Sr., Sonny Porter, Robert Gordy Jr., Rodney Gordy, Lee Bailey, Kerry Gordy, Terry Gordy, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Dylan Gorman…

    Thanks! Larry Buford

  2. Mr. Gordy created a legacy that vibrates over my entire life. I remember my mother owned “Money” by Barrett Strong….and before that, I was a mere child but, I loved Jackie Wilson. (I was blessed to have Jackie sing “Danny Boy” to me when I saw him in concert…I had to be 6 or 7). “You Really Got a Hold On Me” was a theme song for a marriage in my family. Mary Wells seemed to dominate the summer of ’62-’63 with her Smokey penned hits.
    And then, there was “Where Did Our Love Go” and my whole world changed. The Supremes, especially Diana, soon would define the borders of my life. “My Girl” by The Temptations was an anthem in my entire grade school!!!!
    Sooooo, Mr. Gordy definitely weaved a Beautiful tapestry for me and millions of others. Motown tore down the walls of race relations as Dr. King “Had a Dream”!!!
    I have been blessed to thank Mr. Gordy twice in person at different industry events, met Diana. several times and even had a dinner with Smokey.
    Clearly, I am a “child of Motown”….and I proudly hail Mr. Gordy and his fruition of a dream and a legacy that will last throughout the world!!!
    Congratulations seems not enough to say………

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