The Supremes, one of the biggest acts in the history of the record label Motown.
Created by Berry Gordy Jr. in 1959, Motown became a sound that tore through the nation's racial divide in the Sixties and took black culture into White America deeper than it ever had before.
Now the label's story is being told on stage, in a new Broadway musical, "Motown."
Click through this photo gallery to explore Motown's history, and to play audio excerpts from some of their greatest hits!
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan
As a teenager Berry Gordy (left) became a professional boxer, but later turned to songwriting. He helped pen tunes for such artists as Jackie Wilson, LaVern Baker and Etta James, whose recording of "All I Could Do Was Cry" topped the R&B charts.
In 1959 Gordy borrowed $800 from his family to start his own record label. He would call the Detroit house in which he set up shop "Hitsville USA."
One of the first groups Gordy signed for Motown was The Miracles, which in their earliest days featured (from left) Smokey Robinson, Bobby Rogers, Claudette Robinson (Smokey's cousin), Ronnie White and Pete Moore.
Gordy told Anthony Mason that when he first met Smokey Robinson he recognized his great talent: "He was a wonderful poet, but he couldn't write. He didn't know how to write songs. They would go on and on and on, for days. So I really taught him how to write a simple song -- front, middle and end."
Smokey Robinson's song "Shop Around" would become Motown's first million-seller in 1960.
Hitsville quickly became a hit factory, based in part on Gordy's experience working in a Ford plant.
"I got an idea for this assembly line when I was working at the auto plant," he told Mason. "And I'd see cars come in one door, a metal frame, and then out another door a brand new car. So I said, what if I could do that with music?"
Gordy literally groomed his artists. Motown taught them out to dress, how to dance, how to perform.
Left: Gordy with Junior Walker and the All Stars, acquired from the Harvey label.
The Temptations, a flashy R&B group, had hits with such tunes as "Dream Come True," "The Way You Do the Things You Do," "My Girl", "Get Ready" and "(I Know) I'm Losing You." The original members -- Elbridge "Al" Bryant, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, Otis Williams and Paul Williams -- performed together through early 1964, when David Ruffin (far left) took over for Bryant.
Signed to the label at age 17, Mary Wells was known as "The Queen of Motown," with a string of hits that included "The One Who Really Loves You," "Two Lovers," "You Beat Me to the Punch" and "My Guy." She left Motown in 1964 over a contract dispute.
An undated photograph of the all-girl group Marvelettes (which featured, alternately, Gladys Horton, Katherine Anderson, Georgeanna Tillman, Juanita Cowart and Wanda Young). Signed by Motown in 1960, they performed in the shadow of The Supremes, but did score successes with "Please, Mr. Postman," "Playboy" and "Don't Mess with Bill."
Berry Gordy's Motortown Revue. From left: Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Eddie Kendricks, Elbridge Bryant, Uriel Jones, Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, Diana Ross, Robert Bullock, Patrice Gordy, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson.
The Motortown Revue first played New York's Apollo Theater in 1962.
Martha and the Vandellas (Rosalind Ashford, Betty Kelly and Martha Reeves), which formed from the group The Del-Phis, had several top hits from 1963-1972, including "(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave," "Jimmy Mack," "Nowhere to Run," "My Baby Loves Me," "Quicksand," and their signature hit, "Dancing in the Street."
Little Stevie Wonder was 11 when he signed with Motown, in 1961. Gordy says, however, that when he first hired him he didn't like Wonder's singing -- he'd signed him for his harmonica playing. "His first record we put out was a harmonica solo," he told Mason.
Gordy also had second thoughts about signing kids. "After I got [Wonder], I didn't want him," he laughed. "Because, you know, tutors, chaperones . . ."
Among the hits the R&B/soul act Gladys Knight & the Pips recorded for Motown were "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "Everybody Needs Love," and "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)." They later traveled to Buddah Records, where their hits included 1973's "Midnight Train to Georgia."
Play excerpt: "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Gladys Knight & the Pips
Soul singer Chris Clark, who recorded on both the Motown and Motown V.I.P. labels, performed "Do Right Baby Do Right," "Love's Gone Bad," and "I Want To Go Back There Again."
She was later nominated for an Academy Award, as co-writer for the screenplay of the biopic "Lady Sings the Blues."
The Four Tops maintained their original lineup (lead singer Levi Stubbs, Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Renaldo "Obie" Benson, and Lawrence Payton) for more than four decades. They recorded several hits in the 1960s, including "Baby I Need Your Loving," "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)," and "Reach Out I'll Be There," and also provided backup for The Supremes and Martha & the Vandellas, before leaving for other labels. They rejoined Motown in the 1980s.
The first album by the Gary, Indiana-based soul band The Jackson 5 was released by Motown in 1969, titled "Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5." Though Ross did not have a hand in discovering the group, Gordy asked her if she would mind offering her name to their debut, and she agreed. The album topped Billboard's R&B chart for nine weeks.
Gordy called the youngest member of The Jackson 5 a genius. "But I was worried," he said. "Because it was like an old man in a kid's body."
The Jackson 5 (from left, Tito, Jackie, Michael, Marlon and Jermaine) pose with their platinum records. Behind them stand the producers and songwriters dubbed "The Corporation" -- Deke Richards, Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren and Fonce Mizell.
The Jackson 5 had four Billboard Number One hits at Motown, and six R&B Number One hits, including "ABC," "The Love You Save," "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Dancing Machine." The group signed with CBS Records in 1975.
Singer-lyricist Barrett Strong helped write many Motown hits, including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "War," "I Can't Get Next to You," "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," and "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)." He also performed the hit "Money (That's What I Want)."
"War," written by Strong and Norman Whitfield, was originally produced with The Temptations, but the politically-strong song was held and in its place a recording by Edwin Starr was released, to become a Number 1 hit in 1970.
Marvin Gaye, who'd started out singing jazz standards at Motown, butted heads with Gordy.
"I had a big fight with Marvin Gaye about him doing a protest album," he told Mason. "I said, 'Why would you do a protest album? What about your image?' He said, 'I don't care about any of that, man. Image? I got a brother in Vietnam.'"
Gordy was surprised at the response to Gaye's "What's Going On": "And extremely happy! When the record became the biggest record in our history at that time, I came to him and said, 'Man, you were right.' I learned a lot."
In the late 1960s Lionel Richie (right, with Stevie Wonder), who was a singer-songwriter with The Commodores, signed with Motown, where their hits included "Brick House." Richie wrote songs for others artists, and in 1981 sang the duet with Diana Ross for the theme of the film "Endless Love."
Richie's solo career at Motown included the hits "Truly," "Say You Say Me," "My Love," "All Night Long," "Running with the Night" and "Dancing on the Ceiling."
Berry Gordy on stage at "Motown 25," a 1983 TV special to celebrate the record label's quarter-century anniversary. From left: Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Claudette Robinson, Gordy, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Richard Pryor and Marvin Gaye.
Berry Gordy with Michael Jackson in an undated photo.
Berry Gordy with Diana Ross and the Supremes in Studio A.
Of his career Gordy told Anthony Mason, "I took some risks, and they all paid off, big time. I mean, really big time."