On Air Now
The Smooth Late Show with Martin Collins 10pm - 1am
We celebrate some of the best songs to come out of Motown Records.
What Becomes of the Brokenhearted was released by Jimmy Ruffin in 1966. It remains one of the most-popular Motown's hits ever.
Ain't No Mountain High Enough" was written by Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson in 1966 for the Tamla Motown label. The original version from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, became a hit again in 1970 when recorded by Diana Ross.
Originally recorded by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles in 1966, that version was rejected by Berry Gordy, who owned Motown Records. He went on to reject Gaye’s 1967 version too and it fell to Gladys Knight & The Pips to release their version in 1967. Gaye's version, however, was released in 1968 and topped the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks.
‘The Tears of a Clown’ was originally released on the 1967 album Make It Happen. It was re-released in the UK in 1970, where it became a number one hit. The song’s success caused Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson, who had announced plans to leave the act, to stay until 1972.
The original version of ‘Dancing in the Street’ was recorded in 1964 by Martha and the Vandellas. It is one of Motown's signature songs - and is certainly Martha and the Vandellas’ most well-known song.
‘This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)’ was released in 1966 after The Isley Brothers’ brief time at Motown's Tamla label.