News

Smokey Robinson exposes Motown studio myth

Smokey Robinson exposes Motown studio myth

MOTOWN MYTH: Smokey Robinson receives the inaugural Architects of Sound - Artist Award on stage during at the GRAMMY Museum gala tribute concert on Monday, Nov. 11 in Los Angeles. Robinson said that many of the Motown label's hits were not recorded at its famous studios in Detroit. Photo: Associated Press/Paul A. Hebert/Invision

Soul icon Smokey Robinson has exposed one of music’s greatest legends as a myth – he is adamant many of Motown’s biggest hits were recorded miles away from the company’s famed headquarters.

The renowned record label enjoyed an unprecedented run of 110 top 10 hits in the U.S. from 1961 to 1971, for stars including The Jackson 5 and Diana Ross.

It gave the company’s headquarters in Detroit, Michigan a reputation as an unrivaled songwriting Mecca, and the building even earned the name Hitsville U.S.A.

However, “The Tears of a Clown” hitmaker Robinson has now spoken out to reveal many of the label’s best-known tracks were recorded at other studios, often thousands of miles away or even in another country.

He tells Uncut magazine, “People used to come from all over the world to recreate that magic, as if they could capture it in the air. But I’ll let you into a secret – a lot of Motown hits weren’t recorded there! A lot of the time our artists were on the road – in New York, L.A., Chicago, Nashville, sometimes even in London – and we’d book studios in these cities. I’ll defy anyone who claims he can identify the songs we recorded outside of Detroit.”

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

randy-travis

A look back at some of the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: Surprising talent creates weird onscreen magic in ‘Foxcatcher’

This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows Channing Tatum, left, and Mark Ruffalo in a scene from "Foxcatcher."

Sibling rivalry, loneliness, competition and madness fuel director Bennett Miller’s award-worthy true crime tale Foxcatcher.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Wild’ is both unsettling and triumphant

This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows Reese Witherspoon in a scene from the film, "Wild."

Reese Witherspoon leaves her comfort zone as real-life hiker Cheryl Strayed in "Wild."

in Music

This week’s top pop songs

taylorswift

LISTEN: This week's top pop songs, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Entertainment

Cameron Diaz engaged to Good Charlotte star

camerondiaz

The "Charlie's Angels" star is reportedly planning to marry Benji Madden.