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  • Motown Founder Berry Gordy to Receive Pioneer Award From Songwriters Hall of Fame

    Mon, 18 Mar 2013 15:24:16

    Motown Founder Berry Gordy to Receive Pioneer Award From Songwriters Hall of Fame - The event takes place in NYC in June

    Woody Guthrie Photos

    • Woody Guthrie - NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: Liz Phair performs Woody Guthrie's 'This Land Is Your Land' with Everclear at the Private New York Premiere of 'Farmland' by Academy Award-Winning Director James Moll during the Tribeca Film Festivalat Tribeca Cinemas on April 17, 2014 in New York City.
    • Woody Guthrie - NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: Liz Phair performs Woody Guthrie's 'This Land Is Your Land' with Everclear at the Private New York Premiere of 'Farmland' by Academy Award-Winning Director James Moll during the Tribeca Film Festivalat Tribeca Cinemas on April 17, 2014 in New York City.
    • Woody Guthrie - NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: Liz Phair performs Woody Guthrie's 'This Land Is Your Land' with Art Alexakis and Everclear at the Private New York Premiere of 'Farmland' by Academy Award-Winning Director James Moll during the Tribeca Film Festivalat Tribeca Cinemas on April 17, 2014 in New York City.

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    Motown founder Berry Gordy will be the recipient of the prestigious Pioneer Award, to be presented at the 44th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. The award is handed out by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

    Congrats, Berry. The honor is certainly well-deserved and well-earned.

    The Pioneer Award was established in 2012 to honor the career of a historic creator of an extensive body of musical work that has been a major influence on generations of songwriters. Gordy is the first living person to receive this distinction, which was presented posthumously to Woody Guthrie in 2012.

    "Berry Gordy is an innovator and a visionary. Yes, he created a label but more than that, he created a genre," the organization said in a statement. "Think about it, he pioneered a marketplace for African American artistry and then he invited the world in to enjoy it. Berry was way ahead of his time; his young and immaculately groomed and dressed artists were among the first to receive media training. Berry Gordy and the Motown sound are essential to the American music story."

    So true. Motown is such a definitive American label, culture and sound.

    You may not be able to pick Berry Gordy out of a lineup, but his life's work has made it to your ears at least once or 10 times in your life, and maybe even without you knowing it. That's a distinction of a legend.

    What is your favorite Motown song or act?

    —Katie Sheehan
    03.18.13



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