Making its hometown premiere where the story of Motown was born, HITSVILLE: THE MAKING OF MOTOWN was presented by Motown Museum in partnership with Showtime and Motown Records.
A star-studded crowd converged on the Emagine Theatre in Royal Oak, Michigan, to attend the premiere. Motown alumni featured in the film filled the audience, alongside label executives, supporters and friends of Motown Museum and the Motown family. The event was supported by Hennessy.
In HITSVILLE: THE MAKING OF MOTOWN, the remarkable story of the legendary Motown Records is told through new and exclusive interviews with the label’s visionary founder, Berry Gordy, and many of its superstar artists and creative figures, as well as rare performances and behind-the-scenes footage unearthed from Motown’s vaults and Gordy’s personal archives. HITSVILLE: THE MAKING OF MOTOWN is the first documentary about the iconic label with Gordy’s participation.
“On an evening full of hometown love for the film, the buzz in the theater was palpable,” said Robin Terry, Chairwoman and CEO of Motown Museum. Terry appears in the film sharing her perspectives on Motown and its impact and cultural significance. “For HITSVILLE: THE MAKING OF MOTOWN to premiere just a few miles from the place where the Motown legacy was born, at Hitsville U.S.A. and now the home of Motown Museum, was a moment like none other. It was a powerful statement about Motown’s Detroit roots and lasting impact. Motown is a global phenomenon, but there is no doubt its Motor City origins are a point of community pride.”
Motown alumni in the film and at the Detroit premiere included:
- Annette Helton and Rosalind Holmes—Annette and Rosalind were original members of the iconic group Martha Reeves & The Vandellas.
- Claudette Robinson—Known as “The first lady of Motown,” Claudette was the first woman to be signed to Motown, as a member of the group The Miracles.
- Paul Riser Sr.—Paul is a Grammy Award winning trombonist, music arranger and producer who contributed to numerous Motown recordings between 1962-1973. His work can be heard on memorable hits like “My Girl,” “Papa Was a Rollin Stone,” “My Cherie Amour,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and a host of others.
- Miller London—Motown Record’s first African American Regional Sales Manager, Miller was the first ever African American to work in a sales department of any major record company. Miller’s job duties included creating advertising budgets and selling records to major distribution accounts across the nation.
HITSVILLE: THE MAKING OF MOTOWN is directed by Benjamin and Gabe Turner and premiered on Showtime on Saturday, August 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. HITSVILLE: THE MAKING OF MOTOWN was produced for Showtime by executive producers Berry Gordy, Steve Barnett, Marty Bandier, David Blackman, Ethiopia Habtemariam and Michelle Jubelirer.
For more information on Motown Museum, visit http://www.motownmuseum.org.