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Exclusively on
Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
43:30

'Fresh Air' remembers Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier

Dozier and his songwriting partners Brian and Eddie Holland wrote the Motown hits "Stop in the Name of Love," "Baby Love" and "You Can't Hurry Love." He died Aug. 8. Originally broadcast in 2003.

Exclusively on
Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
42:34

Island Records founder Chris Blackwell looks back on his life in music

Blackwell grew up in Jamaica, and, as the head of Island Records, helped launch the careers of reggae stars like Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, as well as rock bands like U2. His memoir is The Islander.

Interview
28:28

'Summer Of Soul': Gladys Knight

While with Motown, Knight & The Pips turned out a slew of hits, including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," which they performed at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. Originally broadcast in 1996.

Interview
19:28

Gladys Knight

She has a new solo recording out this month, At Last. Knight began her singing career at age 4. Since that modest start, she went on to lead one of the most successful vocal soul groups in America, Gladys Knight and The Pips. The group stayed together for 39 years before disbanding.Among, the group's most notable songs include: I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Neither One of Us, and Midnight Train to Georgia. Knight then launched a solo career. Terry interviewed Knight before a live audience in San Francisco in 1996.

Interview
07:26

Dore: The Little Studio That Could (Produce Hits)

It's hard to believe today, but in the mid-1950s, Los Angeles didn't mean much in terms of popular music. But the coming of rock 'n' roll meant an infusion of tiny record labels -- and one was Dore, run by a happy-go-lucky guy named Lew Bedell. Ed Ward tells its short, crazy story here.

Commentary
07:24

The Sounds Of Memphis: Ardent Pop

Rock historian Ed Ward considers pop music produced at Ardent Studios in Memphis in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Much of the music wasn't heard any farther than the city limits.

Commentary
19:47

Legendary Hitmaker Jerry Wexler

Record producer Jerry Wexler died on August 15. He was 91. Wexler created the careers of some of the greatest musicians of the time, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Led Zeppelin.

Obituary
10:19

Remembering Joel Dorn, Grammy-Winning Producer

Record producer Joel Dorn worked with Roberta Flack, Bette Midler, Max Roach, Herbie Mann, the Allman Brothers and many more. He worked as an in-house producer at Atlantic Records before going out on his own, and in the late 1980s he repackaged back catalogs for the major record labels. He founded or co-founded several independent labels. He died Monday at age 65, of a heart attack. Fresh Air remembers him with this archival interview from April of 1991.

Obituary
07:21

Dominating the '60s Charts: A Motown Profile

In 1964, Motown, a black-owned record company in Detroit achieved the nearly impossible goal of dominating the American pop and soul charts. Ed Ward looks back on 1965 and Hip-O Select's "Complete Motown Singles" series.

Commentary
20:16

Remembering Musician Joe Hunter

Joe Hunter, who died last week at the age of 79, was one of the Funk Brothers, the session musicians who helped create the Motown Sound. He could be heard on such hits as "Money" by Barrett Strong, "Shop Around" by The Miracles and "Heat Wave" by Martha and the Vandellas. This interview originally aired on Nov. 18, 2002.

44:29

Smokey Robinson's 'Timeless Love'

On his new album, Timeless Love, rhythm and blues legend Smokey Robinson sings hits from the American songbook, including "I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Baby)," "Night and Day" and "More Than You Know." Robinson William "Smokey" Robinson recorded dozens of top 40 hits for the Motown label as a solo artist and with The Miracles.

Interview
06:16

Giving Motown Its Due

Rock historian Ed Ward talks about the early days of the legendary Motown record label and salutes some of its first artists who never quite made it.

Review
39:09

Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland

The legendary songwriting trio, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland. They wrote many early Motown hits, and helped turn the company into a powerhouse. Their songs include "You Can't Hurry Love," "Reach Out I'll Be There," "Baby, I Need Your Loving," "Heat Wave" and "Stop! In the Name of Love." Their songs were recorded by Diana Ross & The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Four Tops, and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas. In 1990 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

20:49

Bob Koester

Founder and owner of the Chicago-based jazz and blues label Delmark, Bob Koester. The label celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Artists Junior Wells, Little Walter, Big Joe Williams, Coleman Hawkings, Muhal Richard Abrams and Sun Ra & The Arkestra have all recorded on the label. Delmark has issued a 50th-anniversary collection.

Interview
44:13

Musicians Joe Hunter and Jack Ashford

Musicians Joe Hunter and Jack Ashford were part of the group of musicians known as the Funk Brothers whose sound defined Motown in the 1960s and 70s. They worked with such legendary performers as Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, The Miracles and many more. The Funk Brothers are the subject of the new documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown.

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