Just a few Berry Gordy songs

Motown founder

Since it’s the 91st birthday of Berry Gordy, I thought I would link to a few of the songs he wrote or co-wrote. According to the ASCAP database, there are over 350 of them.

ABC – Jackson Five, #1 for four weeks RB, #1 for two weeks pop in 1970. As part of The Corporation TM – Gordy, Freddie Perren, Deke Richards, and Alphonzo Mizell – they “were responsible for the writing, production, and arranging” of J5 singles such as I Want You Back, The Love You Save, Mama’s Pearl, and Maybe Tomorrow.

Bingo Long Song (Steal On Home) – Thelma Houston. Written with Ron Miller. It was used for the movie The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings.

Buttered Popcorn – Supremes. A 1961 song written by “Gordy and songwriter Barney Ales, produced by Gordy… It was the group’s second single after signing with Motown Records…” It appears on Meet the Supremes, with Florence Ballard on lead vocal. I LOVE this song.

Check Yourself – Temptations. On the Meet the Temptations album. It was written by Gordy and group members Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Elbridge Bryant, and produced by Gordy.

Now that I can dance

Do You Love Me – the Contours. #1 RB for three weeks, #3 pop in 1962. Berry Gordy wrote it to give to the Temptations. However, “when Gordy set out to locate the group and record the song, they were nowhere to be found… Gordy ran into the Contours in the hallway.” Decades later, on a Berry Gordy tribute album, the Temps did sing it.

Got A Job – Miracles. An Answer song to the Silhouettes’ Get a Job, it was written with Roquel Davis and Smokey Robinson.

I Call It Pretty Music (But The Old People Call It the Blues) – Little Stevie Wonder. Written with Clarence Paul.

Lonely Teardrops – Jackie Wilson. Written by Berry, his sister Gwen Gordy, and Roquel “Billy” Davis, a/k/a Tyran Carlo. #1 RB, #7 pop in 1958. It was ranked “#315 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” in 2004.

Money (That’s What I Want) – Barrett Strong. Written with Janie Bradford, it was the first hit record for Motown. #2 RB for six weeks, #23 pop in 1960. Barrett Strong later co-wrote songs with Norman Whitfield for The Temptations and other artists.