“I was basically born and raised in music.” says writer and producer Michael Lovesmith, who worked alongside the Mr Berry Gordy at Motown Records.
“I was on the road as a child, singing in churches as a trio with my brothers.
“Then age 11 I was introduced to Holland-Dozier-Holland, who signed me to a songwriting contract, and I wrote my first song for them, to be performed by Dionne Warwick.
“It was the opportunity of a lifetime, and it was a good thing I had a good song!
“I met Mr Gordy at 17, and by that time I had produced about 12 artists.
“Motown wanted me to work with the Jackson 5’”
It’s quite a remarkable story and now one Michael has brought back to life as the creative consultant behind the highly acclaimed Motown The Musical, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, which will open to Blackpool audiences from August 27-31 at the Opera House.
It’s been almost 60 years since the iconic record label, Motown was founded in Detroit, Michigan by the legendary Berry Gordy.
Synonymous with launching the careers of Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and the Jackson 5 to name but a few, Motown Records enjoyed success on both sides of the Atlantic.
Michael worked there for many decades, during which timed he coached the Jackson 5, produced the likes of The Temptations and The Supremes.
“I was their age, so I could relate to them in a way that not everybody could.
“They were so used to working with older people who didn’t quite understand their energy
“I ended up becoming Berry Gordy’s protégé, and started producing and vocal coaching Michael and his brothers.
“Then soon after that I started recording with The Supremes and The Temptations. That’s pretty much how I got started.”
Charles Randolph-Wright joined the Motown family at a later stage, coming on board to direct Motown The Musical which premiered on Broadway in 2013,
He says: “For me Motown has always been part of my life.
“The opportunity to work with Mr Gordy was mind-blowing when this project came up because he was and is a major inspiration to me.”
Motown The Musical tells the story of Mr Gordy’s life and the development of Motown Records in Detroit, Michigan which soon became known as Hitsville USA.
Michael adds: “The funny thing about Motown is, I think Motown could have been anywhere, and in a sense it was.”
Charles agrees: “Absolutely. Every city had a girl group, a guy group, a kids’ group and a lead singer but the unique thing that Detroit had was Berry Gordy.
“That’s what we are able to explore in the show, how Mr Gordy’s ambition and talent founded Motown. It’s not a Detroit sound, it’s a Motown sound.
“Although some people think Motown is a real place.
“It’s not just a record label, it’s not just a show, it’s a movement.”
Motown the Musical at the Opera House Blackpool from Tuesday 27 - Saturday 31 August 2019. Tickets on-sale now from £15.00 at www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk