By Sophia Dembling
Berry Gordy, founder of Motown, has called his big sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, “bossy” and he knew in 1958 that borrowing money from the family savings club she had established wouldn’t be easy.
“She had power and influence,” Gordy wrote in his autobiography, To Be Loved. “She was a strong businesswoman, and very careful with money. The family depended on Esther to keep these things together.”
Gordy got the fight and the words he’d expected to hear from his sister -- If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich? And, she continued, “You’re 29 years old and what have you done so far in your life?” In the end, though, Edwards approved an $800 loan -- provided Gordy sign a contract with future royalties as security.
The rest, of course, is music history -- still preserved in Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit. The museum founded by Edwards in the modest house where some of the greatest hits of the 1960s were recorded by some of the era’s most iconic acts: the Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and a who’s-who of others.... Read More →
The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.