On January 12, 2009 we begin a year long celebration of the 50th anniversary of America’s greatest record label and global music icon—MOTOWN. Who would have thought back in ’59, when Barrett Strong sang “Money (That’s What I Want)”, that Hitsville U.S.A., our beloved Motown, would become one of the most renowned, groundbreaking record labels in modern music history — and that we would be celebrating with great affection its 50th Anniversary in 2009. From their incredible team of staff writers, producers and studio musicians, to the amazing galaxy of artists — Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & The Supremes, the Jackson 5, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Mary Wells, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas and many more — Motown was, and still is, The Sound of Young America. The Motown Sound went worldwide in the 60s, and that sound still resonates today. With nearly 200 #1 songs worldwide, Motown’s hits continue to appear worldwide in commercials, TV shows and movies and remain an influence on today’s biggest pop and R&B stars. Imagine the musical landscape without the songs such as “My Girl”, “The Tracks of My Tears”, “You Are The Sunshine of My Life” and “What’s Going On”. These are the new standards. They represent the best of American culture worldwide. But Motown stands for more than just the music: it is a reflection of the hard work of dedicated individuals overcoming incredible obstacles to achieve great success. Berry Gordy Jr., a young African American man, founded Motown Records with a loan of $800 from his family. Through determination and support of the Motown family of artists, Gordy forged new grounds for minorities and made the “Motown Sound” a worldwide phenomenon adored by millions. It’s an “only in America” story. And everyone can sing along.