Just beyond the 30-year mark of its original air date in 1983, the historical Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever special will be back on PBS on Feb. 28 as part of TJ Lubinsky’s "My Music” series. In an age before hashtags and viral video, the televised special brought unforgettable moments like Michael’s first Moonwalk and one of Marvin Gaye’s final television appearances into the hearts and homes of tens of thousands.
Mary Wilson (The Supremes) and Martha Reeves (Martha and the Vandellas) were in-studio at Detroit Public TV this month with a small live audience of Motown die-hards and personalities. For these women, the special rebroadcast is an important part of the Motown legacy that they personally helped shape with careers spanning over 50 years as music legends and fashion icons.
Wilson reminisced about key moments of the Motown special and how memorable of an event it truly was. Smokey Robinson's reunion with the Miracles and the Four Tops/Temptations battle were highlights of the Emmy-winning program.
On how she keeps motivated in her career, the Supremes founder noted "I don’t think just because you work hard you’re gonna make it, no I don’t believe that. It’s more about what you are going to dedicate your life to doing. I enjoy doing what I do and to me that’s the key. Find something you enjoy, that you still want to dedicate yourself to, and do well.”
With a smirk she details that her days are often “actually 30 hour days”, and asserted that "The bottom line is to try to achieve happiness in your life. Life is about a journey to enlighten. I don’t know if there is a definition to success. I mean it’s like love. Can you explain love?"
In regards to Detroit’s influence on Motown, and vice versa, Mary Wilson is still extremely fond of her upbringing and confirmed that Detroit is always home. From a young child growing up in Southwest Detroit to a chart-topping superstar, she expressed not wanted to have lived anywhere else. "We had a great education system, we had great communities, even though in the days it was segregated,” she recalled. "I remember I grew up in Southwest Detroit and we would shop sometimes in Dearborn where we weren’t even able to live. So it was never really perfect but it was the time we were living in and it was a great city. I would love to be a part of helping bring the city back. People in Detroit are really go-getters, and I am a part of that. I would like to see the inner city nourish people back to where they should be. Education is very important. I’d love to see a performing arts center here that I’d love to be a part of. We need to look at work and education. Give the people jobs. Educate them. We are moving into a more technical age and we need to put your eyesight on that. It’s something that we as a community of human beings need to look at.”
Celebrate the milestone in American popular music
with the return of
with the return of
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Detroit Public Television, WTVS-TV (Channel 56).
A pledge to PBS will get you “Motown: Big Hits and More”, the new, 7-CD, most comprehensive Motown boxed set, that includes never before heard mixes and versions. Also included is the"Motown 25" DVD.
Chat all things Motown this Saturday night on TJ Lubinsky’s Facebook page after the public tv broadcasts at 10:30pm EST and again at 11:30pm and 12:30pm.
And, as always... free stuff! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with SUPREMES in the subject to win a couple of free Supremes vinyls leftover from the photoshoot with Mary Wilson!