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The Sisters Staff
Culture

Sisters’ Classic Motown-Sound Quiz

Chart-topping tunes from Stevie, the Supremes, the Temptations and the Jackson 5 were the soundtrack of our youth. Test your musical knowledge and rewind good times.

We grew up with the Motown sound. As Martha Reeves of the legendary girl group Martha and the Vandellas said in the liner notes of the box set, The Motown Box, “Our legendary music will continue to make you fall in love, laugh, sing, dance and rejoice.”

From old-school classic hitmakers like the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and the Temptations, to leaders of the new school soul-stirrers like Erykah Badu, Boyz II Men, Kem and Ne-Yo, Motown has been there to help you trace the tracks of your tears and provide the soundtrack to your endless love. And we hear a symphony!

So let’s take a walk down memory lane and test your knowledge of the classic sound of young America.

1
Who was the first act Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. signed?
2
Commemorated by a sign above the front windows, what is the nickname Gordy gave his Detroit record label’s first headquarters?
3
Which group holds the honor of having Motown’s first No. 1 record on the pop charts, and for what song?
4
Motown has launched the careers of many of our favorite music divas. Which famous soul singer called the Motor City her home but never recorded for Motown?
5
“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is one of Motown’s most enduring hits, a song so hummable it was recorded multiple times. But who was the first Motown act to record the infectious song? (Spoiler alert, it wasn’t the California Raisins.)
6
The Temptations earned Motown its first Grammy for the song “Cloud Nine” in 1969, and have delivered other timeless hits, including “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.” But what fellow Motown group did they consider their biggest competition?
7
The Supremes reign supreme as Motown’s biggest commercial success. Childhood friends Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson had 12 No. 1 songs. What was the name of their first love-filled chart-topper?
8
What was the name of the ’80s pop group that dedicated their hit song, “When Smokey Sings,” to Motown singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson?
9
What Motown song and artist briefly bested the Beatles’ “Love Me Do” at the top of the charts and was the label’s first hit in Britain?
10
As the young lead singer for the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson was one of Motown’s biggest and brightest stars. Although he went solo and switched labels, he never forgot his roots. When was the first time we saw the King of Pop do his iconic and electrifying moonwalk onstage?
11
Although Motown was founded in 1959, the label didn’t receive its first Grammy nominations for record, album or song of the year until the ’70s. What artist or group was nominated in all three categories and for which album?
12
Which two Motown superstars wrote the smash 1985 charity single, “We Are the World”?

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