The forever famous Motown Sound was created in 1960 by Berry Gordy, a social entrepreneur before the term was coined, motivated by success and community impact. Gordy purchased the property on Detroit’s Grand Boulevard that would eventually become known as Hitsville U.S.A. – Motown’s headquarters and later home of Motown Museum. Arriving at the height of the civil rights movement, Motown was a black-owned, black-centered business that broke down barriers through music. The distinctive Motown Sound defined a generation and is recognizable and lauded internationally as some of the greatest music of all time. Motown’s influence–socially, culturally, and economically–are forever heard in the halls of American and world history.
To preserve the impact and legacy created by Motown, Motown Museum was founded in 1985 by Esther Gordy Edwards—former Motown Records executive and sister to Motown founder, Berry Gordy. Motown Museum is home to iconic Hitsville U.S.A., Studio A, and an extensive array of Motown artifacts, photographs, apparel, and memorabilia.
Rebel Nell strives to uphold the legacy that Mr. Gordy created of empowering his community and producing a product that is cherished by all for generations to come. We are honored to collaborate with Motown Museum to produce a limited collection made from actual Detroit history. Our goal is to pay homage to the sound that communicated across a racially divided country and segregated society, around the world, touching all people, regardless of skin color. This beautiful and unique collection is created from repurposed red heart-shaped vinyl albums (the only time such an album was made by Motown) that have been stored at Motown Museum. We are honored to be able to preserve a piece of history that holds a spot in the hearts of people across the globe. We hope this collection serves as a reminder of the joy and peace that resonates when you hear the Motown Sound and inspires us to push toward a more peaceful and inclusive world. To shop the collection, click here.
Below is more information about the significance of the “Pops, We Love You” red heart-shaped album:
History of the Album.
The “Pops, We Love You”single was recorded and released in 1978. It features an array of Motown’s prominent artists, such as Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder. The track “Pops, We Love You” and its instrumental B-side takes listeners through a joyous homage to the life of Berry Gordy Sr. characterized by the danceable funk grooves, memorable melodies, and backing accompaniment that characterized Motown’s evolving style in the 1970s. Notably, the lyrics take on family-focused messaging and emphasize the power of spirituality and loving relationships in making the world a better place. As a whole, the release, and the accompanying 1979 album, is a powerful testament to the Gordy Family patriarch’s meaning to the Motown Story. It could also be viewed as an extension of Gordy’s home-going celebration that invited the public to participate alongside the Motown Family in remembering the legacy and impact of Berry Gordy, Sr.
Is this the only time a red album or heart-shaped was produced?
“Pops, We Love You” was the only time that Motown released a red, heart-shaped album. Motown released several other special-edition singles in a rainbow of colors, including red. Various artists over the years outside of Motown have released red and red heart-shaped albums.
What is the significance of the Pops song?
The song “Pops, We Love You” was written collaboratively by Marilyn McLeod and Pam Sawyer at Berry Gordy, Junior’s request after his father’s death in October of 1978. The song commemorated Berry Gordy Senior’s role in Motown’s business and his personal investment in the lives of the label’s artists, some of whom appear on the song. His mentorship of the young artists coming through Motown over the years exemplified the label’s efforts to prepare their artists for both professional and personal success.