Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Making music, not history

I am so thrilled that my book is so close to being published by Temple$treet in such a beautiful collector's edition.

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking to one of Professor Mark Clague's music classes at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The students are all future music teachers, working on their master's degrees.

Whenever I have the honor of talking to a group like this, I always wonder what Berry Gordy's reaction would have been 50 years ago if I took him aside and told him I had a vision that in 2011 students at universities around the world would be studying Motown, and that the music we were producing would still be being played on the radio, TV and movies.

No doubt Berry would have suggested that I had been working too hard, and told me to go home and take the rest of the day off.

But then, what if I had grabbed his arm and said, "But Berry, all of this will be taking place while there is a black man as president in the White House!"

Berry would have either pulled up my shirt sleeve to check for needle marks or called for an ambulance to take me away.

Here is the point I've made to many interviewers:

We were just a bunch of kids making music.

We didn't know we were making history.

And yet, we made both.

Al Abrams
3 August 2011

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