Reference Blog Entries

Head on Back to Motown

Katie's picture

The SupremesDriving into work today, I was listening to Motown. Once I finally stopped singing “Dancing Machine” by The Jackson Five (which drew some stares from the other drivers), I got to thinking maybe other people are as curious about the history of Motown as I am. And since there is no place better to dig up information than our Reference databases, that’s where I started.

In 1959, songwriter Barry Gordy, Jr. started the Tamla label using an $800 loan from his family. In 1960 Tamla became incorporated as Motown Records, which is a blending of “motor town,” a nickname for Detroit, where it all started. Gordy’s plan for his label was to bring African American music to the mainstream and make it popular for both black and white audiences. He had a policy of using the same teams of songwriters and producers, the same musicians and the same studio for virtually every recording, which resulted in the distinctive sound that has made Motown so recognizable throughout the years. Some of the more well-known Motown artists were:

Motown was extremely successful and lasted just over a decade until it moved from Detroit to Los Angeles and gradually lost many of its artists to more popular music, and therefore lost its distinctive sound. Be sure to check our Media department for recordings of this great music, and if you have any further questions on Motown (or anything else!) be sure to stop by our Reference Department today and if you could get here in the next ten minutes, you may just catch me singing “Standing in the Shadows of Love” by the Four Tops!

Find a Scary Novel with NoveList Plus

Megan's picture

Pumpkins in a basket

The nights are getting longer, Ohio is living up to its rainy reputation, and Halloween is just around the corner - which means that now is a great time to read a spooky novel! If you haven’t used our NoveList Plus database, check it out. Aside from providing lists of creepy, chilly stories, it also lets you search by author or title, so you can get recommendations based on books you know you like (or authors who reliably scare you - like Stephen King). Check out some of these Halloween lists:

NoveList also has an Appeal Mixer right on the front page, which you can use to find titles beyond their genres. You can create Netflix-like lists of books, to discover sparely written novels with strong female characters, or compelling novels with unreliable narrators. Enjoy!