Smokey Robinson, singer-songwriter I was in a group called the Matadors and Jackie Wilson was my idol. When Jackie's managers gave us an audition, I noticed this young man sitting in the corner listening. The managers rejected us, but he said: "Hey, man, I like a couple of your songs." Then he told me he was Berry Gordy and I couldn't believe it - he was the man who wrote Jackie Wilson's hits. Berry listened to about 20 of my songs that day. Back then, I couldn't really write, so he started to mentor me. First thing he said was a song had to be like a short story with the beginning, middle and end all tying in together.
On Motown’s first day [12 January 1959] there were five people there. He sat us down and said: “I’m gonna start my own record label and we’re not just gonna make black music. We’re gonna make music that everybody can enjoy. We’re always gonna have great beats and great stories and we’re always gonna make quality records.” We accomplished all of that.