The Sound of Young America

  1. Adam White
  2. with Barney Ales
  • ISBN 9780500518298
  • 27.70 x 21.60 cm
  • PLC with acetate jacket
  • 400pp
  • 1,000 illustrations in colour and black and white
  • First published 2016
‘Delves deep into the secret life of Detroit’s revered home of soul ... An illuminating path into a familiar story … an essential Motown work’ – MOJO
'The definitive history of the Detroit-based record company … this is a riotous and political celebration of a great American brand'– Tatler
‘The story of the record label that produced more US No1s than The Beatles, Elvis and The Stones … it’s all covered in this visual history’– Shortlist
‘An excellent, no expenses spared publication'– Soul Source
‘Buy it, a real no-brainer’– The Beat Magazine

Motown: The Sound of Young America is the official, definitive, beautifully produced visual history of Motown, the most successful independent record company in the world


Motown became a prolific and hugely successful production line of suave, sassy and sophisticated music through the 60s, 70s and 80s. This exceptional book features extensive specially commissioned photography of treasures gathered from the archives. It also captures the graphic and design iconography that underpinned Motown’s extraordinary creativity.

Packed with fresh insights gleaned from scores of interviews with key players, this revealing book delves into the workings of the Motown machine and details how a dedicated team of backroom believers, white and black, turned a small family business into a popular music powerhouse. This was the home of Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, The Temptations and many more.

Motown: The Sound of Young America is a spectacular labour of love befitting an incredible story.

Adam White has written about music and the music industry for more than 40 years, and was vice-president of communications at Universal Music Group International from 2002 to 2012. Barney Ales was Berry Gordy’s indispensable right-hand man and Motown’s ultimate insider. He was Motown’s president from 1975 to 1978. Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones’ former manager, worked as a producer for Motown’s Rare Earth label during the early 70s.