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Motown Gold from 'The Ed Sullivan Show' (2011)

Approved | | Documentary, Music | Video 13 September 2011


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Credited cast:
The Four Tops ... Themselves (archive footage)
Marvin Gaye ... Himself (archive footage)
Jackson 5 ... Themselves (archive footage)
Gladys Knight ... Herself (archive footage)
Martha & The Vandellas ... Themselves (archive footage)
Smokey Robinson ... Himself (archive footage)
The Supremes ... Themselves (archive footage)
The Temptations ... Themselves (archive footage)
Stevie Wonder ... Himself (archive footage)


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Documentary | Music




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Release Date:

13 September 2011 (USA) See more »

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SOFA Entertainment See more »
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The Best from the Motown era
15 February 2019 | by classicsoncallSee all my reviews

'Motown Gold' is a three volume compilation on two discs with acts appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show back in the Sixties. Each disc contains about a dozen performances, with the lion's share of appearances by Diana Ross and The Supremes who provide no less than twelve individual songs and medleys of their hits. Compilations like this are valuable for fans who otherwise wouldn't get a chance to see some of the more famous names that got their big break in Detroit during the Motown era. Also appearing are such acts as The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Gladys Knight and The Pips, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Martha and the Vandellas. The Jackson 5, with a very young Michael Jackson fronting, appear once in each of the volumes, which as I understand, is about three more times than you'll see Michael Jackson mentioned in an upcoming CBS special on the Motown years scheduled for later this year (2019).

Most of the segments are in color and introduced by Ed Sullivan, who often would invite the groups to join him following their set for a brief interview and hand shake. It's interesting to view the colorful wardrobes of the singers, who back in the day were often attired in bright, gaudy outfits, and in the case of Gladys Knight and The Pips, wore outrageously garish looking bright green suits during one of their performances. The Supremes were probably the most stylish, wearing colorful gowns for the most part, although in a couple of their segments they wore outfits that almost appeared like sleepwear on TV.

If I had to make a critique of the collection, it would be that the acts aren't presented in chronological order. For instance, Ed Sullivan makes mention in the first disc of the set that Diana Ross and The Supremes were making their very last TV appearance as a group on the show, but then you see them again on the second and third volumes in the series. Ironically, the song they sang for their 'last' appearance was 'Someday, We'll Be Together'. Similarly, there are a couple bits of footage in black and white, which might have been better placed right at the beginning before the transition to color was made by The Ed Sullivan Show.

I should also mention that this set includes what it calls a couple of bonus tracks that were filmed at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center that weren't part of the regular Ed Sullivan program. A couple of the acts were there entertaining injured soldiers, including The Four Tops singing 'It's All In The Game', and Gladys Knight and The Pips with 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine'. I don't know how difficult it might be to source this particular set, so you might try what I did, I ordered it up through my local library.

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