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Motown at 50

Jan. 12 2009, Published 5:18 a.m. ET

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Abdul "Duke" Fakir of the Four Tops called it "hallowed ground," and he isn't kidding. To millions of fans, Studio A -- where some of the most beloved recordings of the 20th Century were made -- is nothing less than historic.

The location was used today to kick off the 50th anniversary celebration of the legendary label, with many great names in attendance: Rosalind Ashford of Martha (Reeves) and the Vandellas, Gil Bridges of Rare Earth, Bobby Rogers of the Mircales, and many more.

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Among the best-known names to come from Motown are Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, neither of whom was present.

It was on this day that founder Berry Gordy borrowed $800 to start his own record label. He says, "Motown music was for everybody, and it grew out of love. It has spread around the world and has become part of the culture and consciousness in all seven continents, and it all started right here."

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Many counties in Michigan are honoring the event with proclamations, while the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland has opened a Motown retrospective that will be open all year.

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