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I believe he was the first RJ. I guess it depends upon how you view Motown Label groups like Rare Earth. But as for true Motown style artists I'd have to say that Stevie is first.

Others tried to step out of the Motown mold to explore other genres but Berry Gordy ruled with an iron fist. Just ask Mary Wells, Martha Reeves, The Four Tops, The Isley Bros., etc. Most had to leave the label to have musical freedom. Even then, Gordy tried to undermine their efforts. Some had success (TheFour Tops for example) but even they returned to Motwon eventually.

Stevie always did what Stevie wanted to do. Gordy could not influence Stevie's choices. Genius trumps business acumen anyday.

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He had to be one of the first, to be sure. Rare Earth came out around 1970, and they're considered more of a "Classic Rock" band than a Motown band; first white group on the label, I believe. Stevie's "crossover" classic rock tunes didn't really come out until a few years later with the album "Talking Book".

He definitely is bigger than the "r&b" genre, much the same as the Beatles are bigger than the "pop" genre.

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I really love Motown, but I haven't really listened to it in a while. The compilation I have is about 20 years old on cassette, but I like it because it tells stories of the musicians and the songs.

Can anyone recommend a more recent compilation? Or some good albums by The Four Tops, Temptations, Smokey & The Miracles, etc.? I'd like to get a good collection to share with my daughter.

I used to sing "My Girl" to her a lot.....

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There's a newer compilation called "Motown - Greatest Hits". I believe it's put out by Universal Records, which now owns and distributes Motown. It covers quite a time period. It's a 3 disc import, and the price was pretty fair. I found it at Best Buy, but you can get it here as well:


Of course, everyone should also own the Stevie Wonder "At The Close Of A Century" boxset - best thing I ever bought.

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Listened to a station out of Detroit CKLW and they played so many great Motown artists.

CKLW was not out of Detroit, as many people think. The "Big 8" (AM800) is still to this day located in my hometown of Windsor, Ontario. Detroit is across a one mile wide stretch of river from us, the Detroit River. In it's day, the Big 8 was totally responsible for launching the careers of most Motown stars. And plenty of Detroit rock stars got their start from CKLW. In particular, it was a program director, Rosalie Tromblay, that these guys were kissing up to. Seger wrote a song about her. These days, Rosalie works at the Casino Windsor, and enjoys talking about the old days. The DJ's that were there during the heyday are local legends, and probably eat free in all the area restaurants, LOL!. Eventually, AM800 changed it's format to all talk radio. It's known as Windsor's 'information station' and is a FAR cry from it's former self.

Here is Seger's song.


Bob Seger

Words and music by bob seger

She’s quite the mediator

A smoother operator you will never see

She’ll see you later

And no one dares disuade her openly

She knows music

And no music till you see


She’s got the power

Of loyal teens - queen Rosalie

Rosalie... Rosalie...Rosalie

She’s got the plastic

Comes from all the corners, corners of the world

So fantastic

She’s everybody’s favorite little record girl

She knows music

No music till you see


She’s got the power... got the power, Rosalie...Rosalie... Rosalie

From chattanooga to good old Bogalloosa

You can hear them fine

She makes her choices

And it may be best to smilin’ when it’s choosin’ time

Knows music

No music till you see


She’s got the power, got the tower, Rosalie...Rosalie...Rosalie

Knows music...knows music...knows music


Weather and traffic up next!



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Found more! From Rosalie's History


People who had an impact

Rosalie Trombley

Radio music director

Bob Seger sang it: “She’s got the tower/she’s got the power†— she is Rosalie Trombley, the music director of Windsor’s Top 40 powerhouse CKLW-AM, the most important call letters in the Midwest in its ’60s and ’70s heyday.

The unassuming mother of three started as a receptionist and became music director in 1968.

Because CKLW’s signal beamed into 26 states beyond Michigan and Ontario, when Trombley deigned to play a song and it caught fire, the song could blaze across the country within days. Detroit acts like Bob Seger got national exposure due to Trombley and “CK,†and Canadian groups like the Guess Who were suddenly made in the United States.

Seger even wrote the song Rosalie about her, but it tanked. Professional to a fault, Trombley refused to play the song.

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The Classic CKLW Page!This page remembers the Big 8, CKLW (Windsor/Detroit) - one of the top radio stations in the world in the 1960's and 1970's.

I think the reason most people here in the states say Detroit is due to the Windsor/Detroit saying and I remember it being said that way on the radio. Guess we just thought of Detroit first, funny we did that though.

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