Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, Dr. Dre, John Legend and more recount the incredible story of Motown Records in the trailer for Showtime’s upcoming documentary, Hitsville: The Making of Motown, premiering August 24th at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.
Directed by Benjamin and Gabe Turner, Hitsville marks the first Motown documentary to feature Gordy’s participation, and the film will feature an array of rare performance and behind-the-scenes footage from the label founder’s personal archive. The clip even opens with what’s ostensibly archival audio of Gordy laying out a plan for Motown in the label’s early days, noting that while they already had one record in the Top 10, “The artists that are wide open are Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Gladys Knight and the Pips.”
Hitsville will chronicle Motown’s first era, from its founding in Detroit in 1958 to its relocation to Los Angeles in the early Seventies. During that period, as the trailer shows, Motown not only changed the face of popular music, but did so with black artists in the middle of the Civil Rights era. And while the label began by producing pure pop gold, it was through artists like Marvin Gaye that Motown came to make music that reflected what was going on in America.
“When you can do what you want, that’s when the real magic starts to happen,” Dr. Dre says in the clip, while Jaimie Foxx adds, “You can never get the amount of talent that was in room in Motown.”
Accompanying Hitsville will be an official soundtrack of the same name, which will feature music from the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas and the Jackson 5. The record is available to pre-order as a 16-track and 35-track set.