Motown artist, songwriter, producer Robert Gordy dies at 91

Hannah Mackay
The Detroit News

Detroit recording artist, songwriter, producer and music executive Robert Louis Gordy Sr. died of natural causes on Friday at his home in Marina del Rey, California. Gordy, younger brother of Motown records founder Berry Gordy, was 91.

Robert Gordy was born in Detroit in 1931 and began his music career in 1958 when he wrote the hit "Everyone Was There" with Berry and performed it on Dick Clark's TV show. He contributed to several hits at Motown, according to a news release from Universal Music Enterprises, which owns Motown.

Robert Louis Gordy Sr.

Mr. Gordy also ran the Jobete Music Publishing company, a music publishing affiliate of Motown records. Under his leadership, Jobete Music transitioned from a holder of song copyrights into a "highly profitable international publishing company," the release said.

Mr. Gordy also acted, and in his first role in 1972 he played the drug pusher “Hawk” in the movie “Lady Sings The Blues.”

“I am deeply saddened by the sudden passing of my younger brother, Robert,” Berry Gordy said.  “He was absolutely the best lil’ brother anyone could ever hope for.  His ability to succeed at whatever he attempted or that I threw his way, amazed me over the years.  I will miss his love, his support, and his loyalty.”

Mr. Gordy enjoyed playing chess and golf with friends and spending time with his family. He is survived by three children, Roxanna Wright, Rodney Gordy and Fuller Gordy, his brother Berry Gordy, four grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and his friend Pamela Davis.

Funeral services have not been scheduled yet and his family asks that people donate to the Motown Museum in Detroit instead of sending flowers.