'Motown Homecoming' kicks off
Singer Michael Bolton was the surprise entertainment Tuesday night at the Motown Homecoming at the Roostertail.
"This music is in my DNA," Bolton said, before performing 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough.' This is the music I grew up with in Connecticut."
The gala was part of the celebratory events surrounding Wednesday's Detroit premiere of "Motown: The Musical" at the Fisher Theatre.
The Chairman himself, Berry Gordy, arrived just before the presentations started, proclaiming "I feel great," as his singers and staffers pressed in to hug him.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan presented Gordy with a key to the city, which the Motown founder held up like a boxing trophy as Mason boomed out "Berry Gordy, music champion of the world!"
"It's such a thrill to bring the Motown story back here where it all started," Gordy said, before inducing some of his stars to join him in singing the company song.
Barry Gordy leads some of Motown's original employees in the singing of the company song.
"Motown: The Musical" is the origin story of the iconic Detroit record company founded by Gordy in 1959.
Stevie Wonder told The Deroit News on Friday that he was going to try to make it in from California as he felt Gordy was "one of the two most under appreciated people in music" (the other being B.B. King).
The Roostertail has special significance in Motown history, as the site of "Motown Mondays," where in the 1960s WKNR disc jockey Scott Regen hosted the label's acts, including the Supremes and Four Tops, at the Detroit riverfront restaurant owned by the Schoenith family.
The "Motown Homecoming" was open to VIP ticketholders, with proceeds from the $500 tickets going to benefit the Motown Historical Museum.
John Mason emceed and Duggan and Rep. John Conyers spoke as Martha Reeves, Claudette Robinson of the Miracles, Katherine Anderson Schaffner of The Marvelettes, Duke Fakir of the Four Tops, former sales chief Berne Ales and other Motown alums circulated and caught up with friends.
To order tickets for "Motown: The Musical," go to broadwayindetroit.com.