BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHERfirstname.lastname@example.org
“Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever,” an updated version of the legendary Motown 25 TV Special, will premiere public television stations Saturday night at 8, and then will repeat immediately following.
The variety show-themed event originally aired in May of 1983, and it’s most notable for viewers seeing Michael Jackson do his backward shuffle dance move dubbed the “Moonwalk,” which quickly became a worldwide craze.
TJ Lubinsky, executive producer and co-host of public television’s “My Music” series, has created a seven-CD set of original Motown hits, classic album tracks and rarities to accompany the airing of the special.
Titled “Motown: Big Hits & More,” the boxed set is a compelling collection of not just the same old songs, but many of the radio hits, regional hits and flip-side favorites from the Gordy, Soul and Tamla/Motown labels.
“I had the chance to grow up from New Jersey to south Florida to Pennsylvania, so I heard Motown on the radio not only in the Garden State, but also in New York and especially in Philadelphia,” Lubinsky said in a statement. “This gave me a special taste for different flavors of classic Motown that each region of the country loved to hear on the radio.
“In putting together this unique (boxed) set, I wanted to create a unique package that featured all these great songs, including 25 new stereo mixes of classic songs,” Lubinsky continued. “We had the extraordinary opportunity to go through the Motown archives and have access to the original tapes and sessions, going back to the original stages and pre-mixed stages of recording sessions done at Hitsville gave us so many amazing surprises.
“Most often, the songs went much longer than the fades we are used to hearing — and sometimes even extra verses were uncovered, like Smokey Robinson and The Miracles ad-libbing the line, ‘the tracks of my tears, I’ve been crying for years,’ which has never been heard before because it was on the original session tapes past the fade-out on the 45.”
The entire CD collection will be available to members that pledge to public television stations during the national broadcast of Motown 25 and at www.treasurycollection.com.