Motown Quiz- Merit Scholar

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Quizzes Created: 1 | Total Attempts: 402
Questions: 20 | Attempts: 417

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New York City Quizzes & Trivia

This is mandatory for anyone going to New York City in December. You must score at least 80%. Use the reading material to answer all questions. Email Kimberlysue. Smith@omeresa. Net with any questions.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Who established/founded Motown Records?

    • A.

      Berry Gordy Jr.

    • B.

      Marvin Gaye

    • C.

      Smokey Robinson

    • D.

      Michael Jackson

    Correct Answer
    A. Berry Gordy Jr.
    Explanation
    Berry Gordy Jr. is the correct answer because he is the founder of Motown Records. Motown Records was established by Gordy in 1959 in Detroit, Michigan. He started the record label with the aim of creating music that would appeal to a wide audience, regardless of race. Motown Records went on to become one of the most successful and influential record labels in history, launching the careers of numerous legendary artists such as Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and The Jackson 5.

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  • 2. 

    When was Motown Records founded?

    • A.

      1972

    • B.

      1952

    • C.

      1960

    • D.

      1959

    Correct Answer
    D. 1959
    Explanation
    Motown Records was founded in 1959. This record company played a significant role in shaping the sound of American popular music in the 1960s and 1970s. It was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in Detroit, Michigan, and became known for its production of soul, R&B, and pop music. Motown Records launched the careers of many iconic artists such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, and The Jackson 5. The year 1959 marks the beginning of this influential record label's journey.

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  • 3. 

    Where was Motown Records founded/started?

    • A.

      Ohio

    • B.

      New York

    • C.

      Michigan

    • D.

      California

    Correct Answer
    C. Michigan
    Explanation
    Motown Records was founded and started in Michigan. Motown Records, also known as Hitsville U.S.A., was established in Detroit, Michigan in 1959 by Berry Gordy Jr. The label played a significant role in shaping the sound of popular music during the 1960s and 1970s, with artists like Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and The Jackson 5. Michigan became the birthplace of the Motown sound, making it the correct answer.

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  • 4. 

    Why was Motown special?

    • A.

      It was the most successful African-American owned company.

    • B.

      It produced formidable music and became a cultural icon.

    • C.

      All of the above.

    • D.

      None of the above.

    Correct Answer
    C. All of the above.
    Explanation
    Motown was special because it was the most successful African-American owned company and it produced formidable music that became a cultural icon. This means that all of the given options are correct, as they accurately describe the reasons why Motown was special.

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  • 5. 

    Motown was a blend of which musical styles?

    • A.

      African-American Church Tradition, Pop & Jazz

    • B.

      African-American Church Tradition, Pop, Jazz & Rap

    • C.

      African-American Church Tradition & Jazz only

    • D.

      African-American Church Tradition & Rap music

    Correct Answer
    A. African-American Church Tradition, Pop & Jazz
    Explanation
    Motown was a genre of music that originated in the 1960s and was characterized by a blend of African-American Church Tradition, Pop, and Jazz. The African-American Church Tradition influenced the soulful and gospel-like vocals, while Pop elements added catchy melodies and hooks, and Jazz contributed to the sophisticated harmonies and instrumental arrangements. This combination of musical styles is what made Motown unique and popular during its time.

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  • 6. 

    Before starting Motown Records, the founded had attempted which other job?

    • A.

      Bank clerk

    • B.

      Boxer

    • C.

      Lawyer

    • D.

      Pizza delivery guy

    Correct Answer
    B. Boxer
    Explanation
    The correct answer is boxer because before starting Motown Records, the founder had tried his hand at being a boxer. This suggests that the founder had pursued a career in boxing before venturing into the music industry with Motown Records.

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  • 7. 

    Who had Motown's first Pop Number 1 hit?

    • A.

      Martha and the Vandellas

    • B.

      Marvin Gaye

    • C.

      The Temptations

    • D.

      The Marvelettes

    Correct Answer
    D. The Marvelettes
    Explanation
    The Marvelettes had Motown's first Pop Number 1 hit.

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  • 8. 

    In 1961, Motown signed a blind 11-year old singer and multi-instrumentalist.  What was his/her name?

    • A.

      Helen Keller

    • B.

      Ray Charles

    • C.

      Stevie Wonder

    • D.

      Smokey Robinson

    Correct Answer
    C. Stevie Wonder
    Explanation
    Stevie Wonder was signed by Motown in 1961 when he was just 11 years old. He is a blind singer and multi-instrumentalist, known for his incredible talent and contributions to the music industry.

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  • 9. 

    What album was Motown's first Number 1 record?

    • A.

      The 11 Year Wonder

    • B.

      The 12 Year old Genius

    • C.

      Little Kid on the Block

    • D.

      Smokin' Joe

    Correct Answer
    B. The 12 Year old Genius
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "The 12 Year old Genius." This album refers to the album "Little Stevie Wonder/The 12 Year old Genius," which was released in 1963 and became Motown's first Number 1 record. The album showcased the immense talent of Stevie Wonder at a young age and propelled him to stardom.

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  • 10. 

    Beginning in 1964, which group had 10 Number 1 Pop hits and 5 more in the top ten, becoming Motown's flagship act?

    • A.

      The Miracles

    • B.

      The Marvellettes

    • C.

      Martha and the Vandellas

    • D.

      The Supremes

    Correct Answer
    D. The Supremes
    Explanation
    The Supremes had 10 Number 1 Pop hits and 5 more in the top ten, making them Motown's flagship act.

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  • 11. 

    What techniques did Motown Records use to gauge public opinion/taste?

    • A.

      Asking random teens questions on the street

    • B.

      Mailed questionnaires

    • C.

      Phone surveys

    • D.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    A. Asking random teens questions on the street
    Explanation
    Motown Records used the technique of asking random teens questions on the street to gauge public opinion/taste. This method allowed them to directly interact with their target audience and gather real-time feedback on their music and artists. By engaging with the younger demographic, Motown Records could stay in touch with the evolving trends and preferences of their audience, helping them make informed decisions about their music releases and marketing strategies.

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  • 12. 

    The founder of Motown Records purchased a white frame house where Motown would be headquartered.  What did the sign say that he hung over the front door?

    • A.

      Welcome to Motown

    • B.

      Hitsville USA

    • C.

      I have a dream

    • D.

      Michigan's Finest

    Correct Answer
    B. Hitsville USA
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Hitsville USA. This sign was hung over the front door of the white frame house that the founder of Motown Records purchased to serve as the headquarters of the company. The phrase "Hitsville USA" became synonymous with Motown and represented the successful and influential music that was produced by the record label.

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  • 13. 

    Most of the young Motown artists came from which socioeconomic level?

    • A.

      Children of wealthy business owners

    • B.

      Working class and poor neighborhoods

    • C.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    B. Working class and poor neighborhoods
    Explanation
    The correct answer is working class and poor neighborhoods. This is because Motown, a record label that was popular in the 1960s, primarily signed and promoted young artists from these socioeconomic backgrounds. Motown aimed to provide opportunities for talented individuals from disadvantaged communities, and many of their artists, such as Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, emerged from working class and poor neighborhoods.

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  • 14. 

    In 1969, Motown Records earned its first Grammy Award for which group/singer?

    • A.

      The Temptations

    • B.

      Jackson 5

    • C.

      Diana Ross

    • D.

      Smokey Robinson

    Correct Answer
    A. The Temptations
    Explanation
    In 1969, Motown Records earned its first Grammy Award for The Temptations. The Temptations were a highly successful vocal group signed to Motown, known for their soulful harmonies and energetic performances. They had several hit songs during the 1960s, including "My Girl" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg." Their talent and popularity contributed to Motown's success and recognition at the Grammy Awards.

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  • 15. 

    In 1971, whose record was hailed as the greatest soul music album ever recorded?

    • A.

      Gladys Knight

    • B.

      Edwin Starr

    • C.

      The Temptations

    • D.

      Marvin Gaye

    Correct Answer
    D. Marvin Gaye
    Explanation
    Marvin Gaye's record in 1971 was hailed as the greatest soul music album ever recorded. This suggests that his album had a significant impact on the genre and was highly acclaimed by both critics and audiences.

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  • 16. 

    In 1972, Motown relocated its headquarters to which US city?

    • A.

      New York City

    • B.

      Miami

    • C.

      Los Angeles

    • D.

      San Francisco

    Correct Answer
    C. Los Angeles
    Explanation
    Motown relocated its headquarters to Los Angeles in 1972. This move was motivated by the desire to tap into the growing market of the West Coast and to be closer to the emerging genres of funk and disco. Los Angeles offered a vibrant music scene and opportunities for collaboration with other artists and producers. The relocation to Los Angeles allowed Motown to expand its influence and reach a wider audience, solidifying its place in the history of American popular music.

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  • 17. 

    By moving Motown Records headquarters to a major city in 1972, it allowed for expansion into the film industry.  Which artist earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues?

    • A.

      Gladys Knight

    • B.

      Lil' Kim

    • C.

      Nicki Minaj

    • D.

      Diana Ross

    Correct Answer
    D. Diana Ross
    Explanation
    Moving Motown Records headquarters to a major city in 1972 allowed for expansion into the film industry. Diana Ross, an artist associated with Motown Records, earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in the film Lady Sings the Blues.

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  • 18. 

    In the 1970s (Motown's second decade), which Motown Record artist dominated the musical scene?

    • A.

      Stevie Wonder

    • B.

      Smokey Robinson

    • C.

      Marvin Gaye

    • D.

      Sir Elton John

    Correct Answer
    A. Stevie Wonder
    Explanation
    In the 1970s, Stevie Wonder dominated the musical scene as a Motown Record artist. Wonder achieved great success during this decade with his unique blend of soul, pop, and funk music. He released several critically acclaimed albums, such as "Talking Book," "Innervisions," and "Songs in the Key of Life," which showcased his exceptional songwriting and musical talent. Wonder's innovative sound and socially conscious lyrics resonated with audiences, earning him numerous accolades and establishing him as one of the most influential artists of the era.

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  • 19. 

    The founder of Motown Records sold the company to which entity in 1988?

    • A.

      MCA

    • B.

      RCA

    • C.

      Columbia Records

    • D.

      Atlantic Records

    Correct Answer
    A. MCA
    Explanation
    In 1988, the founder of Motown Records sold the company to MCA.

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  • 20. 

    Which of the following musicians signed with Motown AFTER the original founder left?

    • A.

      Rick James

    • B.

      Boys II Men

    • C.

      DeBarge

    • D.

      Lionel Richie

    Correct Answer
    B. Boys II Men
    Explanation
    Boys II Men signed with Motown after the original founder left because Motown was going through a transition period and seeking new talent. The original founder, Berry Gordy, stepped down as the head of the company in 1991, and Boys II Men signed with Motown in 1992. This timing aligns with the fact that they joined the label after the departure of the original founder.

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Our quizzes are rigorously reviewed, monitored and continuously updated by our expert board to maintain accuracy, relevance, and timeliness.

  • Current Version
  • Mar 16, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Aug 01, 2013
    Quiz Created by
    MeritScholar
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