Motown Records founder Barry Gordy was born on this day in 1929. One of the most successful music industry execs ever, you'd think a man with such a golden ear would be sure of a sure thing when he heard one. As it turns out, just like the rest of us, Gordy could be plagued with doubts, and often equivocated when it came time to sign a future living legend, as he admits in this 2013 interview with British talk show host Jonathan Ross:
Yes, that's Richard Gere to the right of Gordy, and, further down on the couch, Jack Black. The young woman sitting in between Gere and Black obviously needs no introduction.
Now back to Gordy, who in 1963 was so unsure of Stevie Wonder's potential that before signing him he made the child take a...
...test, the results of which revealed young Stevie to be a...
OK, so maybe it didn't happen quite that way, but the young lad was more than talented enough, as you'll see in the following ancient videotape:
I don't know about you, but those numbers running in the lower left corner are making me nervous! Let me get my smelling salts.
OK, I'm better now. Onto The Jackson 5, the success of which in 1970 was so much in doubt that in the likelihood they failed, Gordy would need a...
So? Were they a bust? You decide:
I'll decide. The kids remained gainfully employed. For that matter, so did Miss Ross.
Roisin Conaty, a British comedienne, in the off chance she did need an introduction.