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To Be Loved

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  287 ratings  ·  34 reviews
With humor, frankness and touching insight, the genius producer behind the Motown sound breaks his silence and sets the record straight in this fascinating personal account of his incredible life and times. From Detroit to Hollywood, here is the story of the music great who changed American popular culture with artists such as Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, the Jacksons, Ste ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published October 1st 1994 by Warner Books (NY)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  287 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Jay Pruitt
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Your lovin' gives me a thrill. But your lovin' don't pay my bills. I need MONEY -- that's what I want."
I picked up To Be Loved when I visited Detroit recently on a business trip. I didn't expect too much from the book, as autobiographies are notoriously boring and self-aggrandizing. I was pleasantly surprised by the book. The author (Berry) was so very candid and even self-effacing, spending as much time describing his mistakes as his successes. And let's face it, the man has SO much to be
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Truly magical and a story of life and events that will forever stay with me.

I picked this up after watching the fantastic Motown musical in London wanting to know more. I grew up listening and loving everything that came out of Motown and I still do. Decades of music that are and will remain on another level of quality and creativity. Pure gold.

Wow what a life this man created for himself and countless others. One of the most influential men of all time for black music and film.

So sad that it
John Winston
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the first review I've written on Goodreads and let me preface it by saying Berry Gordy is my biggest hero of all-times, so it will be extremely biased. I know, I know. He was a crook and stole from every one of his least that's the prevailing consensus. That being said, I am in awe of what he accomplished at the time he accomplished it; when black music was relegated to being just music. His machine created phenomenal music and his genius found a way to play and ...more
Taryn Rydell
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Say what you want about Berry Gordy. He is a genius. He did things in the music industry that hadn't been done before or since. Motown is the greatest collection of contemporary music ever created. In To Be Loved, you get it from the horse's mouth. Whether you believe what's written here or not, the words matter because somebody's got to tell history. Who better to tell it than the person who created it all. We believe the words prophets wrote in the Bible because men deemed them inspired by the ...more
Troy Legette
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was there in a lonely room reading words painting
the perfect picture. A man following his dreams asking
family members to help invest in it. Using your last
savings to invest is amazing. I learned so much about
some of the artist he helped have success in the music
Dave Schwensen
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see why this book would be the inspiration for the hit Broadway show, Motown. It’s a positive musical romp through one of the most important eras of popular music with some of the biggest names in the industry. Of course a major part of this story is the mega-success of a black-owned business in America during the early to mid 1960’s. Detroit was already known as Motor City before Barry Gordy ever worked in a car plant and learned the factory system. After adapting this process to his reco ...more
Gary Baughn
Apr 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Although Berry is continually trying to correct the impression that he was a dictator of Motown Records, he probably was, and this is still a fun book to read, if you like that music, and want to hear about how it came to be. I've been to Hitsville, and this should make you want to see that little bungalow that changed the world of music.
What is most interesting is how he combined creativity and manufacturing, two ways of doing things that, like oil and water, supposedly are at odds with one ano
Winter Sophia Rose
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Touching, Inspiring, Informative, Heartfelt & Beautiful! A Awesomely Beautiful Read! I Loved It!
Lisa Lewis
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Here's how much I love autobiographies and memoirs (or maybe I should say, "here's how much of a book geek I am"): I went to see Motown: The Musical, loved it, found out it was based on Berry Gordy's autobiography, and immediately had to read it. I'm glad I did, because I really enjoyed it.

Besides being a trip through the history of much of the best pop music ever, it was also a story of an interesting and I think somewhat admirable man. I know that people make themselves look good when they wri
James Coleman
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just finished. Amazing. Even for an R&B history lover like myself, I learned tons of stuff. A lot of these stories I'd heard, but not from Berry Gordy himself. I teared up a couple of times. Good stuff. ...more
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good

love this time in history and this book is such a good source of American history. loved hearing the stories of where some favorite songs were created.
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent autobiography...he was more honest and open than I thought he would be. I enjoyed it very much, so interesting and we'll written. ...more
Jackie Stanton
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's always a pleasure to read about someone who's a charismatic, talented and remarkable person, and Berry Gordy, Jr. fits that bill to a T. This is the autobiographical memoir he wrote in 1995 that became the basis for the hit Broadway musical, "Motown", which I had the pleasure of seeing in October while in New York. As it turns out, the gentleman who transports us to/from LAX was the chauffeur for Mr. Gordy for 13 years, when Gordy moved his company to Los Angeles, and he lent me his autogra ...more
Akshay Gupta
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Berry goes on to write his story in a most wonderful and candid way.
From his childhood, his bold decisions and self - belief, makes one belive in miracles. Also one makes his own miracles.
He speaks about his business and risks, relationship and how the world came to know him.

One of the best autobiographies written I guess!!

In his words - The whole purpose of writing a book is to be understood, if other people write a book about you, they try to guess why you did things, or they hear things from
Mickey McIntosh
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This man needs no introduction. His label Motown is more than just a company that made records, but it was a cultural and social revolution, and who better to tell the story than the man who built it, Berry Gordy Jr.
He's a great storyteller as he leads you from his upbringing in Detroit, to following his dreams first as a songwriter, and as a record label owner, and through the highs and lows of success.
Anybody who is into music, or social and cultural studies show read this.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommended to Sharon by: purchased at Motown museum Detroit e
Shelves: non-fiction
Growing up in Detroit and the Motown era I enjoyed reviewing all the names and stories of Motown's growth. Have visited the little blue Motown house many times. This autobiography is very detailed. Gordie must have kept extensive notes or recordings to be able to summarize such detail in his autobiography. Just look at the appendix! ...more
Sandy III
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Knowing a lot about Motown, I was intrigued when I ran across this audio book.
Debra E.
Apr 06, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is okay, a real love letter to his self . Missing are stories about half of the act at Motown. Real stories about those days.
Shannan Harper
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I requested this book after seeing the Broadway play that was based on this book. The musical had some inaccuracies from the book, but the book was a very interesting read.
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Before I read this book I didn't think much about my background history of music and how it affected everyone's life. But now that I have finished this book, I feel that it was something worth while and life-changing in a way that makes my cultural background all the more interesting. For example, I didn't even know much about Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Sidney Poitier, the Temptations, Gladys Knight, The Supremes, and Stevie Wonder. But now that I got to read their experience from ...more
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
The founder of Motown Records lets it all hang out in remembering his decades-long career driving the "Motown" sound. The road was not easy for any of the superstars he discovered, especially the black artists starting out in the turbulent 60's. Motown was the first all-black recording company, and his artists changed the history of music. A fascinating, complex man, I enjoyed his journey. I also saw Motown - The Musical, which was based on this memoir, to hear all these truly wonderful songs ag ...more
Alessandra Simmons
Jun 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
If you are looking for the inside scoop on Motown, this will give you something! Who knows what's true. Poorly written yet a page turner. What's Berry Gordy going to do next? There are some really great lines such as, "Out of that short love affair came my son, Terry." and "From her I learned there were many levels to a relationship, not just physical." If you are in to motown or celeb gossip its a must read. ...more
Jun 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Please note that this review is coming from a student who was forced to read it for a history class on Motown music...

As far as require reading goes, this book isn't that bad. It gives great detail into the blood, sweat and years that went into the creation of Motown. Berry Gordy is very honest in his writing which makes it enjoyable to read.

Some parts were laborious to read, but overall it was a good read!
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pretty good. I was personally put off by the unnecessary profanity. There were so many famous people to include and talk about the pace was always up.
I learned quite a bit about Motown and Barry Gordy in particular.
Barbara Washington
Feb 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this book over the summer.It was a really great
read,because it tells how some one from humble beginnings made history and started his own empire.
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Berry Gordy Telling The Story Of Motown and his love for Diana Ross
Sep 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Not well written but an interesting all the same. I was unaware of how Motown came to be, how they found their talent, and how involved everyone was. Being a fan of the music this is major history
Phil Wilkins
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
Great biography of the found of Motown records
Michael Awotwi
Great book

I love this book. I love motown and loved reading about Berry Gordy , one of the greatest moguls !
Terry Hansen
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it
After seeing Motown the musical wanted to learn more about Berry Gordy. Have to say the show actually covered a lot. Not a bad read -
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