Motown Legend Berry Gordy Remembers His Surprising First Hit
So, when Radio.com asked Berry Gordy our usual "Radio Feedback" question - "Do you remember the first time you heard yourself on the radio?" - his answering was a bit of a surprise, in that it was not a song by a Motown artist at all… although it was a classic by a legendary artist
"It was 'Reet Petite' by Jackie Wilson," Gordy told Radio.com. "It wasn't a Motown song, but it was the first song that I wrote. I was a songwriter back then," by which he means, he a songwriter for hire, as opposed to being a singer/songwriter recording his own compositions.
He remembers the moment he first heard it: "I was feeling sad, sitting in a room, waiting for somebody to that record, when I heard it, I just went crazy: I got a headache, I thought I was gonna fall out, I was jumping up and down. [I heard it on] on WCHB Radio in Detroit, I was dancing around and I turned on the TV, and then Dick Clark was playing it on American Bandstand!"
"I felt like I was on top of the world," he continues, "And everything else paled [in comparison] to that kind of excitement." Gordy would go on to write a few other songs for Jackie Wilson, including the classic "Lonely Teardrops," before founding Motown Records, whose first hit was also penned by Gordy, "Money (That's What I Want)." more on this story