When Berry Gordy, Jr. decided he wasn't making as much money as he should have been writing songs for the like of Jackie Wilson and The Matadors, he decided to go into the production and publishing business. In 1959 he started Tamla Records which got off to a promising start when, fittingly enough, Barrett Strong's "Money (That's What I Want)" reached #2 on the R-and-B charts. He followed that up by signing The Matadors who quickly changed their name to The Miracles, buying a little property in Detroit that would become known as Hitsville, and starting a second label called Motown which would soon become the namesake for his parent record company.
With a core staff of producers (Gordy, Smokey Robinson, William "Mickey Stevenson, Norman Whitfield, Harvey Fuqua), songwriters (Lamont-Dozier-Lamont, Ashford and Simpson, Whitfield-Strong), and a smoking house band (known collectively as the Funk Brothers), the label churned out hits faster than you could say "the hippies are coming," racking up 110 top 10 smashes between 1961 and 1971. These tracks came to define the "Motown Sound" which was soon imitated around the world.