Esther Edwards: Record Company Executive - 1966 Jun 5, 2006 19:29:13 GMT -5
Post by Emerald City on Jun 5, 2006 19:29:13 GMT -5
Esther Edwards: record company executive
April 10, 1966
"Ever since we've been old enough to work," says Esther Edwards, vice president in charge of talent for the Motown Records Corp. and sister of Berry Gordy Jr., president of Motown, "we've had to put $10 a month in the family kitty. That's where Berry got the $700 he needed to start Hitsville, USA. Berry has always been a creative, 'I'd-rather-do-it-myself' type and he wanted me on hand as his business adviser."
The rest is musical history.
"The novelty for me is not that I began working later in my life, but that I moved into an entirely new industry," says Mrs. Edwards, who in private life is the wife of State Representative George G. Edwards and the mother of a 21-year-old son serving in the Army.
Six years ago Mrs. Edwards was chairman of the Recorder's Court Jury Commission, a bookkeeper in another brother's printing company and Berry's assistant. Her day went something like this: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Recorder's Court; 2 to 4 p.m., printing company; 4 p.m. to midnight, working with Berry ... besides running her own home.
But Motown and the Detroit Sound mushroomed into a multi-faceted enterprise and Mrs. Edwards gave up her other commitments to work there full time. Today 36 of the top 100 record hits in the country bear the Motown label.
A serene, capable woman, she handles all bookings and merchandising for the Supremes and Marvin Gaye. She also oversees the internal organization of the corporation.
Mrs. Edwards, who attended both Howard and Wayne State universities, thinks the most important factor in the success of her brothers and sisters was the confidence, encouragement and example of hard work given them by their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Berry Gordy Sr.