19 May 2011

"Can't Forget the Motor City", Part II: "Nowhere to Run" in a Ford Plant

When I used to substitute teach, I used to keep an emergency kit in my shoulder bag. The kit consisted of one video tape: a collection of promotional films -- what would come to be know as videos -- made in the early 60s for primarily Motown songs. The emergency they treated was an out-of-control classroom. I used the music to calm them down and then try again to get some teaching done. It pretty much worked too. I got one class of troubled young girls singing along with Chapel of Love. I guess their moms taught them that one.

One gem I found on that tape was the short film for Nowhere to Run (1965) by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. In the first clip below, Martha Reeves and two of her Motown colleagues describe the making of one of what would become one of the first videos ever. As this classic single plays, the ladies are filmed jumping in and out of a Ford assembly line in Detroit. As many of you already know, the '65 Mustangs on that line would became the iconic car of the era. The song is vintage Motown that has me dancing in my chair as I write this.

Here's the full promotional film discussed above.

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