Vale Motown's Maxine Powell - Noise11.com
Maxine Powell

Maxine Powell

Vale Motown’s Maxine Powell

by Roger Wink, VVN Music on October 17, 2013

in News

Motown’s etiquette coach, Maxine Powell, has died at age 98.

Powell died on Monday morning at Providence Hospital in a Southfield, MI.

Maxine’s knowledge of etiquette came through her family. She was born in Texarkana, TX but was raised by her aunt in Chicago who taught etiquette. After high school, she attended a school of beauty and did manicures so she could attend acting school which refined her even more through the study of elocution, dance and movement.

In 1945, Powell visited Detroit and soon moved their. After teaching refinement for a number of years, she opened her own institution, the Maxine Powell Finishing and Modeling School. She also opened the largest banquet facility in Detroit catering to African-Americans.

Powell first became acquainted with Motown after three graduates of her school, Gwen, Anna and Esther Gordy, introduced her to their brother, Berry. She eventually became a founding member of the label’s Artist Development department in 1964 under the direction of Harvey Fuqua and also including Maruice King (vocal coach) and Cholly Atkins (choreography).

In her position, Powell worked with all the Motown artists, teaching them grooming, dressing, etiquette and presentation. According to biographies, she taught Marvin Gaye how to stand up straight and open his eyes while singing and Diana Ross how to enter a room and interact with fans.

Berry Gordy issues a statement on Powell:

She brought something to Motown that no other record company had. She was a star in her own right — an original. She will always be remembered for her style and class, and she instilled that into the Motown artists by teaching them how to walk, talk and even think with class. She was tough, but when she got through with them, they were poised, professional…and very thankful.

‘I love you all,’ she’d say, ‘but don’t confuse me with your mother. She’s stuck with you, I’m not! Ladies, remember your gloves, walk with class like you were taught — and always remember, do not protrude the buttocks. One day you will perform for the kings and queens of Europe, but for now we must make the best of it on the circuit of the chit-ter-ling.’

She was not only smart, but very funny. Maxine Powell will always be a great part of the Motown family and legacy. We miss her and will always love her.

Later in life, from 1971 to 1985, Powell taught at Wayne County (MI) Community College, later taking on clients on a consulting basis. She was honored by Motown at a ceremony this past August.

Read more: http://www.vintagevinylnews.com/

Comments

comments

Related Posts

Marvin Gaye and Anna Gordy
Anna Gordy Gaye Dead At 92

Anna Gordy Gaye, the wife of soul legend Marvin Gaye and older sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy, has died at the age of 92.

February 1, 2014
Barry White, Noise11, Photo
Barry White Awarded Posthumous Hollywood Walk Of Fame Star

Soul, funk and disco legend Barry White was posthumously awarded the 2,506th star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday.

September 16, 2013
Steven Tyler, Aerosmith, Stone Music Festival, Noise11, Ros O'Gorman, Photo
Steven Tyler And Tony Hatch Among Inductees To Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame

Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Mick Jones and Lou Gramm of Foreigner, J.D. Souther, Tony Hatch and Holly Knight were inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame on Thursday night at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York. Special awards also went to Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Berry Gordy, Benny Blanco and Sam Cooke's classic song A Change is Gonna Come.

June 19, 2013
Deke Richards
Motown Songwriter Deke Richards Dead At 68

Deke Richards, the songwriter who led the Motown writing and production team The Corporation, died on Sunday from esophageal cancer. He was 68.

March 27, 2013
Jackson 5ive
Complete Animated Series Of Jackson 5ive To Be Released On DVD And Blu-Ray

Very little has been announced at this time, but Amazon has put up two listings for Jackson 5ive: The Complete Animated Series on both DVD and Blu-Ray.

October 29, 2012
Motown The Musical
Motown The Musical Is Coming To Broadway

The story of Motown is coming to Broadway with a book by Berry Gordy and the music that made Detroit famous.

July 20, 2012
Michael Jackson Thriller image noise11.com photos
Michael Jackson Orders Brother Randy Shot Dead Claims The Sun

A bizarre allegation has surfaced today that Michael Jackson once ordered his brother Randy to be killed.

May 7, 2012