Iris Gordy

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Iris Gordy
Also known as Iris Gordy Bristol
Iris Gordon
Born (1943-02-16) February 16, 1943 (age 72)
Origin Detroit, Michigan
Genres R&B, pop
Occupation(s) songwriter, producer
Years active 1960's–1980's
Labels Motown
Associated acts DeBarge, The Originals, Teena Marie, Rick James, G. C. Cameron, Smokey Robinson, and Táta Vega

Iris Gordy (born February 16, 1943)[1] is an American songwriter, producer, and music executive. She is a former vice president at Motown, where she helped launch the careers of DeBarge, Teena Marie, and Rick James.[2]


Gordy is the daughter of Mildred (née Hart) and Fuller Gordy, the brother of Motown founder Berry Gordy.


In 1970, “The Bells,” a song she co-wrote with Marvin Gaye, Anna Gordy Gaye, and Elgie Stover, became a huge hit for The Originals. It has been subsequently recorded by a variety of artists including Laura Nyro, Color Me Badd, Sam Harris, Aaron Neville, and Patti LaBelle.[3]

Later, while serving as an executive at Motown, she discovered a demo featuring Táta Vega on vocals. Vega, who was originally signed to the company as a member of the group Earthquire, had been languishing at the company for years. Gordy went on to serve as executive producer on her first two critically acclaimed solo albums. On Full Speed Ahead, Gordy also co-wrote the song, “Just as Long as There is You” with another new artist to Motown, Teena Marie.[4] Gordy was also a producer on All This Love, a Top 10 R&B album for DeBarge.[3]

Additionally, Gordy has worked as a producer with G. C. Cameron, Smokey Robinson, Mandré and High Inergy.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Gordy was previously married to producer and recording artist, Johnny Bristol.[5]

Current activities[edit]

Presently, Gordy serves on the board of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.[2]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1 [database on-line]". United States: The Generations Network. 1995. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  2. ^ a b "About The Foundation: Board". United States: Rhythm & Blues Foundation. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  3. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason. "The Originals". United States: All Music Guide. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  4. ^ Nathan, David (2011). Full Speed Ahead (Media notes). Táta Vega. records. 
  5. ^ a b "Iris Gordy". United States: Discogs. Retrieved 2013-07-29.