News came out today (Monday, June 24) that Motown, the legendary record label in Detriot that gave us the likes of The Supremes and Jackson 5 has requested that O-Town’s request to trademark their name again be denied.
Okay, where were you in 2000?
O-Town’s Jacob Underwood asked the same question in an article by Billboard today, but Motown seems to think they were named after the record label because of an interview that Lou Pearlman, founder of Transcontinental Records and the man who helped form O-Town, gave in 1999 where he compared his work to that of Motown.
But the Billboard didn’t mention the fact that O-Town is a nickname for Orlando, Florida. Orlando is where Lou Pearlman lived and his music business was located. It’s the home of Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync.
Even Wikipedia says it:
The band was named after Orlando, Florida, despite the fact that none of the band members came from the city.Wikipedia
In a Wikipedia post with list of nicknames of Florida cities, Orlando is listed as “O-Town” and “The City Beautiful.”
O-Town is also a nickname for Oakland, California; Ogden, Utah; Olathe, Kansas; Olympia, Washington; Omaha, Nebraska; Orange, Connecticut; Ottawa, Kansas; Ottawa, Ontario; Owerri, Nigeria; and O’Fallon, Missouri.
I’m pretty sure that somewhere in Season One of “Making The Band” (see here on YouTube) they discuss why the band will be named O-Town.
So Motown, love, respect you for what you’ve done for music, but really? Really? Twenty years later and you’re going to come after a group because of a name? Ludacris calls Atlanta “A-Town,” are we going to go after him?
Stupidity. Let the band have their name that they’ve always been known as.