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LBJ Presidential Library
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Soul is one of America’s greatest musical treasures, and Motown its most memorable sound. Motown began in Detroit in the early 1960s and quickly became “The Sound of Young America,” crashing the American pop charts and challenging the Beatles-led British Invasion. A blend of gospel, blues, and pop, the Motown Sound featured the sweet harmonies of the Supremes and the Temptations, the perfect pop-soul of Smokey Robinson, the genius of Marvin Gaye, the irresistible innocence of Little Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, and so much more. The common denominator for all this great music: the vision of Motown architect, Berry Gordy, Jr., a former prizefighter and songwriter who believed that talent could be found on nearly every Detroit street corner and bet on it.

With personal artifacts from some of the music’s biggest recording artists, Motown: The Sound of Young America is the first major museum exhibition to embrace all facets of the biggest sound in soul in the ‘60s: musically, culturally, and politically. The exhibit also traces the evolution of the label, focusing on its major artists and musical achievements, and explores how the sound of Motown continues to influence some of pop music’s most important artists today.

Exhibit Contents:

  • Stage outfits from the Supremes, the Four Tops, the Miracles, the Jackson 5 and the Temptations.
  • Interactive displays that enable visitors to dance with the Temptations, sing with the Supremes and play drums for Motown hit, “My Girl.”
  • Song spotlights that highlight some of Motown’s greatest recordings.
  • Never-before-seen interviews with some of Motown’s greatest artists that shed light on the importance of Motown in American pop music.
  • GRAMMY Awards Motown tributes and performances.
  • Footage from the White House celebration of the “Motown Sound” with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
  • Note: “Motown Today” will be a new addition to the exhibit; artifacts TBD

Exhibition Tour:

  • April 8, 2019 through Jan. 26, 2020…………………LBJ Presidential Library (Austin, Texas)

Educational Resources:

  • Middle and High School curriculum covering:
    • History of Motown
    • Impact of Motown
    • The Music of Motown
    • The Women of Motown

For more information, please contact [email protected]