Motown: The Sound of Young America

Motown: The Sound of Young America is now on display at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin. This exhibit was curated by the GRAMMY Museum in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Motown Records. Its focus is generally on the 1960s (coinciding with LBJ’s presidency), what the label now calls “Classic Motown.” There are also a few recent highlights, including excerpts from “The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House” held in 2011 during the Obama presidency. The exhibit remains at the LBJ Library through January 26, 2020.

Although you might not know much about the Motown record label, you would certainly recognize the names of their famous musicians. The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, The Jackson Five, and The Supremes are just a few of the big-name acts who were signed to Motown.

Some performance costumes are included in the exhibit. The Supremes wore these unique gowns in 1968.

These colorful jumpsuits were worn by The Jackson Five in the 1970s.

The exhibit also includes a few musical instruments. This harmonica was played by Little Stevie Wonder, as he was known in his younger days when he was just starting out with Motown.

An interesting assortment of Motown posters, record albums, and photographs are also on display. This exhibit offers many multimedia options for exploring that Motown sound: individual headsets, large/small screens, and even a juke box. You can also drum or dance along to famous Motown songs. And singing along is encouraged!

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