"The Stars of Motown" Party Ideas

by Kent Page McGroarty

Founded in 1959 by legendary producer Berry Gordy, Motown Records was a black-owned-and-operated Detroit-based recording studio during the height of the civil rights movement. The company gave voice to some of the most significant artists of the 20th century including Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and the Jackson Five. Celebrate the music of Motown with a Motown-themed extravaganza.

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Invitations

Use cardstock to create single-sheet invitations in the shape of records with the word "Motown" emblazoned in the middle, along with all of the necessary party information. Another option for homemade invitations includes making collages of notable Motown artists, along with thought bubbles from each performer giving the party information. Collage images can include Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Also, try printing party information on the back of Motown sheet music or lyric sheets.

Music and Games

Motown music collections and box sets are ideal for Motown-themed parties, as they offer a variety of songs as opposed to a record of one artist or group only. You can also make your own mix CDs or select a variety of Motown songs to play from your MP3 player. Song ideas from Motown artists include "Baby, Where Did Our Love Go" by Diana Ross and the Supremes, "ABC" by the Jackson Five, "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" by the Temptations, "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight and the Pips, and "Brick House" by the Commodores. Game ideas for a Motown party include matching the artist with the song, karaoke competitions using Motown songs and Motown trivia games.

Food and Drink

Food ideas for a Motown party include soul/Southern food such as macaroni and cheese, stuffed bell peppers, smothered pork chops, biscuits and fried chicken. Dessert ideas include cupcakes featuring plastic cake toppers such as records, music notes and even small laminated images of Motown artists on wire holders. Cakes in the shape of records or the Motown logo are also options. Drink options include sweet tea and homemade lemonade, which can be made with or without alcohol.

Decorations

Decor ideas for your Motown party include lining old records along your walls. If you do not have actual Motown records or would prefer not to subject them to possible damage, cut and paste paper over other records' existing labels with the names and songs of Motown artists. Print out black-and-white photos of original Motown artists to decorate one wall and another with color photos of Motown artists from later years. You can also section such images by group, solo artists, men and women. Hanging records from the ceiling is another option.