Classic Motown Photo Exhibition – Rare & Unseen Images

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Photo: Motown/EMI Hayes Archive

In 1964, Motown crossed the Atlantic from America to Britain. In June, Mary Wells’s ‘My Guy’ became the company’s first UK chart success, reaching No.5, which was followed in November 1964 by Motown’s first UK No.1, The Supremes’ ‘Baby Love.’ The invasion got well and truly underway with promotional visits to London by Mary Wells, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and Martha & the Vandellas, paving the way for a full-scale assault in 1965, when the first Motown concert tour visited the UK. Others that followed included The Four Tops, The Temptations and a few years later, The Jackson 5.

From the archives of Motown and EMI Records there is now an exhibition of rare and unseen photographs at the Proud Galleries in London and here are just a selection. Don’t worry if you cannot visit in person because you can view all the fantastic images online. Just click here and it will take you to Proud Online where you can see the entire collection and there’s information on how to buy these fabulous photos.

11Mary Wells small

Mary Wells – October 1964
Photo: Motown/EMI Hayes Archive


The Supremes – October 1964
Photo: Motown/EMI Hayes Archive

16Marvin Gaye-721-16

Marvin Gaye – November 1964
Photo: Motown/EMI Hayes Archive

13Jackson 5-2877-1

The Jackson 5 – October 1972
Photo: Motown/EMI Hayes Archive

12Four Tops-929-2

The Four Tops – May 1965
Photo: Motown/EMI Hayes Archive


The Temptations – March 1965
Photo: Motown/EMI Hayes Archive

Format: Union Jack flagUK English


  1. Maria Carlota Carvalho

    June 27, 2014 at 8:29 pm


  2. Patricia Drew

    June 27, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    This was real music. Not like the junk we have today

    • Pat Rothwell

      June 28, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      I love Motown, what I really wanted to say is about your name, I never thought anybody had the same name I was born with ha ha. although as you can see it has been Rothwell for a lot longer. Anyway thanks for me having a chuckle to myself.

    • ray ray

      June 29, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      Real music yes indeed. I don’t listen to any of the junk they call music today.

  3. Lisa Lopez

    June 27, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Is Michael Jackson the only one with a statute in London? In London

  4. Anne

    June 27, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Beautiful choice of photo’s you show!

  5. Maria V

    June 27, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    So when the Brits were invading the US..Motown was invading Britain..very cool!!!

  6. Joyce Harris

    June 27, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    I grew up listening to all of this and still Love it!!

  7. Gary Hammons

    June 27, 2014 at 9:42 pm


  8. Alun Sutton

    June 27, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Love Motown music

  9. Tyrone Johnson

    June 27, 2014 at 10:02 pm


  10. Darryl Theus

    June 27, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Some remarkable photos. Really enjoyed seeing the ones of the Temptations from the mid 60’s.

  11. Teresa

    June 28, 2014 at 1:34 am

    All of my favorites! I grew up in the 60’s in Inglewood CA….Stevie Wonder was y first love !

  12. Keith Temple

    June 28, 2014 at 5:54 am

    What great photo of the best music ever

  13. Shelly

    June 28, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I love, love love Motown have done since I was 12 (now 61), the best music
    EVER, by the greatest singers EVER – David Ruffin, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, Smokey, Brenda Holloway. Great Photo’s

  14. Bernadette Hawkes

    June 28, 2014 at 10:18 am

    One not to miss.

  15. Elaine Makowska

    June 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you for showing all these wonderful photoes, motown has brought happiness, into so many peoples lives. God Bless Motown.

  16. Lucille Watson

    June 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    This is a wonderful thing it brings back so many great memories, I have friends who live in Manchester , England. I know for a fact my friends were avid Motown Fans, and when they finally got a chance to visit Detroit, that was the first place I took them to the Motown Studios I was so proud to be from Detroit. Just wish they had more souvenirs that they could have purchased to take back to England.

    • Ian Macfadyen

      October 29, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Lucille,
      Quite envious of your friends, – you taking them to the Motown Museum! A lifelong Motown fan, one day I hope to visit Detroit (from England), – if only for a couple of days, – and visit the old recording studios! Let me know if you could ever contemplate showing me around, – otherwise I’d be a bit like a fish out of water finding my way round!

  17. RoyF

    June 28, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    So lucky to have been born in 1956 and lived through this era of brilliant music….fantastic.

  18. Sola Eseyin

    June 28, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Wow! Such beautiful pictures and so powerful it stirs up such emotions like I were a part of the 60’s. Great music surely brings memories to life, what has happened to black music. God bless Motown God The Temptations

  19. Sola Eseyin

    June 28, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Wow! Such beautiful pictures and so powerful it stirs up such emotions like I were a part of the 60’s. Great music surely brings memories to life, what has happened to black music?. God bless Motown God The Temptations

  20. Frank Aguilar

    June 28, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    No mention of the Funk Bros. Yet they had a fan-base in England. Without them music would be entirely different.

    • uDiscover

      July 11, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Frank, the Funk Brothers were not photographed in these early years as they were behind the scenes kind of guys. Agree with you though, awesome players!

  21. giovanni sangiorgio

    June 29, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Sono le icone della mia infanzia che mi hanno fatto conoscere la musica in senso puro :straordinari .

  22. Gwendolyn Black

    June 29, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Beautiful!! Love the choice of photos on exhibit. Will the show travel to the US?

  23. Antonella Isca

    July 1, 2014 at 12:51 am

    I can’t imagine the music without so wonderful Singers…

  24. Christine L Straw

    July 9, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Still play Motown, even though I was lucky enough to have heard it / played it first time around.

    ‘Temptations’ my favourite; David Ruffin, best singer ever……………….

  25. uDiscover

    July 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    So glad you enjoyed these rare photos so much, we’ll see if we can find some more for you, soon. Thanks for all the great comments

  26. Penny

    August 17, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    That music was and still is GREAT

  27. Penny

    August 17, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Motown was and still is GREAT!!!!!!

  28. Albert

    April 9, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    This so called music of today cannot light a candle to the motown sound. Thank god for motown and the funk brothers. Loved those brothers the recording acts had the talent. The funk brothers had the experience.

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