Motown, Hallmark Team Up For 50th Anniversary Celebration


Los Angeles , CA , Jan. 07, 2009 – The 50th anniversary of Motown Records, Berry Gordy’s groundbreaking music company which he founded in Detroit in 1959 as “Hitsville U.S.A. ,” will be celebrated in conjunction with Hallmark Gold Crown stores for Valentine’s Day.

January 5 marked the release of a 10-song compilation CD, HEART & SOUL – CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF MOTOWN available for a limited time exclusively at 3,500 Hallmark Gold Crown stores nationwide. The collection, which features some of the label’s most beloved artists, is Hallmark’s 2009 Valentine’s Day album

In addition, Recordable Cards with Sound, a variety of Motown related merchandise and gift wrap, and a “Love Machine” techno plush will also be available.

“This Motown partnership appeals to all generations because it features songs that are an integral part of so many of our lives,” says Hallmark retail merchandise manager Jay Quickel. “These classic love songs reflect the essence of Valentine’s Day and perfectly lend themselves to this most romantic of all occasions.”

A collection of Recordable Cards with Sounds titled “Motown: Celebrating 50 Years,” incorporate lyrics and sound excerpts from some of the label’s most widely-known songs and allow the sender to record a 10-second personal message in the card. Some of the songs include the Jackson 5’s “Dancing Machine” and “I’ll Be There,” the Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” “Happy People” and “Get Ready,” and Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved By You)” and “Got to Give It Up.” These cards are available at Hallmark Gold Crown stores and other fine retailers where Hallmark product is sold.

Other Motown-related items include coffee-and-sound travel mugs featuring song lyrics and sound bites, “hit buttons” you press to hear excerpts of the label’s classic songs, as well as gift bags and Valentine’s Day-themed gift wrap.

As part of Hallmark’s Valentine’s Day promotion, a techno plush that dances and plays the Miracles’ “Love Machine” will be available for $12.95 with a three-card purchase. In addition, the HEART & SOUL compilation music CD will be on sale at all Hallmark Gold Crown stores for $7.95, with each purchase of three greeting cards.

The HEART & SOUL album represents some of Motown’s most enduring romantic songs, including tracks by the Supremes (“Stop! In the Name of Love”), Stevie Wonder (“Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours”), the Temptations (“My Girl”), Martha & the Vandellas (“[Love is Like a] Heat Wave”), Mary Wells (“My Guy”), the Miracles (“Love Machine”) and Lionel Richie & Diana Ross (“Endless Love”); eight of them were No. 1 songs.

Since starting Tamla Records and the “Motown Records Corporation” on January 12, 19 59, with a loan of $800 from his family, the label group of one-time songwriter Berry Gordy continues to be a cultural phenomenon, making its mark not just on the music industry, but on society at large, with a sound that became one of the most significant musical accomplishments and inspirational success stories of the 20th century.

A man of vision, drive, talent and determination, Berry Gordy was not only a producer and innovative entrepreneur, but also a teacher. The phenomenal success of Motown Records on its 50th anniversary is a tribute to his vision. Under Gordy’s leadership, and through the determination and support of the Motown family of artists, he forged new ground for minorities and made the “Motown Sound” a worldwide phenomenon beloved by millions.

Today, Motown is part of the Universal Music Group, with its classic recorded music catalog managed by Universal Music Enterprises.