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Motown 50th Anniversary / Donayle Luna

Berry Gordy formed Motown on today in 1959! Can you believe Motown is 50 years old?!

I decided to dedicate today’s post to Donayle Luna: the first African-American on the cover of British Vogue in 1966. Yes she was from Detroit!!!!!!
It was during this time that the idea or concept of Black was being explored, adopted, & accepted into society. It was the height of the Civil Rights Movement as well as other cultural revolutions. Motown carved out a place in history with the help of The Funk Brothers who can be credited with giving Motown it’s rich and unique sound: voice, rhythm section, funky, soulful, pop, r&b, Crossing Black Artists over into the pop charts and creating Mega Stars from incredible talent.

I happened to grow up right across the street from the original Motown: “Hitsville USA” which stands today as a museum on West Grand Blvd. I know I must be in your pics if you visited between 1986 & 1990 because the bus stop from school dropped me right in front. lol

I grew up listening to stories about everybody who ever worked there because my mom was the first secretary for Motown and passed out the paychecks. 🙂

This era is also significant to me because I love it’s Fashion Photography and French New Wave cinema!
I’ve recently started loving the 1960’s again. I suppose it’s because that era is so classic and stylish yet fresh and inspiring. I added a few of my favorite classic Motown beats/rhythms/songs to the playlist as well as some songs I believe are inspired by the genre.

It’s funny, in 1966 GQ, Esquire, & Ebony were all very gorgeous publications. They adopted Minimalist canons with strong graphic photography. The Fashion images were very avant guard and theatrical. Avedon was King!

There are several resources online to read about Donayle Luna, however they all repeat the same history verbatim. So Instead of repeating it here I’ve included links so you can read them at your leisure. One interesting tidbit is that she was a party of Warhol’s camp! I’ve included that image here. She has several films as well. Andy Warhol also made a film dedicated to featuring and named after her.

I can say of the images I’ve found online she’s Beautiful! I’m disappointed she is no longer with us. I would love to have interviewed her.
I’d also love to discover more images. Perhaps I’ll have to take a trip to the best Library in the world next month on 42nd street and do some hard core picture research on her!

I’m also happy style.com did a little taste on her.
Here’s to trying something different and being a pioneer.
I hope you do check out her story.

Here are the links:

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