Luton DJ Mark invited to play at Motown’s 60th anniversary party

A proud Luton DJ was invited to play at the Motown 60th anniversary celebrations and flew over to visit Detroit and party in style.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 12:14 pm
Left: Mark. Right: Hitsville USA - the nickname given to Motown’s first headquarters, 1959 - 72. Motown Records gave African-American inner-city youths the chance to become superstars.

Mark Tattingham, DJ and promoter of Luton Soul Club, travelled to America this autumn to play at producer Berry Gordy’s mansion, celebrating six decades of Motown Records.

Mr Gordy is the founder of Motown Record Corporation, with the name coined to reflect the ‘Motor City’, as Detroit was famous for its car manufacturing industry.

The company also expanded into television and film productions, and by 1975, Motown Industries was the largest black-owned corporation in the world.

Mark said: “I guess I was lucky really in getting invited to play, as I know the promoter. The atmosphere was electric. I saw the artists perform and bring the whole of Detroit together to celebrate their music and heritage.

“For me, meeting so many great artists whose records I have was unbelievable.

“To visit the original Motown studio and to stand in the snake pit where all these great songs were recorded was also one of so many highlights, especially when you meet the Supremes in there!”

Motown Records was founded at a time when African-Americans were fighting for equal rights in the USA, and the Motown Museum heralds the music as “an irresistible force of social and cultural change”.

Mark added: “It was such a highlight to DJ in America - not bad for a boy who went to Lea Manor! I got to DJ events with artists like Brenda Holloway, the Vandellas and the Marvelettes.”

Mark plays out of the George II at Work Your Soul, run by Simon Cobb. His next Luton Soul Club event is Luton Underground on December 28, and he will have guest DJs from all over the UK.

Luton Underground is at Luton Social Club, Guildford Street, from 2pm until late.