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  1. #1

    Motown Golden Era Fan Club Buttons

    I was recently looking at a digital collection of pictures for the Detroit area and came across a picture showing eight different Motown Fan Club buttons prominently displayed. Shown were the Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, Temptations, and Stevie Wonder.

    This was the first I had ever seen any of these. I wish that I would have obtained some of them for my collection. Do any other members have any in their collections?

    SORRY: I inadvertently posted this first in the wrong forum.

  2. #2
    Is this one of the buttons you saw by chance? I have tried to get one of the Supremes for my collection but as of yet have been unsuccessful. They do show up on Ebay every so often but bidding is usually spirited on them.
    Darin

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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by DWSheffer View Post
    Is this one of the buttons you saw by chance? I have tried to get one of the Supremes for my collection but as of yet have been unsuccessful. They do show up on Ebay every so often but bidding is usually spirited on them.
    Darin

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    Very similar, however, a slight variation. The one I saw reads OFFICIAL
    Fan Club Member. I am sending you a private email re this.

  4. #4
    Back in 1967 or 1968, when the inner sleeves of Motown's albums contained the orange-colored ad info. for joining their various fan clubs, I joined the Diana Ross & The Supremes fan club. The button they sent me was red, like the one shown above, but the photo on it was of Diana, Mary & Cindy. As a high school kid without a steady income, keeping up with Motown's record releases took every cent that I could find. Had I been able to afford it, I would have joined the fan clubs for every Motown artist available -- especially Martha Reeves & The Vandellas and Wanda Rogers & The Marvelettes. Strange, but, after all these years, I don't recall ever seeing a fan club button for any Motown artist other than The Supremes -- not even in all of the Motown books that I own.

  5. #5
    Name:  vandellas badge.jpg
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    I have a Martha and the Vandellas badge which features Martha, Roz and Betty.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by motown_david View Post
    Name:  vandellas badge.jpg
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    I have a Martha and the Vandellas badge which features Martha, Roz and Betty.
    That's awesome. You lucky dog. You might be the only one in civilization who has one of theirs in your possession. It is exactly as shown on the digital collection picture of the Detroit Public Library. Cherish it.

  7. #7
    I thought I would add some photos of these buttons to the thread for future reference. Here is the photo Woodward mentions from the Detroit Public Library site. It appears to be a period 1960's photo.

    Name:  Motown Buttons.jpg
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    Here is a color photo of several of the buttons. As mentioned, some say official fan club and others just official fan.

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    Here's the Jr. Walker button, which I have personally never seen one come up for sale. I would assume it's the scarcest of the set as I have seen examples of the others come up, although very rarely. The Supremes seem to be the most common, which is to be expected.
    Darin

    Name:  Motown Button Jr W.jpg
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  8. #8
    I too remember the inner sleeves that offered the chance to become a fan club member. If my memory serves, I sent in my dollar or whatever it would have been at the time and I think I requested to be a Marvelettes fan. Well I never received a darn thing and wondered if someone else in my family trashed it before I got it, or if it simply never arrived. Given the current state of our postal service, there might still be hope!!! Of course I have probably moved a dozen or more times since then, but that is beside the point.

  9. #9
    I bought many of my favorite Motown albums from the $1.99 cut-out bins at Bradlees or Woolworth's. Half the fun was getting one of those great inner sleeves that used to be in the albums.

    By the time I bought these albums, the fan clubs were no longer in existence so I never sent any money in. Besides buttons, I don't think I've ever seen any of the merchandise offered like posters, photos, stamps, etc.

  10. #10
    Same here reese, I've always hoped one of the Motown artist "mobiles" would show up for sale somewhere, but I've never seen one physically, only on the fan club inner sleeve ads.
    Darin

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    I too remember the inner sleeves that offered the chance to become a fan club member. If my memory serves, I sent in my dollar or whatever it would have been at the time and I think I requested to be a Marvelettes fan. Well I never received a darn thing and wondered if someone else in my family trashed it before I got it, or if it simply never arrived. Given the current state of our postal service, there might still be hope!!! Of course I have probably moved a dozen or more times since then, but that is beside the point.
    I did the same! I sent my money in and never heard a thing. Since I put it in the mailbox myself, I know it was sent. Oh, well...

  12. #12
    I wanted to add a different later Vandellas button that I acquired in the last year. I have not seen another of this particular design.
    Darin

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  13. #13
    And in the line of the fan club mailings, this is the only item I've acquired fan club wise. The contents shown are all that was included with mine when I bought it from one of my Detroit area record/memorabilia dealers. I have no idea if it would've originally included a button.
    Darin

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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by DWSheffer View Post
    And in the line of the fan club mailings, this is the only item I've acquired fan club wise. The contents shown are all that was included with mine when I bought it from one of my Detroit area record/memorabilia dealers. I have no idea if it would've originally included a button.
    Darin

    Name:  Miracles Fan Packet.jpg
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    This is cool.

    I have some Supremes, Pips, Four Tops, and Miracles concert programs from the 60s and some of them have ads for fan club memberships. Judging from the photos, this looks like a package that would have been sent out during that time.

    It would be interesting to see what they sent out during the 70s.
    Last edited by reese; 02-19-2021 at 01:25 PM.

  15. #15
    The Motown Museum has or at least had the buttons for a while. A friend of mine got the Jr. Walker one a little less than two years when he came to visit for the Motown A-Go-Go event at Bert's. It could've been a "reprint" or something, but the back had oxidation to the metal and it was the old style where the back doesn't have a clasp and you're supposed to bend the pin under the back fold of the button.

    I have some of the wallet-size fan club photos and the same Miracles membership card that Darin has. I would love to see the mobile kit, but I don't know what I would do with it given the chance to own one... I think my grail from those inner sleeves ads is the "The Sound Of Young America" pennant.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by nsoule View Post
    The Motown Museum has or at least had the buttons for a while.
    I stopped by the museum's gift shop on my way home today, and I can say that they definitely don't have them anymore. Hopefully this post will prevent some unnecessary adrenaline rushes and speeding down the boulevard that I might've caused with my last post.

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