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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
Studio A with piano and microphones used by Motown recording artists
Studio with piano and microphones used by Motown recording artists. Photo courtesy Motown Historical Museum

Motown Historical Museum

Visitors to the Motown Historical Museum experience some of the excitement of Motown's earliest years. The original location of the Motown Record Corporation, "Hitsville USA," is a fully restored historic site that traces the story of the company's growth from its modest beginnings into the world's largest independent record manufacturer. The museum's core exhibition begins with the story of Motown's founder, Berry Gordy, and tracks the history of Motown from its founding to its position as a major influence on music, culture, style and entertainment the world over.

In 1959, Gordy purchased the two-family flat on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, and christened it "Hitsville USA." He lived upstairs, operated what became known as the Motown Record Corporation downstairs, and recorded out of a former photography studio attached to the house. The Hitsville site includes the original Motown recording "Studio A" and the control room, which operated 24 hours a day, everyday, until 1972. The birthplace of the famous Motown sound began in the reception lobby, where young hopefuls such as the Supremes and Temptations waited to audition.

Project documentation is one flyer and four photos.

Originally submitted by: John Conyers, Jr., Representative (14th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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