Detroit, Michigan, Newsletter, North America, Trip Reviews, USA

Discovering Detroit. The Comeback City.

24/05/2017 by .
Detroit Travel

Part 2 of Discovering Detroit. The Comeback City

The Motown Museum

Berry Gordy’s Hitsville USA studios are an absolute must for any music lover. As a former bass player myself, standing in Studio A where the legendary Funk Brothers performed their magic is giving me Goosebumps.

Motown Museum

Motown left Detroit for LA in 1972 but prior to the move, this small house at  2648 West Grand Boulevard was operating 24 hours a day for thirteen years, churning out hit after hit. Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Supremes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and the Jackson 5 were just a few of the legendary names who practically lived inside these walls.

martha reeves

Today it is a wonderfully preserved museum run by Gordy’s sister Esther and there are hourly guided tours all over the house from Studio A to Gordy’s apartment upstairs. As we walk together upstairs after my interview, Martha Reeves tells me “I remember sitting by that table there sliding records into sleeves and packing them into boxes. We were a family and we all helped out.”

Martha teaches motown dance moves

Martha sticks around as the first tour comes through the door and stops in their tracks. A completely unexpected Motown legend in their midst and she doesn’t disappoint. She ends up teaching them all the dance moves to Jimmy Mack. Still got it at 75.

The Ford Factory

Henry Ford’s original factory on Piquette Avenue has been rescued from demolition  and is now a museum. This is the birth place of the legendary Model T which revolutionised car manufacturing and became at one time,  the most popular car on earth. Each car was hand built and the assembly spaces are still very much in evidence. There are two pristine Model Ts on display here in the very factory where they were built, along with many other models, Henry Ford’s office and the office of Ford’s genius engineer Spider Huff.

Ford factory

For me, this whole neighbourhood defined Detroit’s car manufacturing history, where along these adjacent streets, many other competitors including Dodge, Packard and Cadillac were to become giants of the automotive industry.

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