“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Detroit in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)


Motown Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mary Ellen Coghlan, May 28, 2005
1. Motown Marker
Inscription. Side 1
The "Motown Sound" was created on this site from 1959 to 1972. The company was started with an $800 loan from the savings club of the Bertha and Berry Gordy, Sr., family. Originally called Tamla Records, the company's first national release was "Money (That's What I Want)," in August 1959. The founder, choosing a name that reflected the Motor City, coined the word "Motown" for the company that was incorporated as the Motown Record Corporation on April 14, 1960. That same year it produced its first gold record, "Shop Around." In 1968 the company, which had grown from a family-oriented business to an international enterprise, moved its business operations to 2457 Woodward. Motown provided an opportunity for Detroit's inner-city youth to reach their full potential and become super stars.

Side 2 By the end of its first decade, Motown was the largest independent manufacturer of single 45 rpm records in the world. Among Motown's record labels were Tamla, Motown, Gordy, Soul, VIP, Rare Earth, Black Forum, Workshop Jazz, Divinity and others. In 1972 Motown moved its headquarters to Los Angeles, California. The company expanded its television productions and entered the motion picture industry. Lady Sings the Blues, Motown's first feature-length film, received five Academy Award Nominations. By
Motown Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Joel S., May 29, 2013
2. Motown Marker
1975, Motown Industries was the largest black-owned corporation in the world. In 1980 the Motown Historical Museum was established at Hitsville U.S.A. to commemorate the Motown Sound and to memorialize Motown's distinctive heritage and its global impact.
Erected 1987 by Bureau of History, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number S592.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
Location. 42° 21.857′ N, 83° 5.305′ W. Marker is in Detroit, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is on West Grand Boulevard 0.1 miles west of Rosa Parks Boulevard, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. The marker is in front of Hitsville U.S.A. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2648 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit MI 48208, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Charles Lang Freer House / Merrill-Palmer Institute (approx. 1.2 miles away); Robert Pauli Scherer (approx. 1.2 miles away); Lewis College of Business (approx. 1.2 miles away); Omega Psi Phi (approx. 1.2 miles away); Wayne State University (approx.
Motown Marker in front of Hitsville U.S.A. Photo, Click for full size
By Mary Ellen Coghlan, May 28, 2005
3. Motown Marker in front of Hitsville U.S.A.
1.3 miles away); Detroit Association of Women's Clubs (approx. 1.3 miles away); Thompson Home (approx. 1.3 miles away); Hilberry Theatre (approx. 1.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Detroit.
Also see . . .  Motown Historical Museum. (Submitted on April 8, 2009, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.)
Additional comments.
1. Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson, one of Motown’s most famous artists, was signed by the record label in 1968 at the age of 10 along with his four brothers Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito. As The Jackson 5 many of their early hits were recorded in the Hitsville USA location.

Michael’s tenure with Motown lasted until 1975 when he signed with Epic Records. It was Motown again however that launched Michael Jackson’s career into the superstar realm. His performace of his non-Motown song “Billie Jean” on the Motown 25 Anniversary Special on March 25, 1983 became a seminal moment in modern music video and performace history. Jackson’s work on music videos and concert performances set a high standard that he maintained until
Inside Motown Studio Photo, Click for full size
By Mary Ellen Coghlan, May 28, 2005
4. Inside Motown Studio
his untimely death on June 25, 2009 at the age of 50.
    — Submitted November 3, 2009, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.

Additional keywords. The sound of young America
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
View of Inside Motown Studio Photo, Click for full size
By Mary Ellen Coghlan, May 28, 2005
5. View of Inside Motown Studio
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York. This page has been viewed 1,483 times since then. Last updated on , by Joel S. of Madison Heights, Michigan. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.   2. submitted on , by Joel S. of Madison Heights, Michigan.   3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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