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MARKER DATABASE
“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)
 

United Sound Systems Recording Studios

 
 
United Sound Systems Recording Studios Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 5, 2021
1. United Sound Systems Recording Studios Marker
Side 1
Inscription.  In 1939 Italian American violinist and sound engineer James “Jimmy” Siracuse (1903-1988) converted this 1916 house into the new home for United Sound Systems, one of Detroit’s first independent recording studios. He offered recording, transcription and production services for radio programs, record companies, musicians, singers and private citizens, including families who made recordings to send to soldiers during World War II. In 1946 the internationally broadcast Inter-Racial Goodwill Program was recorded here. Artists who created music here in the 1940s and 1950s included John Lee Hooker, Johnnie Ray, Dizzy Gillespie, Jackie Wilson and Alberta Adams.

James “Jimmy” Siracuse enlarged this studio to accommodate orchestras and motion picture production in 1956. Marv Johnson’s 1959 song “Come To Me,” recorded here, was the first single for Tamla Records (later Motown Records). African American guitarist, producer and entrepreneur Don Davis (1938-2014) bought the studio in 1972. He worked with new and established artists from all musical genres, but especially soul, disco, funk, and rhythm and blues. Among

United Sound Systems Recording Studios Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 11, 2021
2. United Sound Systems Recording Studios Marker
Side 2
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them was Johnnie Taylor. His 1976 song “Disco Lady” was the first single certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. By the mid-2000s, United Sound had closed. It reopened in 2014.
 
Erected 2017 by Michigan Historical Commission - Michigan History Center. (Marker Number S0744.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicIndustry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1939.
 
Location. 42° 21.741′ N, 83° 4.354′ W. Marker is in Detroit, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is at the intersection of Antoinette Street and 2nd Avenue, on the right when traveling east on Antoinette Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5840 2nd Ave, Detroit MI 48202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Charles Lang Freer House / Merrill-Palmer Institute (approx. 0.3 miles away); Robert Pauli Scherer (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lewis College of Business (approx. 0.4 miles away); Omega Psi Phi (approx. 0.4 miles away); International Institute Of Detroit / International Institute Of Metropolitan Detroit (approx. 0.4 miles away); Elijah McCoy Homesite
United Sound Systems Recording Studios Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 5, 2021
3. United Sound Systems Recording Studios Marker
(approx. half a mile away); Detroit Association of Women's Clubs (approx. half a mile away); Scarab Club (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Detroit.
 
Also see . . .  Protecting the Original Mothership. Excerpt on future of studio:
On Friday, January 11, 2019, Michigan Department of Transportation announced the purchase of United Sound Systems and their intention to move, preserve, and eventually resell the building.
(Submitted on May 11, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan.) 
 
United Sound Systems Recording Studios image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 11, 2021
4. United Sound Systems Recording Studios
View of studios from 2nd Avenue. The barrel is part of the ongoing construction to widen I-94 that threatens the studio's existence. Linked article discusses further.
John Lee Hooker image. Click for full size.
By Photo: Jean-Luc Ourlin
5. John Lee Hooker
Hooker recorded "Boogie Chillen'" here in 1948, a song that was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1985.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 11, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 11, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 20, 2021