Detroit in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
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
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. Touch 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. 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Detroit.
Also see . . . Motown Historical Museum. (Submitted on April 8, 2009, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.)
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
— Submitted November 3, 2009, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.
Additional keywords. The sound of young America
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 3, 2009, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York. This page has been viewed 1,586 times since then and 63 times this year. Last updated on July 3, 2015, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. Photos: 1. submitted on April 3, 2009, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York. 2. submitted on July 3, 2015, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 3, 2009, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.