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Brother Ray

Hitsville USA

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Three of the most historically important recording studios in the world of Rock & Roll music are as follows:

Abbey Road Studios, London UK (Beatles, Pink Floyd, etc...)

Sun Studio - Memphis, TN (Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc...)

Motown "Studio A", Detroit, MI (Supremes, Four Tops, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, etc...)

Only one of the three studios is still a working studio (Abbey Road). The other two have become museums and offer only limited recording sessions now.

I had the privilege earlier this summer of touring the Motown Museum. Just walking into the house where the studio is located sent chills down my spine. I felt like I was walking where so much greatness took place (in fact, I was!). The house for the most part has been preserved exactly how it appears back in the early 1960's, with the exception of the gift store on the first floor. The tour included a 15 minute video on the history of Motown Music (too short IMHO) and a guided tour upstairs to see the hundreds of priceless Motown memorabilia on the walls. No camera's were allowed upstairs, but you will see that we did manage to snap a pic or two. The highlight of the tour was in fact the actual recording studio located in the back of the house.

Below are several pictures of the studio. You will note that nothing has changed. The light fixtures, recording council, piano and drums are all original. This is where the Motown sound was created!!! Note how small the actual studio is. Now imagine recording "Dancing In The Streets"complete with Martha and the Vandalia's, The Funk Brothers and a complete horn section!!! I'm sure it was very cramped.

Enjoy the photos!

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Upstairs where the memorabilia is displayed (no cameras allowed!). Here you can see the outfits worn by The Supremes (front) and the Four Tops (back). Also, in the display case just to the right is Michael Jackson's hat and Glove that he wore on the Motown 25 special.

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The actual studio....

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The recording booth.....

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Nice thread! There is sure a lot of history to that building. Think about how many famous people made their way through the building before!

I have always wanted to go the museum but I never think of it. Maybe I will have time to go sometime over the holidays.

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Is there any way to get these pics to work again? I know this thread is old, but I really want to see them.

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We haven't heard from brother ray in awhile. I think he had them stored on his own personal webspace and linked them to this site, and has moved them since.

Surprisingly, I remember them and they were pretty cool. Just think way back when this posted we were hoping for the revival of the Motown Records Building which got the okay from Barry Gordy to be leveled before the superbowl. So much history lost.

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Yeah I heard about that, I was sad to hear of it. I love Motown and I'm trying to collect as much of it that has been recently rereleased or released from the vault. I particularly love the Funk Brothers and want to hear all (I know I won't) the songs they played. I also love Hip-O's The Complete Motown Singles series. I can't wait for the other 7! I think they should push on and just do the entire run!

One day I hope to visit Hitsville. It's a must!

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Yeah when in Detroit go to Motown, it is quite an experience. Also from there take a ride on 10 the John C Lodge freeway. Drive until you get to Southfield and you will get a wonderful lesson on urban decay. I swear I thought I was in Beirut!

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