It was very well maintained and in a busy area on Grand Blvd.
Unfortunately, no pictures or video cameras are allowed so a lot of these are from the official website and elsewhere. The $8 price was well worth it. The first thing I noticed was how nice the you people were who conducted the tours and ran the ticket counter and gift shop. They were polite, poised and immediately gave you a good impression.
We went first to the little movie room and saw a film of the history of Berry Gordy and how it all started. He came from a hardworking family with 8 children. His dad owned a construction company and his mom sold life insurance. Every child was expected to work in high school. Berry Gordy worked and also boxed. He was a professional boxer before he got drafted in the Korean War.
He borrowed $800 from the family co-op (bank) and had to pay it back at 6% interest. I was very impressed with how influential his family was. It seemed like they were a very strong family, hard working with strong character that they instilled in their children. That was in 1959 when he bought the house that became the focal point and where it all began.
Motown had a Personal Development group where the artists were taught how to carry themselves and learned the basics of common courtesy and respect and how to talk to royalty and presidents. They had a dance studio and a choreographer who came up with the signature moves of the Temptations and the 4 Tops and the Supremes.
At the last part of the tour we went to the recording studio that was very basic. It was converted from the garage and was small. It had enough room for a piano some drums and a small band they called the Funk Brothers. These guys were 'hourlies' that got paid $8.50 an hour to play background and accompany the singers.
All the Motown greats recorded in what became known as Studio A: Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, the 4 Tops, Rare Earth and Gladys Knight and the Pips to name a few.
Hope you are having a good week and thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles for a trip down memory lane...