From quaint beginnings came one of the most remembered and influential musical eras in history. To this day, Hitsville USA stands as a tribute to those who changed perception, who brought people together, and who made history without even knowing it. Today, people from all over the world come to stand in the same spots on earth as these visionaries did. Read further to get an inside peek of Hitsville, USA the Motown Museum in Detroit, MI.
Where It All Began | Detroit, Michigan
As you drive along West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, it’s odd to think that this place was the beginning of Motown. It’s a road lined with populated homes, not big, fancy industrial buildings as one might guess. As I sat on the front stoop of Hitsville USA and looked up at the blue and white painted home it felt quaint – it felt loved.
Loved is exactly what it is. Hitsville, USA was born from a dream backed with the will to make it happen. It continues to live on through this dedicated museum because there are still people who care enough to make that happen. People like my tour guide who cared enough to tell me the stories about Motown I’ve never heard before. People like those in my tour group who cared enough to drive or fly from different states and countries across the globe to experience this location firsthand. Finally, it’s the people who care enough to protect these artifacts and buildings – preserving them for the future generations to come.
From the first moment I stepped up to the curb of Hitsville USA, I could tell that this museum still held the passion that it had built many years ago. Luckily, it’s all still here so I could go inside and experience it at least a portion of it for myself.
5 Reasons to Take a Tour of The Motown Museum
1 . Learn Interesting Facts and See Photographs of History.
The first part of our guided tour began with hearing the “untold” stories of Motown while we browsed several photo frames attached along the walls. There were images of Berry Gordy from his childhood along with his initial banknote from the family bank that allowed him to open Motown Records in the 1950’s.
There were images of the young stars who were the faces of Motown- along with their finishing teacher who prepared them behind the scenes to play the roles request of them in super-stardom.
As my incredibly talented guide intermixed beautifully sang Motown lyrics with the facts, I walked away knowing more about the history of Motown than when I walked in. I also walked away with quite a few new, long-forgotten songs playing on repeat in my mind. Thank you for that, by the way.
2. Walk Inside a True Vintage Home.
After gaining insight into the “behind-the-scenes” life of Motown, we got a chance to take it a little further with a short tour of Berry Gordy’s living quarters.
Inside the second story of the blue and white decorated Hitsville, USA building was the home where Barry lived – still complete with a bright orange couch and a vintage table and chairs which looked out over the street through a large window.
If you happen to be a vintage furniture freak like me, then seeing this beautifully preserved home will give you goosebumps! It even has the smell that tells you it’s original.
3. See Real Motown Memorabilia.
Visiting the home of Motown Records gave me the opportunity to see memorabilia that is unique and rare. For example, the Motown Museum holds one of Michael Jackson’s white gloves and hats – you can still see the dirt from his wrist along the inside rim and his name embroidered within.
Studio A was also filled with original memorabilia such as pianos and other recording equipment which I stood only an arm’s length away from with pure internal giddy.
4. Sing in the Recording Studio.
Of course, while you’re standing in Studio A (in the exact same spot as the Supremes when they recorded “Stop in the Name of Love” by the way) how could you not take the opportunity to belt out a few lyrics of your own?
Luckily, during the tour I was on, our guide happily obliged leading us all through a group rendition of “My Girl”.
5. Bring Home Authentic Goods from the Gift Shop.
Since visiting Motown is such a unique experience, I couldn’t help but stop by the Motown gift shop on my way out to bring a memory of it with me. Here guests can find t-shirts, books, photographs, and even movies to help learn even more about the Motown era long after they’ve left.
Good Things to Know
Cost: Tickets range from $10-$15 and kids 4 and under are FREE.
Parking: There is NOT a parking lot adjacent to the Motown Museum, however, parking is available on the street out front of the building for free.
Photography: I totally understand the want to photograph everything at the Motown Museum but remember that photographs are not allowed inside the buildings.
Do I need to schedule my tour ahead? Yes! You can get tickets online – they often sell out.
Have you ever visited the Motown Museum in Detroit? Share with us your takeaway or simply your favorite song. 🙂
Thank you, Motown Museum for providing me with a complimentary tour of your facility as part of the #BloggersDoMotown group.