Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Jackson Five, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder: these are only a handful of the names that became world famous with Motown. In 1959, Berry Gordy founded his record label Motown in 2 simple houses on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit. Above the door he hung a sign saying ‘Hitsville USA’. Arrogant? Perhaps, but he certainly proved himself right.
Gordy borrowed $800 from his family, transformed the garage into a studio and his kitchen into a control room, and the Motown record label was born. The world-famous name is a combination of ‘motor’ and ‘town’: Detroit, the centre of the car industry, was also known as the Motorcity, and Gordy preferred the term ‘town’ to ‘city’. The 2 houses where Gordy founded the label now accommodate the Motown Museum.
“Maybe I could create a place where a kid could walk in one door, an unknown, and come out another door, a star – Berry Gordy, founder of Motown”