Michigan is a state rich in tradition in the music industry, especially in Detroit. That is where Berry Gordy formed Tamla records in 1959, in 1960 he incorporated his company as Motown. A name Detroit would adopt as its own, along with its own unique style of music. The Motown sound was a new genre of music that literally exploded in the 60’s and is still popular today. Along with the Tamala and Motown record labels, Berry added a third, Gordy Records.

Berry Gordy recorded and promoted some of the top artists of the 60’s, The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder were on the Tamala label. Motown Records featured Mary Wells, The Supremes, Four Tops, Jackson 5, Commodores and Boyz II Men. Gordy Records was home to Martha and The Vandellas, The Temptations, Rick James and Debarge. Berry’s three labels combined produced more than 50 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, with the majority being on the Motown label. Some of those number ones include 12 for the Supremes, the most of any American group in the 55-year history of the Billboard chart. Diana Ross went solo on Motown Records and scored another six number ones.

Motown Records and Berry Gordy made history with its own genre of music. And it all started in Berry’s home, which became Hitsville USA, a recording studio where the artists recorded their records. Now known as The Motown Museum, the venue has been closed during the Covid 19 restrictions. They will be giving tours again starting on July 15th, with groups of 10 people at a time, and all will be VIP tours. They have changed one rule while visiting the museum which will make it much more memorable, you may now take pictures or video during your tour. MLive reports on their preparations while they were closed. “We have worked extremely hard to make sure this time was used effectively, and that when we were able to safely reopen, we could allow museum visitors to experience that one-of-a-kind Motown magic in this new environment where safety is our top priority,” Motown Museum Chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry said. “As we open our doors once again, we are filled with energy and optimism. We can’t wait to share in the enjoyment with our fans, our guests, and every member of our extended Motown family.”

Walk ins are welcome, but they recommend buying tickets in advance. A mask is needed, visitors will be asked questions and given a no contact temperature check when entering. “Upon its reopening, the museum will debut: “Capturing A Culture Change: Motown Through the Lens of Jim Hendin.” The exhibit showcases the photographic work of label photographer, Jim Hendin, most well known for his iconic photography on the cover of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” album.”

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