The iconic Motown Records label was founded in 1959 by visionary record producer and songwriter, Berry Gordy Jr. While Motown’s success began in Detroit, Mich., the label was relocated to Los Angeles in 1972. Since 1985, the former headquarters of Motown, better known as “Hitsville U.S.A.,” has been the home base for the Motown Museum. The Museum is now celebrating its 30th anniversary and continues to preserve Motown’s rich musical and historical legacy.
Motown launched the careers of several top entertainers, including the late Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, and The Temptations, among several others. Hitsville’s studios pumped out some of the most potent soul and R&B records of its time, launching Motown far ahead of its competition. Gordy’s move to Los Angeles was inspired by his desire to also make headway into the world of television and film.
Esther Gordy Edwards, Gordy’s older sister and one-time Vice President of Motown was left in charged of the Hitsville property, ultimately responding to fans who wanted a museum for Motown. Before opening the museum in 1985, Edwards began collecting artifacts such as photos, gold records, and other related memorabilia from a host of former Motown artists. The aforementioned Jackson donated a fedora and one of his signature sequined right-hand gloves along with $125,000, the net proceeds from his “Bad World Tour” stop at Michigan’s Palace in Auburn Hills according to accounts.
Today, the Motown Museum is a popular tourist spot where Motown fans and music enthusiasts of all sorts can learn about the label, its artists and even see the studios were many of the classic tracks were recorded. The museum is currently offering a paid membership program that offers a hosts of perks and other exclusive gifts that will be used to help support the historic institution.