Famous instruments of Motown Studio A - The B3

SoulfulDetroit.com FORUM: Archive - Ending April 16, 2004: Famous instruments of Motown Studio A - The B3
Top of pageBottom of page   By LeoB ( on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 05:18 pm:

Being a huge Hammond organ fan, the Motown Studio B3 certainly is the Holy Grail of all Hammonds.
I had heard rumour that the one on display in the snakepit was lost and then mysteriously found. Every docent I spoke to at the museum seemed unaware of the story. I recently discovered the unverified answer on line. Does anyone else have any information on this or any other revered instruments played on Motown records ?

This is excerpted from Ritchie Hardin's Cellar full of soul site. Please visit his site in appreciation of his story.

"A little while after I first published this page, I had an email message from Ron Swope of Minneapolis, commenting upon it. He wrote:

"From 1991 to 1996 I was the Operations Manager of the Motown Museum. In that position I had the privilege of being the project manager of the 1995 restoration of Hitsville USA and expansion of the museum. One of my duties was scouting artifacts. Along with Nancy Bryck of the Henry Ford Museum, I would scour the Detroit area looking for original items from the studio or authentic facsimilies.

The first thing we found was the Hammond organ used by Earl Van Dyke. We needed a Hammond B-3 and we put an advertisement in a Detroit Area musician's magazine. We were contacted by a gentleman who said he had an old B-3 that was in need of repair.. We went to his home and while inspecting the organ I found a Motown inventory tag designating it as the property of the Motown Record Corporation. We had not only found a B-3, but we had found the original Motown B-3. We persuaded the gentleman to donate the organ.


Cheers !!


Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 07:22 pm:

You have got me wondering. When Motown closed up I bought the B-3 out of Studio B. I used it for a few years and then sold it to a music store. that B-3 also had a Motown inventory tag. I wonder if it was my B-3 you saw?

Top of pageBottom of page   By LeoB ( on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 07:47 pm:

Are you referring to a Golden World\Davison B3 ?

Perhaps there were two in circulation when Ron Swope and Nancy Bryck placed their advertisement ?

I will try and post the only tourist photo I have from Studio A of that B3. It is poor because a I am washed out on the stairs in the foreground. However you can see the disconnected pedals and "half moon" Leslie switch !
In the lower left you can see Ed Wolfrum's input preamp that the guitar players used.
Here Goes: Studio A B3

Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.