Sitting on Second Avenue at Antoinette,
United Sound became Detroit's first major
recording studio in 1933.
Number 5840 had been a residence prior to
it's procurement by Jimmy Siracuse, and over the
years many famous artists passed through it's doors, including John
Lee Hooker, Jackie Wilson and Aretha Franklin.
Jimmy's son, Joe was studio engineer and was
active on many of John Lee Hooker's Detroit recordings.
Not far behind the
ground level glass window lies Studio B. To the rear of the building is a massive
extension within which sits Studio A.
In 1959, with the help of a loan from his
family trust, Berry Gordy Jr. bought some studio time to produce
his very first Motown record. it was Marv Johnson's "Come to
Me" which was later released on Tamla101.
Hitsville was purchased later that year and it is probably no coincidence that it
is a similarly shaped building.
In 1971 United Sound was bought by
one of Detroit's great unsung heroes, Don Davis. Don had used the studio
extensively in the previous decade and produced many fantastic soul sides
Number 5840 is due for
demolition, but is currently occupied by a copyright firm who know all
about it's history and it's Soul Stars.
It is a scandal that United Sound has not been granted
Historic Site status.
Can they really destroy one of America's
greatest musical landmarks?
Notes thanks to