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  1. #1

    Motown Recording Stars and Groups Homes and Residences

    Where did some of the Motown Singers live when they actually on there way to becoming recording artists and during thefamous recording years when they were achieving success
    I seen where Barry Gordy moved into his house at 918 West Boston Boulevard in the Boston-Edison Historic Districtafter he moved from Hittsville USA. I found out Diana Ross was born on Belmont Road in the North End section of Detroit, near Highland Park, Michigan and then moved to the Brewster-Douglass housing projects settling at St. Antoine Street where she met the original "Supremes" who called themselves "The Primettes". It's interesting she worked at Hudsons as well then went to Cass-Technical High Scool to study fashion. Also the Jackson family was from Gary, Indiana and came to Motown because of Diana Ross's Help.

    I haven't found anything where anyone actually stayed and lived during these motown recording years in the 60's. I believe Barry Gordy had a party and had the Jacksons and Diana Ross there if I remember correctly from the movie "The Jackson's-An American Dream". If anyone has any more information where these legends lived in Detroit before possibly moving to LA I would be so interested in this. Any other tid-bits and facts as well! I find it so interesting. Even a native Michigander Madonna, born as Madonna Louise Ciccone, who was born in Bay City then moved to and raised in the Detroit suburbs of Pontiac and Avon Township (now part of Rochester Hills). Graduating from Rochester Adams High School with straight A's and went to U of M on a scholarship pursuing dance then moving to NYC.

    Looking forward to some interesting facts! Thanks.....

  2. #2
    I can tell you that many Motown artists, execs, musicians, etc moved to northwest Detroit once the label started having some success. Smokey lived several houses down from my family on Santa Barbara (near W Outer Drive) during the early through the late 60's. I spent a lot of time hanging around his house as a kid, and ran the streets around the neighborhood with Smokeys nephews. Berry Gordy Jr purchased a nice home on the corner on W Outer Drive and Monica. Mr Gordy had tried to purchase a home in the more upscale Sherwood Forest section east of Livernois Ave, but due to racial sensitivities during the early 60's could not find a seller...imagine, and settled on the W Outer Drive home which he shared at various times with Chris Clark and Diana Ross. Marvin Gaye purchased a home on Appoline between 7 mile rd and Outer Drive. Former Detroit Tiger Willie Horton lived across the alley from Marvin and told me how Marvin used to tear up the alley with the little Honda scooter he loved to ride around. Temptation Paul Williams lived in very modest upstairs apartment on Woodward Ave with his wife wich I visited before moving to northwest Detroit near W Outer Drive. I met the late Tammi Terrell and her dream according to her was to buy a house on West Outer Dr is what she told me.. James Jamerson actually did eventually get a nice house in Sherwood Forest, and Motown bassist Tony Newton got a house east of Livernois as well when he was with the group 8th day. Stevie Wonder of course lived with his family on Greenlawn and Curtis. Lots more that just don't come to mind right now.

  3. #3
    Didn't Diane, Mary and Flo all buy houses on the same street? I imagine Marv2 will know. I think Mary mentions it in her first book and there's a photo of the girls in the neighborhood.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by k1k View Post
    Where did some of the Motown Singers live when they actually on there way to becoming recording artists and during thefamous recording years when they were achieving success
    I seen where Barry Gordy moved into his house at 918 West Boston Boulevard in the Boston-Edison Historic Districtafter he moved from Hittsville USA. I found out Diana Ross was born on Belmont Road in the North End section of Detroit, near Highland Park, Michigan and then moved to the Brewster-Douglass housing projects settling at St. Antoine Street where she met the original "Supremes" who called themselves "The Primettes". It's interesting she worked at Hudsons as well then went to Cass-Technical High Scool to study fashion. Also the Jackson family was from Gary, Indiana and came to Motown because of Diana Ross's Help.

    I haven't found anything where anyone actually stayed and lived during these motown recording years in the 60's. I believe Barry Gordy had a party and had the Jacksons and Diana Ross there if I remember correctly from the movie "The Jackson's-An American Dream". If anyone has any more information where these legends lived in Detroit before possibly moving to LA I would be so interested in this. Any other tid-bits and facts as well! I find it so interesting. Even a native Michigander Madonna, born as Madonna Louise Ciccone, who was born in Bay City then moved to and raised in the Detroit suburbs of Pontiac and Avon Township (now part of Rochester Hills). Graduating from Rochester Adams High School with straight A's and went to U of M on a scholarship pursuing dance then moving to NYC.

    Looking forward to some interesting facts! Thanks.....
    I use to work about 5 blocks from where Madonna went to H.S. There was a thread on here some time ago that showed several of the old houses where the Motown stars lived in while coming up in Detroit. You might start a search here for it. I've been over to where Tommy Hearns lived (among others.....)
    , but that was after became famous.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    Didn't Diane, Mary and Flo all buy houses on the same street? I imagine Marv2 will know. I think Mary mentions it in her first book and there's a photo of the girls in the neighborhood.
    Yeah they all did buy houses on the same street back in the sixties. I believe Mary still owns hers. I had some pictures from inside it somewhere.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I use to work about 5 blocks from where Madonna went to H.S. There was a thread on here some time ago that showed several of the old houses where the Motown stars lived in while coming up in Detroit. You might start a search here for it. I've been over to where Tommy Hearns lived (among others.....)
    , but that was after became famous.
    Wow Marv I lived about 5 blocks from Madonna's high school. The house she grew up in is now in shambles I bel due to the housing market. My wife skipped school in their senior year with Madonna once and lets just say Madonna was well Madonna way back then! Very much an independant attitude at that young age.
    Hope all is well.

  7. #7
    I've actually seen Paul Williams's childhood home in Birmingham quite a few times. He and Eddie Kendricks lived in the same neighborhood and went to high school with my grandmother.It's actually a few blocks from her current home. One of my mom's cousins actually went over to his house for an autograph when he came home for visit.

  8. #8
    Tony Newton tells me his place was 19740 Canterbury Dr. 1 Block east of Livernois, between Outer Drive and Pembroke.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEW-UK View Post
    Tony Newton tells me his place was 19740 Canterbury Dr. 1 Block east of Livernois, between Outer Drive and Pembroke.
    True dat (like they say). That's the pad Tony brought me over to to meet his group. Guitarist Bruce Nazarian and I recently figured out that we probably met over at Tonys house on Canterbury. Nice pad.

  10. #10
    The Supremes' houses were on Buena Vista in the Russell Woods neighborhood. Flo lived at 3767 Buena Vista, but she was living at 17701 Shafsbury in northwest Detroit when she passed. Madonna lived at 2036 Oklahoma in Rochester Hills.

    k1k...many of the artists from Detroit grew up in the old North End neighborhood on the near east side of Detroit. Others lived in the 12th Street corridor on the west side. As they began to be successful, most of them settled in northwest Detroit.

    Here are a few other addresses where various Detroit music icons once lived at one time or another:

    Renaldo Benson-18461 San Juan
    Alice Cooper - Brown Rd. near Jam Rd. in Auburn Hills, MI
    Eminem-5760 Winkler Mill, Rochester Hills, MI
    Aretha-19346 Sorrento
    Rev. C.L. Franklin-7415 La Salle
    Melvin Franklin-1160 Clairmount (childhood home)
    Marvin Gaye- 3067 Outer Drive (BG's former house) and before that 19315 Appoline
    Bill Haley (of the Comets) 395 Florence, Highland Park, MI
    Brian Holland-19595 Renfrew
    Hank, Thad and Elvin Jones-129 Bagley, Pontiac,MI
    Eddie Kendricks-16531 Baylis
    Gladys Knight 16860 La Salle (at least one of the Pips lived across the street, not sure which one, maybe William Guest)
    Joni Mitchell-92 W. Ferry (on the Wayne State Univ. campus, she lived here circa 1965-67)
    Lawrence Payton-19464 Cheyenne
    Smokey Robinson-581 Belmont (childhood home)
    Diana Ross-635 Belmont (before the family moved to the Brewster Projects)
    David Ruffin-17385 Parkside (I lived on the same street, 2 blocks south)
    Otis Williams-17376 Wisconsin
    Jackie Wilson-16522 La Salle
    Stevie Wonder-18074 Greenlawn
    Gordy Manor-918 W. Boston Blvd.
    Martha Reeves-16170 La Salle
    Paul Williams-19734 Appoline (he was living on La Salle at the time of his death)

    Hope this helps.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by detmotownguy View Post
    Wow Marv I lived about 5 blocks from Madonna's high school. The house she grew up in is now in shambles I bel due to the housing market. My wife skipped school in their senior year with Madonna once and lets just say Madonna was well Madonna way back then! Very much an independant attitude at that young age.
    Hope all is well.
    I was working in Troy and the school was just over in Rochester Hills. Well, once she became "famous", her younger brother use to party with all of us at Nichols in Southfield. I mean he use to get drunk.....I mean wiped out! LOL!!!

  12. #12

  13. #13
    Nice link, blueskies, thanks for posting. I have those same pix along with many others, but unfortunately, I don't have a way to scan them.

    One minor error is the Parkside house is identified as Jimmy Ruffin's home, but it is actually David's former home. This is the house that was mentioned in DR's Unsung episode.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by blueskies View Post
    Those were really nice houses. I especially like the detail on Florence's and Brian Holland's houses. Florence' home almost has a fairytale feel to it. They really do look rather large as well.

  15. #15
    That was a great link blueskies and Doug has already changed the reference from Jimmy to David Ruffin

    Woodward from SDF and I did a tour of Detroit in the nineties and took pictures of famous music landmarks in Detroit. We got pictures of Fortune Studios, J&G records, Berry Gordy's old home, United Studios, Golden World studio etc. We managed to take some pictures of places before they were completely gone. Mine are on loan for a book on Detroit music but if Woodward sees this, maybe he might be able to share some of those pictures.

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