The Empire on West Grand Boulevard 

2644 - 2672 West Grand Blvd.

Many people believe that the home of Northern Soul is in Stoke-on-Trent in the heart of Industrial England. For me however, there is only one home, and it is the little white house which sits on West Grand Boulevard in the heart of the City of Detroit.

In a tiny studio at the rear of that house, the Motown Sound was forged by some of Detroit's finest jazz musicians, with bass and drum combination James Jamerson and Benny Benjamin to the forefront.

It would take more than musicians, and indeed artists, to create a successful record company however, and over the next few years owner Berry Gordy would gradually procure the infrastructure on which Motown would flourish.

Motown's rapid success led to the acquisition of several houses on the south side of the boulevard and one on the north. In this panorama of the south side the following properties can be seen,  from right to left:

2644/46 Jobete Publishing Company [now the museum entrance]. Bought 18th April 1961. 
2648 Recording studio  [Hitsville] at the back of the building on the lower ground floor.  Also residence of Berry and Raynoma in upstairs rooms. Bought 2nd August 1959.
2650 Offices of Berry Gordy/Esther Edwards and Ralph Seltzer. This is vacant ground, to the left of  Hitsville. It burned to the ground in 1971. Bought 23rd January 1962.
2652/54 Motown Administration. Bought 23rd January 1962.
2656 Motown Finance (white front). Bought 4th March 1965.
2662/4 Motown Sales and Marketing building. Bought 11th July 1966.
2666/8 Motown Sales and Marketing building. Bought 11th July 1966.
2670/2 ITMI (International Talent Management Incorporated). Bought 5th July 1966.
2657 Artist Development was located directly Across West Grand Blvd from the Motown Row. Bought 12th January 1966.  View 2657 W. Grand Blvd.

Notes thanks to David Meikle



This website is dedicated to Detroit, Soul Music, 45 RPM, Northern Soul and the great Motown era of Detroit Musics. It covers Golden World, Tamla, Wheelsville, Robert West, Darrell Banks, Johnnie Mae Matthews, Rose Battiste, Tera Shirma, Fred Bridges, Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Edwin Starr, Funk Brothers, Dennis Coffey, Bob Babbitt, James Jamerson, Twisted Wheel, Wiggan Casino and many more Detroit Souls topics.