United Sound Systems

5840 Second Avenue
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 therein.

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 David Meikle



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