So here I am in Detroit going to all these great record stores, like Peoples Records on Woodward Avenue or Found Sound on West 9 Mile in Ferndale. They even have this big guide list of all the record shops in Detroit and the metro region. I’m just trying to figure out how to schlep all those records back to Germany. The list says: “Yo junkies! Use this guide to get your fix wherever you are in Michigan. Buying music online or from a place that also sells underwear should be a last resort. Keep record stores alive!” Amen to that.
I found a 1977 Paulette McWilliams for example and a 1978 Ronnie Foster and 10 more so far…I’ve also did a tour with my friend, singer and songwriter Kathy Kosins, through the Motown Museum on West Grand Boulevard where they still have the original recording studio and parts of the offices intact. I also found a letter from Berry Gordy saying that card playing is not allowed in the offices and a piece of paper for a vocal coaching session with Marvin Gaye with one of his teachers. There was also a picture of the Andantes, the totally overlooked vocal group which did all the background vocals on most of the Motown albums without ever getting credit. They are Jackie Hicks, Louvain Demps, and Marlene Barrow and can be heard on almost all of the big hits of the 60s, like “Baby I Need Your Loving”, “I Can’t Help Myself”, Reach Out I’ll Be There”, or “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”.
There is a lot happening in Detroit in terms of re-construction, re-building, rejuvenating, and re-anything so this is really an interesting city to watch out for in the coming years I think. They certainly have some fancy restaurants out here. Going around town to see the Heidelberg Project, an outdoor art project, was pretty amazing, too. It seems that there is art all over the place here. The Cranbrook Educational Community, a National Historic Landmark (as is the Motown Museum, about to undergo a vast expansion), is this big campus which has a top-ranked programme in architecture, design, and fine arts and also includes an art museum, schools, an institute of science, and an academy of arts. There is a lot to explore here. Do I sound like a tourist guide now? OK wait, the city was founded in 1701 by French explorer and adventurer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. There you go!