Oooh Baby Baby: Motown Museum Reopens with New Rules, Exhibits
They're dancing in the street again as Hitsville USA reopens for tours. Photography is allowed for the first time, but there are some COVID restrictions.
The Jackson 5 sang "I Want You Back," and so does the Motown Museum at 2645 W. Grand Blvd- the address known as Hitsville U.S.A. In the thirteen years between 1959 and 1972, it's almost impossible to count the number of hit records produced in the basement of this Detroit home. Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, the Four Tops, and many more all recorded in the famed Studio A, which can still be seen today as part of the tour of the Motown Museum. Closed since mid-March due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the building is reopening with new rules and exhibits.
"It's a V.I.P. tour for everyone," promises Chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry. She told MLive,
We have worked extremely hard to make sure this time was used effectively, and that when we were able to safely reopen, we could allow museum visitors to experience that one-of-a-kind Motown magic in this new environment where safety is our top priority. As we open our doors once again, we are filled with energy and optimism. We can’t wait to share in the enjoyment with our fans, our guests, and every member of our extended Motown family.
-Robin Terry, Motown Museum Chairwoman and CEO
What will you see on this tour? You will see where legendary hits like "Stop, in the Name of Love," "My Girl," "The Tracks of My Tears," "What's Going On," "Reach Out, I'll Be There," and countless others were recorded. Be sure to take a look at the floorboards behind the mixing console, worn almost completely through from engineers tapping their feet to the infectious music they were recording. There is also a collection of artifacts, including costumes worn by some of the performers on television and on tour. At one point, they had one of Michael Jackson's sequined gloves. The offices and meeting rooms are on the main floor, and Berry Gordy and family lived upstairs. Note the vintage Coke bottles and ashtrays scattered about. A brand new collection just added features the work of a Motown staff photographer, “Capturing A Culture Change: Motown Through The Lens of Jim Hendin.”
Here are the new guidelines:
- Tickets are available online and are first-come, first-served, and often sell out. Walk-ups are welcome, but not guaranteed.
- Tours are guided by a museum representative and groups will be limited to 10 persons each.
- A touchless temperature check is required before entry, and you must fill out a health screening questionnaire for COVID-19 symptoms.
- Masks are mandatory inside the museum.
Another change that is definitely in the 'plus' column: photography is permitted for the first time ever inside the facility. So, music fans get ready to make the pilgrimage to the Motor City: Motown, beginning July 15 and see Michigan's music history. As someone who has been there three times, I highly recommend it. Ain't nothin' like the real thing.
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