Midwest Living Review
It's hard to believe the wooden-frame house that looks like every other on the block -- save for the Hitsville U.S.A. sign out front -- is the birthplace of the Motown sound. But music history was made here, and everyone from Smokey Robinson to the Supremes to the Jackson 5 crossed the threshold. The house ceased serving as Motown's base of operations in the 1970s, but fans making the pilgrimage will be surprised to see that much remains as it was before owner Berry Gordy abandoned it for Los Angeles digs. And what the building, now the Motown Museum, lacks in appearance, it makes up for in charm, history and nostalgia. The basement recording studio remains intact, complete with the original piano, drums, microphones -- even a makeshift echo chamber. Be prepared. Your tour guide just might lead the whole group in a hip-swinging rendition of "Stop in the Name of Love." Displays showcase original costumes, photos, record sleeves and the like, and a film narrated by Gordy relates how his $800 investment became $20 million in just seven years. It's a truly American rags-to-riches story of raising a young family upstairs while turning neighborhood kids into superstars in the basement.