Detroit's '67 riots halted music, helped recalibrate sound

DETROIT (AP) - In July 1967, Motown Records' "Sound of Young America" was silenced onstage and in-studio by rioting in Detroit.
 
The hit-making studio dubbed "Hitsville USA" went silent for about a week while the city convulsed in violence that began when officers from the nearly all-white police department arrested black patrons at an after-hours bar.
 
Motown was near the epicenter but largely spared during unrest that enveloped 25 city blocks and claimed 43 lives. Records reveal studio work halted on July 22 and didn't resume until July 31.
 
Martha and the Vandellas leader Martha Reeves had to tell an audience July 23 at the famed Fox Theatre the rioting was spreading through the city and everyone had to leave.
 
Fifty years later, she recalls her "heart was beating so fast" and still can't believe it happened.
 

© 2017 Associated Press


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