The distinctive sound that is Detroit’s own was inspired to a great degree by gospel music. The strong vocals that make up the distinguishing rhythm of gospel music contributed to making Detroit a musical Mecca for the world.
Berry Gordy and other Motown artists got their start in Detroit; in 1972 Motown relocated to Los Angeles (L.A.) To this day, the musical connection between the two cities remains indissoluble but Detroit will forever be synonymous with great music. “Much like many of the music artists from Detroit that have made the move out to the west coast -- whether they're from the Motown era or are modern day musicians like J. Dilla, House Shoes, Mayer Hawthorne… or Flying Lotus, they definitely have that deep connection between Detroit and Los Angeles” (Frazier, 2013).
An undisclosed number of famous vocalists got their start in the black church singing gospel music; among those were Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, Eddie Kendrick’s of the Temptations, Brandy, the Staple Singers, and Detroit’s Aretha Franklin, just to name a few. Other world famous singers from Detroit include Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Bob Seger, Eminem, the Winans, Anita Baker, and Kid Rock.
Unmistakably the “D”
Detroit’s musical roots branch out all over the globe. There is virtually no continent untouched by the Detroit sound. In the early 1900s, large numbers of southerners migrated to Detroit for good-paying jobs in the factory. Due to segregation and restrictions on buying and renting property in the City, most of the blacks settled in Black Bottom, or Paradise Valley. It is here that Detroit's music legacy began, as music greats laid the foundation for future generations of musicians in Detroit, nationally, and around the world http://experiencedetroit.com/musicheritage.htm.
As a lifetime Detroiter, I hear the rumblings echoing, “Where are Detroit’s musically talent today”? For sure, Detroit has been an important musical center in America since the early 1900’s with strong influences in jazz, gospel, rock and roll, pop, R&B/soul, and hip hop. Make no mistake about it, techno was started in Detroit and has made its mark on the world too.
Detroit’s greats such as Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Bob Segerand the Silver Bullet Band, and Ted Nugent also reaped the benefits of the Detroit’s ancestral musically talented.
Detroit’s music Ambassador to L.A.
Detroit’s musically talented are still flourishing and making great strides. Detroiter Joseph Christian Holt has made a name in the gospel a cappella circuit. Holt’s work in the industry, while traveling between Detroit and L.A., has made him a music ambassador. He has spent considerable time in L.A. with some of the best.
During the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend holiday Holt will be taking his Detroit vibe to L.A once again. He will collaborate with other talents in the music business such as Ray J, Grammy Award Singer Brandy, and their talented father, Willie Norwood to celebrate a cappella gospel music in the 6th annual Sing-A-Rama Conference.
Attendees from around the globe come to this annual 3-day event for a cappella gospel singing and workshops. Nigerian Nwabuego Ogwuru will be attending, as the guest list is as regional as it is international. The Sing-A-Rama has been nurtured and managed under the auspices of Willie Norwood. He is the Event Director of the Sing-A-Rama Conference. As director, Norwood has sought out great musical talents such as Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Jeff Murrah, and Norwood has choreographed a Church of Christ gospel a cappella powerhouse.
Norwood is the owner of KnockOut Vocal Studios, KnockOut Digital Media, which promotes independent artists, and Norwood Talent Agency, Corp. The Norwood Kids Foundation is an organization that he is actively involved in to mentor inner-city youth. He is the Minister of Music at the Woodland Hills Church of Christ and Holt gives Norwood much credit for taking him under his wings.
Holt has been invited by Norwood in times past to lift up his voice on the west coast. Once again, Holt will oblige his mentor, and also serve as an assistant director for the Sing-A-Rama. To his acclaim, Holt will be releasing an album this year wherein he wrote and co-produced the selections.
And the hits just keep on coming
The culture of Detroit, Michigan, has influenced American and global culture through its commercial enterprises and various forms of popular music throughout the 20th and 21st century http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Detroit. Chrysler even pays homage to Detroit's Musical History in its Special Edition 300.
One musical blogger states, “For many people throughout the world, Detroit is as synonymous with music as it is cars. Whether they're techno enthusiasts in Berlin and Tokyo, Detroit rock fans in London, or Motown fans just about everywhere, people recognize Detroit's musical pedigree” (09/03/12).
Frazier, Kelly. (10/15/2012). Hip-Hop/Electronic Musician Flying Lotus Talks Detroit Family Roots for Majestic Theatre Show