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

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/16/2017 By JEFF KAROUB, Associated Press
FILE - This Jan. 20, 2006 file photo shows 45's and photographs, including Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder in a photograph at right, displayed at the Motown Museum gallery in Detroit. The violence in July 1967 was a wake-up call for many at the label that churned out hits by the Vandellas, as well as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Temptations, Four Tops and others. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) © The Associated Press FILE - This Jan. 20, 2006 file photo shows 45's and photographs, including Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder in a photograph at right, displayed at the Motown Museum gallery in Detroit. The violence in July 1967 was a wake-up call for many at the label that churned out hits by the Vandellas, as well as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Temptations, Four Tops and others. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) — In July 1967, Motown Records' "Sound of Young America" was silenced onstage and in-studio by rioting in Detroit.

FILE - In this Nov. 3, 1964 file photo, American pop trio Martha Reeves and the Vandellas dance for photographers at an airport in London, arriving for TV appearances and recording work in the British capital. From left are Betty Kelly, Martha Reeves, and Rosalind Ashford. Fifty years after the 1967 Detroit riots, the leader of Martha and the Vandellas still can’t quite believe it happened. “Imagine going out there lighthearted and ready to work,” she said. “My heart was beating so fast after returning to the dressing room.” (AP Photo) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 3, 1964 file photo, American pop trio Martha Reeves and the Vandellas dance for photographers at an airport in London, arriving for TV appearances and recording work in the British capital. From left are Betty Kelly, Martha Reeves, and Rosalind Ashford. Fifty years after the 1967 Detroit riots, the leader of Martha and the Vandellas still can’t quite believe it happened. “Imagine going out there lighthearted and ready to work,” she said. “My heart was beating so fast after returning to the dressing room.” (AP Photo)

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.

FILE - In this July 1967 file photo, firefighters spray water into a burning building after rioting in Detroit. (AP Photo) © The Associated Press FILE - In this July 1967 file photo, firefighters spray water into a burning building after rioting in Detroit. (AP Photo)

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.

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 19, 2007 file photo, Berry Gordy Jr., center, stands with Smokey Robinson, left, and Detroit Councilwoman Martha Reeves outside Hitsville U.S.A. and the Motown Museum in Detroit. Gordy was honored with the renaming of the street where the Motown sound originated. Motown was near the epicenter of the 1967 riots but largely spared during unrest that enveloped 25 city blocks and claimed 43 lives. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 19, 2007 file photo, Berry Gordy Jr., center, stands with Smokey Robinson, left, and Detroit Councilwoman Martha Reeves outside Hitsville U.S.A. and the Motown Museum in Detroit. Gordy was honored with the renaming of the street where the Motown sound originated. Motown was near the epicenter of the 1967 riots but largely spared during unrest that enveloped 25 city blocks and claimed 43 lives. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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.

In this Wednesday, June 28, 2017 photo, singer Martha Reeves stands outside the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Fifty years after the 1967 Detroit riots, the leader of Martha and the Vandellas still can’t quite believe it happened. 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. “Imagine going out there lighthearted and ready to work,” she said. “My heart was beating so fast after returning to the dressing room.” (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) © The Associated Press In this Wednesday, June 28, 2017 photo, singer Martha Reeves stands outside the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Fifty years after the 1967 Detroit riots, the leader of Martha and the Vandellas still can’t quite believe it happened. 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. “Imagine going out there lighthearted and ready to work,” she said. “My heart was beating so fast after returning to the dressing room.” (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Fifty years later, she recalls her "heart was beating so fast" and still can't believe it happened.

In this Wednesday, June 28, 2017 photo, singer Martha Reeves stands outside the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Fifty years after the 1967 Detroit riots, the leader of Martha and the Vandellas still can’t quite believe it happened. 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. “Imagine going out there lighthearted and ready to work,” she said. “My heart was beating so fast after returning to the dressing room.” (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) © The Associated Press In this Wednesday, June 28, 2017 photo, singer Martha Reeves stands outside the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Fifty years after the 1967 Detroit riots, the leader of Martha and the Vandellas still can’t quite believe it happened. 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. “Imagine going out there lighthearted and ready to work,” she said. “My heart was beating so fast after returning to the dressing room.” (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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