Sound systems

Celebrating the History of Detroit’s Iconic United Sound Systems Recording Studio » WDET 101.9FM

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There is an event this Sunday, June 25 at United Sound to celebrate the installation of its new historic marker.

Jake Neher/WDET

Located at the corner of Second Avenue and Antoinette in Midtown, the United Sound Systems Recording Studio is undoubtedly a crucial part of Detroit’s rich musical heritage. Iconic artists such as Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker, Aretha Franklin, Parliament and many more have all recorded at United Sound.

In the mid-2000s, the studio closed. It was eventually bought out and was finally able to reopen.

Despite its history, United Sound was in danger of being demolished due to an I-94 expansion project. Over the past five years, the Detroit Sound Conservancy has worked closely with the owners of United to preserve the studio, obtain a historic district designation, and install a Michigan Historic Marker in front of the building.

This week they achieved the last of those goals, and it looks like the studio will remain standing, at least for now.

Carleton Gholz, founder and executive director of the Detroit Sound Conservancy, joins Stephen Henderson on Detroit Today to discuss the history of the United Sound Recording Studio.

“United was at the center of all this industrial work that was going on,” Gholz says. “United was at the heart of this mid-century modern story.”

Gholz says the site wasn’t just a place to create music. Radio commercials, jingles, films and television have also been recorded there.

There is an event this Sunday, June 25 in United Sound to celebrate the installation of the historic marker.

Click on the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

Gus Navarro/WDET

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