Detroit, home of too many famous songwriters and performs to mention in this text, is home to Glen Frey, Kid Rock, Aretha Franklin, Suzi Quatro, Ted Nugent, Bob Seger, George Clinton, Wilson Pickett, Mitch Ryder, KISS, Bill Haley and The Romantics, to name a few.
At the turn of the century, Henry Ford began the transformation of Detroit from the modest port into the “Motor City” capital of the world. Ford was the first businessman to specifically target African American workers, sending recruiters to comb the South for industrious, cheap labor. Lured by promises of wealth, opportunity, and non-segregation, large groups of African Americans made the trek north, bringing with them their music and culture.
After years of growth and prosperity, the Great Depression hit Detroit hard which lead to the White-controlled trade unions locking Detroit’s Afro-American citizens and other minorities out of a large portion of lucrative auto industry jobs. This, in turn, transformed the area of Detroit knows as “Black Bottom”, the “colored” district on Detroit’s East Side, into a polyglot melting pot. Black Bottom became home to Mexicans, Poles, Italians, and Blacks, with each culture adding its rich musical traditions into the mix. During this period Detroit’s Black Bottom became nationally famous for its music scene: major blues singers, big bands, and jazz artists — such as Duke Ellington, Billy Eckstine, Pearl Bailey, Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie — regularly performed in the bars and clubs of Paradise Valley entertainment district. However, this ending in the 1960s when construction of Interstate 75 dismantled the Black Bottom neighborhood. Despite its dismantling, Black Bottom’s influence would be felt for decades to come.
Another noteworthy change was when Brown v. Board of Education ended segregation in Detroit’s public school system, home of one of the top music programs in the nation; young children of all colors now had access to musical training.
Detroit has been producing some of the most influential songwriters of all genres for 90 years now and continues to be a great place for someone to break into the industry!
This website is designed to offer many resources to help fill songwriter’s needs. This site is loaded down with resources including a thesaurus, idioms, dictionary, helpful links (apartment guides, publishers), Frequently Ask Questions (How do I get my song copyrighted?), Calendar of Events (songwriter nights, local events), an online store ( coming soon!), featured songwriters, a blog, and chat room to help connect you with other local songwriters and musicians.
We vow to stay current and to become a site that you will want to visit over and over again in the future. Of course, in order to become a great resource, we need your help. We hope that you will become active in the forums and submit artists to be profiled on the site along with venues that are friendly to singer-songwriters across the country. Again, welcome to DetroitSongwriting.com, see you at the top of the charts!!