Black Bottom

Soulful Detroit Forum: Open Forum: Black Bottom
Top of pageBottom of page   By Marsh ( - on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 01:44 pm:

Looking for shared memories of growing up in old Black Bottom. Neighborhoods of chene, St. Aubin, Madison and Sherman.Anyone remember the Carver Theater, Tony's Ice Cream Parlor on St. Aubin. Come on seniors, I know you're out there. Share.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ian W ( - on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 09:56 pm:

Ralph, don't censor this! I'm sure it's only a place name! Hey, there's one near me called Ramsbottom! I thank ewe.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( - on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 10:16 pm:


I used to live just down the road from Ramsbottom, and to avoid offending anyone, I'll refrain from posting the nickname that the locals use!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ian W ( - on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 10:22 pm:

Haha Ritchie, yes I'd keep it to yourself!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 11:15 pm:

I see nothing wrong with the name Ramsbottom, but then I'm just an old goat.

Top of pageBottom of page   By david, glasgow, scotland ( - on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 11:42 pm:

Hi Marsh

Thanks for reminding us of this historical district.

For those unaware, this vitally important piece of land was/is one of the most important inner city locations in the United States.

From our point of view, it's geographical overlap with Paradise Valley spawned some of the best entertainment venues in the United States, pre 1964.

As a one-time resident, it also provided Berry Gordy Jnr with the lessons for life which ultimately resulted in the one-off miracle that was The Motown Corporation.

African-Americans from the Deep South were virtually herded there as they arrived in the promised land, the home of the automobile industry.

The title Black Bottom is not, however, derived from the color of it's occupants; that description emanates from the rich soil which permeated the region.

I don't know if you'll hear anything on this thread which will enlighten you Marsh, but to the uninitiated, Black Bottom may well be the ultimate root of Northern Soul!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 12:05 am:

And apparently David that soul was cultivated in that rich soil. Seems appropriate to me.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Lynn Bruce ( - on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 09:27 pm:

Black bottom was a happing place when I was a teen-ager,but you did have to watch your back at times.In 64 Bobby Martin of the Martiniques and his wife,myself and my wife would go out for the evening and he would have to go in the small clubs and check the vibes to see if it was cool for a scottish guy and his mexican wife to come in and have a drink and listen to the music.The real black bottom was gone by 64 but the great unknown little groups thatjust scuffled for small money,were really good.I can honestly say we never had one bit of trouble in any club we went to.I think after they made the x-way over B.B the happenings were more on Dexter and Davison on the west side &Mack ave. on the east side.There were some really good groups that only the people that went in those clubs would have ever known about.Such a loss!!!!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Lynn Bruce ( - on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 09:34 pm:

How could I forget to add 12,th street to the west side happenings.I forgot to take my ginko biloba!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By david, glasgow, scotland ( - on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 11:00 pm:

Hi Lynn

Rosa Parks Boulevard, formerly known as 12th Street, is probably my favourite street in Detroit.

Even although most of it is gone, it just captures my imagination.

From block 82(chit chat club) thru to block to 91 (at clairmount) was music, music, music. (block 90 Correc-tone early days, and Continental studios)

Then on to block 98 (taylor&turner aka tay records)

Or block 118 (golden world early recordings eg. willie kendricks 'stop that train')(fortune records in 1946)

Or block 120 (fortune records in 1949)

Only in Detroit!

Top of pageBottom of page   By diamond8 ( - on Monday, July 29, 2002 - 02:36 pm:

I spent my early years in an area just north of Black Bottom, but remember the area. We lived on Medbury Street, Diana Ross lived two blocks over, (we went to Balch Elementary together) and the Four Tops also lived within blocks. I was a kid when the city started tearing Black Bottom down to make way for "progress." I was young, but I remember the infamous Flame Show Bar on John R, the Garfield & Gotham Hotels where the likes of Dinah, Sarah, Ella, Arthur, and many, many other greats performed. The Gordy sisters ran the photo concession at the Flame during pre-Motown days. As for the Westside: the Drome & Baker's Keyboard for jazz, the Chit Chat was one of my favorite places to see great acts, like Walter Jackson, and how about the the Webb-Wood Inn on Thursday nites, Twenty Grand Gold Room on Fridays, & the Calumet Club (featuring Washboard Willie & the Super Suds of Rhythm)on Twelfth Street? And the North End: Lee's Sensation, Phelps Lounge, the Zombie, Miss Caldonia Young, the 60 year old shake dancer, and barbequed pigs feet from the Log Cabin after the bars closed at 3 a.m.? Boy, Detroit was jumpin back then!! and I was using borrowed I.D. to get into the clubs until 1967! (Sorry, mom.)

Top of pageBottom of page   By david, glasgow, scotland ( - on Friday, August 02, 2002 - 08:25 am:

Almost missed that post Diamond8.

Thanks for giving us an insight into life in Detroit.

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