Fred Bridges parents, Thomas Jones and Clara Law, came north to Detroit from Alabama in the search for work like so many of their contemporaries.

While many of the migrants set up home near the river in Black Bottom, Fred's family settled in a house on Chandler Street in the North End, before moving to Josephine Street where Fred and his family live to this day.

Fred became Thomas and Clara's only sibling in 1938, and his earliest memory of his Father is as a doorman at one of Downtown Detroit's premier hotels, The Statler in Grand Circus.

 "It was a grand job because he was dressed to kill. You know, the long black coat with gold buttons and a captain's hat."

Fred's Mother, Clara, was a housewife who had became a Born-Again Christian in the mid-forties, and much of her spare time was spent helping out at her church, The Greater Bethlehem Temple at 2900 West Chicago Boulevard. 

The move to the city took it's toll on Thomas and Clara's marriage however, and they divorced in 1950.

By then Thomas was self-employed, and had taken a foothold in the local Jukebox market. Avoiding overheads by operating from home, he first set up base on Oakland Street, then Elmhurst in Highland Park. Before finally settling at # 204 Tennyson. 

Business was booming in the Motor City and Jones Automatic Music had become one of it's success stories.


Notes thanks to David Meikle.


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