Marsha Music, Joe's Record Shop, and Black Bottom

June 29 2024 | 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Visit with a curator! Marsha Battle Philpot, also known as Marsha Music, is one of the curators of the Black Bottom and Paradise Valley portions of In the Neighborhood: Everyday Life on Hastings Street, JHSM’s exhibit in the museum’s community gallery. Learn more about Black Bottom and Paradise Valley and her father's store, Joe's Record Shop, a fixture in the neighborhood.

A self-described “primordial Detroiter” and a “Detroitist,” Music is an activist and an acclaimed writer. In 2012 she was awarded a Kresge Literary Arts Fellowship. In 2015 she received a Knight Arts Challenge Award. In 2016 she was the opening speaker for the Detroit Historical Museum’s Detroit 67 Project. Music is the daughter of legendary pre-Motown record producer, the late Joe Von Battle. Von Battle’s landmark record shop and recording studio are featured in In the Neighborhood.

About Joe’s Record Shop

Joe Von Battle arrived from Georgia in 1937. After being laid off from the auto plants, in 1945 he met an elder Jewish woman, who was closing her store at 3530 Hastings Street. He acquired it. Joe’s Record Shop sold all genres, but was known for the Blues. It was an immediate hit. He also recorded artists, including John Lee Hooker, Della Reese, and Kenny Burrell. He was the sole producer of Rev. C. L. Franklin (whose New Bethel Baptist Church was on Hastings Street). He was first to record Franklin’s daughter Aretha, producing her earliest (Gospel) records. In 1960, as the demolition encroached, Joe’s Record Shop moved to 12th Street. Battle descended into chronic alcoholism. With the 1967 civil unrest, the business ended. He died in 1973. Joe’s Record Shop was a bedrock of the Detroit Sound, part of Hastings Street’s cultural legacy.

Free with museum admission.