Detroit's '67 Riots Halted Music, Helped Recalibrate Sound
publish date: 2017-07-16
It wasn’t sweet music that brought Martha Reeves to the microphone at the Fox Theatre that day in July 1967; it was brutal reality.
Detroit was burning.
Headlining a string of shows for a hometown crowd, the singer of “Heatwave,” ″Dancing in the Street” and other hits announced that rioting had spread through the city. Leave calmly, she said, and return safely to your homes.
Fifty years later, the leader of Martha and the Vandellas still can’t quite believe it happened. “Imagine going out there lighthearted and ready to work,” she said. “My heart was beating so fast after returning to the dressing room.”