The Motown Suite

453 Chestnut Street

The Motown Suite at United Record Pressing is a legendary part of music history. This suite holds a special place in the hearts of music enthusiasts, as it’s closely tied to the iconic Motown Records label. Walking into the Motown Suite is like stepping back in time, with vintage decor, memorabilia, and equipment that harken back to the golden age of Motown music.

Originally referred to as the “United Hilton,” The Motown Suite was purposefully designed to cater to the needs of Southern Plastics’ African-American clientele. During the era when this facility was established, the Southern United States was segregated, making it challenging for African-American visitors to find suitable lodging elsewhere. The original fixtures and finishes in the hospitality rooms remain largely unchanged.

Among the many, it’s believed that this room hosted parties for The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, The Cowsills, Wayne Newton, and a signing party for a 16-year-old Hank Williams, Jr.

Upstairs at United

North Mississippi Allstars using audio equipment Upstairs at United
North Mississippi Allstars

Upstairs at United was a series of all-analog recordings recorded inside the historic Motown Suite. All recordings were captured directly to analog tape under the leadership of mastering engineer Chris Mara of analog recording studio Welcome to 1979, then cut to 12″ EPs at 45 RPM. The records are presented in a Kraft-style packaging that highlights the authentic all-analog approach used in making these records, include session specific inserts with color photos from the recording sessions, and come in archival quality resealable poly bags.

The purpose of the Upstairs at United series was to release outstanding music recorded in a classic all-analog style, and to celebrate the rich musical and cultural history that’s taken place inside those walls.

All recordings were done live directly to 1/4 inch analog tape using a 16-channel vintage recording console and vintage microphones and outboard gear, with no overdubs, edits, or audio sweetening. What you hear is music in its most pure form: the recordings capture the end product of the artists together in a single room, complete with all of the enthusiasm, spirit and soul that is the foundation for this great art form.