The Detroitist - Recollections of a Record Shop Girl

Presented by Marsha Philpot


This long-awaited book is a collection of new and published works of Detroit writer, Marsha Music. Its publication will be celebrated with a book launch - in the form of a performance of her acclaimed One Woman Show, to be held in one of the communities profiled in the book. The primary story will be Requiem for a Record Shop Man; Marsha’s narrative about her father's record shop, Black Bottom, Hastings Street, 12th Street and the Black experience in Detroit. This story will be expanded, to tell a tale about her amazing family and its relationship to mid-century Detroit, and the vibrancy of the community of that time.



About the Artist

Marsha Music was born in Detroit and grew up in Highland Park, the daughter of seminal record man, the late Joe Von Battle. He opened his groundbreaking record shop in 1945, and Ms. Music grew up in the musical atmosphere of his selling and recording artists such as John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Rev. C.L. Franklin and his daughter Aretha Franklin.

After the demise of his record shop in the aftermath of the rebellion in '67, Marsha entered the maelstrom of social activism, and in her twenties, became a labor union leader. A writer since childhood, by her thirties she began to chronicle her life in and ear for Detroit music, and has always nursed the desire to "write a book."

Her dynamic and diverse experiences in these intervening years have resulted in Ms. Music becoming a Detroit cultural luminary. She was awarded a 2012 Kresge Artist Fellowship in Literary Arts, and a 2015 Knight Arts Challenge Award. She is a noted speaker, storyteller and poet and has graced virtually every major Detroit stage, has read her poetry on Belle Isle and with the Detroit Symphony. She was a prominent partner in the Detroit Historical Museum's Detroit 67 project, and has performed a series of hit one-woman shows. She has appeared in numerous documentary films, including voiceover narration in the acclaimed "12th and Clairmount."

Ms. Music has been published in ten literary anthologies, as well as periodicals and journals, and is intent on having her own book published soon. In 2018 she lost her husband, the late artist David Philpot, and feels his supportive spirit in this project.