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DETROIT’S RENEWED PROSPERITY – WILL IT REACH McCLELLAN STREET?

In 2012 I met Kathina Cary. She was delivering a foil covered meal to a local resident at the end of the block. She lived just off the corner of McClellan Street and Goethe (locally pronounced GO-thee) Street, once a prosperous and dense North-South street on the East side of Detroit. Kathina had envisioned a […]

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River of Fire – Detroit Downriver – Ecorse, Michigan

I arrived late to the City of Ecorse annual River of Fire Walleye Fishing Tournament. The Ecorse Heavy Hitters Fire Department hosted the tournament, proudly displaying their shinny fire engine parked at the dock gate in case of fire run. I didn’t see any “River of Fire”. The Ecorse Dock office on the Detroit River […]

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Detroit A Go Go Part 3 Stand By Me

STAND BY ME Spyder Turner was both host and performer at Detroit A Go Go in October, 2017. The four nights of live shows featuring Detroit recording artists were amazingly well produced by Brits Kimberly and Phil Dick. The music featured, known as the Northern Soul Movement, is revered in England and over 300 Brits […]

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Cool Jerk! – Da Da De Da Da – Cool Jerk!

Fast Freddy Anderson: a Detroit Fashion Statement.    I had been introduced to Fast Freddy Anderson at the four-day Detroit A Go-Go live shows in October, 2017. Freddy was singing with The Capitols, backing the original lead singer Donald Stroball, and dancing to the classic “Cool Jerk,” recorded in Detroit at Golden Worlds Records (1966). […]

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Detroit A Go Go Part 2

I had initially met Willie Ford at Roberto’s Barber and Beauty Salon on East Seven Mile Road in Detroit. He was sitting in a Chrysler parked out in front of the shop.  It was cold. We talked briefly. I was meeting with Larry Webster, part-owner of the shop and the manager of The Dramatics, one […]

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Red’s Jazz Shoe Shine in Detroit’s North End

In 1891 Detroit annexed 6 square miles of Hamtramck Township, called the North End, east of Woodward and north of Grand Boulevard.  This area is now pocked with empty buildings and open land. Scattered throughout the community are small churches, each struggling to retain congregations, and an ever-present supply of champagne. One of the few […]

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DETROIT INVADED: 300+ From U.K. Attending  DETROIT A GO GO Part 1

DETROIT A GO GO Part 1 I had not heard of many of the 30 recording artists/groups performing at Detroit A Go Go, the October, 2017, showcase of artists who began recording in Detroit in the 1960s. Some of the acts had had enduring careers; many others experienced only a brief moment in the limelight. […]

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“Honor Bright and Black Beauty” – Ghost Signs Lost in Detroit

I first discovered the “ghost” wall advertisements on Hamilton Avenue in Detroit on a cold January day in 2011. The building next door had come down to reveal the amazing hand-painted artwork. The exposed upper left corner of the wall promoted Square Deal Hardware. The rest of the surface was split between Honor Bright Boys […]

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Detroit Giants of Gospel Music: Ann Alston Tribute Sunday, October 1, 2017

Traveling on East Canfield Street, I note the dramatic presence of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church (1892), which served the German and Italian communities of Detroit for decades. I continue past the remnants of dense frame housing, and arrive at the Holy Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church at the end of the block, a much smaller but […]

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Motor City Dream Girls – The Original Vandellas

“Jimmy Mack!  Jimmy Mack!!  When are you Coming Back?      My Jimmy Mack! (Release 1967 – #10 in US peak charts, #1 US R & B, #21UK) was the hit Motown tune I heard on the phone while waiting to speak to Annette Beard-Helton.  An original Vandella.   I had met the Original Vandellas […]

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