Craig Maki Featured on Detroit’s Channel 4

by Phillip Witteveen on September 12, 2014

DCM“When you think of music associated with Detroit, you instantly think about Motown, jazz,” says Channel 4 news anchor Guy Gordon.  “Electronica comes to mind,” he says.

“But there’s another genre you need to consider,” says Karen Drew, rounding out the other half of the classic two-anchor combo. “And that is Rockabilly—country, rock and blues combined—and it really has deep roots in Detroit, but not a lot of people realize that.”

Channel 4’s Uniquely Detroit then cuts to a potpourri of video footage. The soundbites, sampled from the old stars of the Rockabilly scene, go from Johnny Powers of Utica, Michigan, who recorded alongside Elvis and Stevie Wonderto Jim Kirkland, who, when asked about his career, said: “I didn’t set the world on fire. But I had fun.”

The next part of the show is the interview with Johnny Powers, joined by Craig Maki, co-author (with Keith Cady) of Detroit Country Music. Maki and Cady’s book frames the story of the Rockabilly phenomenon in a longer, more detailed history, strung together from decades of their own research and writing. Of course, the recent release of this book—putting Rockabilly between glossy covers and orderly chapter headings—is the real occasion of this segment: what makes this music and its performer’s news to Channel 4, after 50 plus years off the Detroit country radio and occasional hoedown circuit.

You can watch the full broadcast at Click on Detroit, to see Craig Maki and Johnny Powers in conversation with Channel 4’s Guy Gordon. Of course, to get the whole picture of this unique local scene, you’ll want to pick up Detroit Country Music.


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