Motown

Remembering the 1967 Detroit Riot, part 2: “Be calm and as quiet as possible”

by Brian Matzke July 12, 2017

“Be calm and as quiet as possible”: Rebellion on the television Grand River and Joy Susan Messer TV Land–Detroit Gordon Castelnero The Detroit Tigers Reader Tom Stanton, Editor Violence in the Model City Sidney Fine Susan Messer’s novel Grand River and Joy begins on Halloween 1966. Harry Levine arrives at his wholesale shoe warehouse in downtown Detroit to find an ethnic slur soaped on his window. Searching the basement for supplies to clean the window, he discovers a makeshift living room with a stash of marijuana and black power literature, left there by Alvin, the teenaged tenant who lives in the apartment […]

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Remembering the 1967 Detroit Riot, part 1: “Before the whole damn studio went up in flames”

by Brian Matzke July 10, 2017

“Before the whole damn studio went up in flames”: Motown at the start of the 1967 riot The Automobile and American Culture David L. Lewis and Laurence Goldstein, Editors Before Motown A History of Jazz in Detroit, 1920-60 Lars Bjorn with Jim Gallert One Nation Under A Groove Motown and American Culture Gerald Early I Hear a Symphony Motown and Crossover R&B Andrew Flory Guitars, Bars, and Motown Superstars Dennis Coffey This month marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit riot, also knowns as the 12th Street riot, one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in American history. […]

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Celebrating University Press Week: November 9-16

by Phillip Witteveen November 10, 2014

The publishing community celebrates University Press Week November 9-16, 2014. University presses provide access to ideas, playing a unique role in fostering scholarship. Each university press has a diverse list of titles, shaped by their history, directors, acquisitions editors, location, and parent institutions. With titles ranging from maritime studies to folklore and field guides, the unique history and culture of the Mitten State and its Great Lakes are traced in print via the publishing activity of our three university presses. From Michigan State University Press: Beyond Pontiac’s Shadow provides a fresh look at an important moment in the history of Michigan and Canada. Brian […]

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Craig Maki Featured on Detroit’s Channel 4

by Phillip Witteveen September 12, 2014

“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 […]

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Dennis Coffey provides clue to Motown amp on ‘History Detectives’

by Shaun Manning August 23, 2012

A recent episode of PBS’ History Detectives found host Eduardo Pagán investigating the provenance of an amplifier that may have belonged to legendary Motown bass player James Jamerson. Jamerson was a member of the in-house studio band Funk Brothers, who played with Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, the Supremes, and Marvin Gaye on more than 100 singles. Steve Fishman, the amp’s current owner, said that “James Jamerson was to bass what Jimi Hendrix was to guitar,” but the only evidence he has that this amp is a piece of Motown history is Jamerson’s name stenciled on the side. No photographs of […]

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