Post Number: 140
|Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 6:26 pm: || |
Hey guys, As probably most of you guys have read from my posts, I'm coming home for the first time in about 10 years. Been pretty homesick here. I'll be in town Memorial weekend and I'm bringing my partner. Question is, Where could I take him to hear the "Motown Sound"? I've been living in Nashville and here when someone wants to hear the "Nashville Sound" we take em down on lower Broadway and the Grand ole Opry. If I told you I want to hear the Detroit sound, where would you suggest I go?
Thanks. Looking foward to hear your suggestions.
Post Number: 14
|Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 6:47 pm: || |
Keep an eye out for the play "My Brother, Marvin"! It may be coming back to Detroit in the near future (in Chicago this weekend) for one or more shows. It is a couple of hours of almost solid Motown! Great show if you get the chance. A friend is in the cast. If I can find out that they are coming back to Detroit, I'll post the dates here for you.
Post Number: 103
|Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 7:09 pm: || |
Definatly take your partner to the MOTOWN museum On West Grand Blvd. Even though its small,these two homes housed the acual recording studios. You get a 20 minute documentary, a tour of Berry Gordy's live-in space on the 2nd floor of the house while the rest was transformed to a music studio. The tour guide even gets a volunteer to act as the TEMPTATIONS in studio to sing a few bars of Motown classics.
There's also a full wardrobe gallery of all the stars who recorded there. Smokie Robinson,Micheal Jackson and the Jackson 5,Diana Ross an the Surpremes.
Also Motor city and Greektown casino's do a live Motown review on the weekends in the Lounge area.
Post Number: 141
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 8:23 am: || |
One of the reasons I was asking this question is, if theres not a place like Nashvilles Lower Broad, Memphis's Beal street, New Orleans Burboun street, How come theres not a place like that in the D? Wouldnt it be great if the owner of the National theater would renovate (I hear its beyond "restoring") and make it a venue like our Grand Ole Opry? Detroit is as known for its music as any of the cities I mentioned and there should be a place like that there. They can take the auto industry away from detroit, but they cant take the soul that is the music of Detroit! Just a thought. Thought this might lend to some good discussion here. What street in the D would be best for a "Burboun" "Beal" or "Lower Broad" street in Detroit? Why not? Oh and yes we will be going to the motown museum on Grand Blvd. I've lived there most of my life, and I've never been there either.
Post Number: 142
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 8:28 am: || |
Hey Blueidone. Will definitely look for that play. Ya know, the only venue that has anything booked for Memorial day weekend (that I've found so far) is a Tiger game and the Symphony. Nothing at the Fox, Fisher, Opry house, Masonic or anywhere else I can find that has ANYTHING going on Saturday May 26th. I find that hard to believe but I cant find anything!!! To me thats just unbelievable. Was hoping something would be going on at the fox or opry house or even Masonic, but so far NADA!!!
Post Number: 726
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 9:21 am: || |
I don't think that Motown hosts the Motown sound anymore...
Post Number: 282
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 9:48 am: || |
i would dig a little motown sound on the corner of Woodward and the fisher freeway... there's bound to be some nuggets in there!
Post Number: 29
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 10:39 am: || |
Check out this article about Joe Weaver, who was featured in the Funk Brothers special about the Motown house band. Before Motown there as Fortune records, and Joe was at the center. Sadly Joe passed away recently...this article is a couple years old. The sidebar piece is fun...kind of a who's who in Detroit Music. I'm not a journalist..I wrote it as a labor of love.
Ask a Detroit area resident about those most important to its unique musical legacy, and you're likely to hear different answers depending on age and musical taste. While younger listeners may mention famous hip-hoppers, baby boomers remember a variety of artists from the thriving soul and rock music scenes born in the late 50's and '60s. Almost universally, however, people mention Motown Records because of its huge influence, not only on Detroit but also on the rest of the world. After all, it all began with Motown, right?
Not so, says Willy Wilson, a music historian and host of the Willy Wilson program on WDET, Detroit's public radio station. Like a house built on a strong foundation, Motown Records was built on a legacy of performers singers such as John Lee Hooker, Dinah Washington and Aretha Franklin who were making records in Detroit long before Motown.
"Before Motown, the most vital part of Detroit's long and rich music history was Fortune Records," Wilson said. "Of all the pre-Motown record labels in Detroit, which included Sensation, Deluxe, Jaguar and JVB, Fortune Records was king."
As Detroit News reporter Susan Whitall wrote in 2001, "Way back, before Motown was a gleam in Berry Gordy's eye, when rhythm and blues was the sound of Detroit's streets in the rocking '50s, Fortune Records was the real deal."
And at the center of Fortune Records was Joe Weaver, a renowned pianist, singer, bandleader, and Ford retiree.
"Joe was the heart, soul and backbone of Fortune Records, and he set the tone for all the recordings made under his tenure," Wilson said.
Weaver also was a house musician at Club Basin Street, one of the hippest clubs in the city, and played piano on the road with the Four Tops and Nancy Wilson
Asked how he became involved in music, Weaver said he started playing piano when he nine years old.
"The family that I worked for had a piano. One day when they left to spend the day in the city, I sat down and started to play. I must have played it for over three hours. When I finally stopped, I heard the sound of clapping behind me." Weaver said. "They had returned, and they were so impressed with my playing that they gave me a piano. So from that point on, every day after school, I would rush home and play the piano."
As a teenager in the 1950s, Weaver continued playing piano blues and boogie-woogie before forming the Bluenotes group with his high school pal, Johnnie Bassett. After winning a few local talent competitions, the pair went to work playing regular gigs around Detroit before recording their first hit, '1540 Special in the mid-1950s. After the Bluenotes became Fortune's house band – backing artists like Nolan Strong & the Diablos and Andre Williams & the Don Juans – the band began recording their own songs, including their biggest seller 'Baby I Love You So'.
"Because Joe was so good on piano and such a dynamic bandleader, he was also one of the first guys Motown contacted after they decided to put together their own house band," Wilson said.
As a Motown session musician, Weaver backed legendary artists such as Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Stevie Wonder & Marvin Gaye. He also appears in the 2002 Oscar-winning documentary, "Standing In the Shadows of Motown: The Funk Brothers."
For a young Detroit musician finding his niche in the music business, Weaver was living his dream of having a center seat in the heyday of classic Detroit R&B. When it became too difficult to balance his music with his family responsibilities, Weaver made a hard choice to put his musical career on hold, and went work for Ford at the Rough Frame Plant.
"I loved my music, but I wanted to do more for my family," Weaver said. "I am proud to say that Ford gave me the opportunity to put my three daughters through college. I never would have been able to do that playing music." Thirty years later, in 1998 Joe retired from Ford.
Sadly, much of music history is based only on memories, as the performers have long since moved on or faded away. In Joe Weaver's case, however, he never forgot his love of the old music. Fortunately, neither did R.J. Spangler, an award-winning drummer/percussionist and music scholar who has been a vital part of Detroit's music scene since the early 1970's. Spangler contacted Weaver in and invited him to sing, and he now performs with a lineup of singers in the popular band, RJ and the Rhythm Rockers.
"It's almost too good to be true," Weaver said. "Not many people get a chance to go back and do what you really love, and I am so very fortunate to be out singing the old songs again."
Weaver is again singing the old songs with a conviction that can only come from the personal experience of having a center seat in a music sensation that rocked Detroit, and later changed the way the world hears music. He is featured on several CDs, including "Baby I love You So" on Eastlawn Records. It's the sound of classic rough-and-ready Detroit soul music.
Weaver, Spangler and the Rhythm Rockers play often in the Detroit area and elsewhere, and feature other talented singers – all with their own significant contributions to music history – including Odessa Harris, Alberta Adams and Geno Parks. See them April 22 at Tenny St. Roadhouse in Dearborn. They also play nearly every Thursday night at the New Dodge Lounge in Hamtramck. For information on performing schedules or purchasing CDs, please visit www.spanglerbluesproductions.c om.
From rockers such as the MC5, Alice Cooper, The Stooges and the White Stripes to funk artists like George Clinton, Detroit has produced a kaleidoscope of artists who have achieved worldwide acclaim. And not only is Detroit a major concert stop, but its concert venues have been the location of several seminal live recordings, including Kiss’ "Alive," Bob Seger’s "Live Bullet," and the J. Geils Band's "Full House."
Below is just a brief sampling of Detroit performers from yesterday and today who have established Detroit as what some have called hallowed ground in terms of vital contributions to the world's soundtrack.
Eminem, Kid Rock, Madonna, Alice Cooper, The White Stripes, MC5, Iggy Pop/The Stooges, Johnnie Bassett, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Aretha Franklin, George Clinton/P-Funk, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson, Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Horse Cave Trio, John Lee Hooker, Funk Brothers, Four Tops, George Clinton, The Sun Messengers, Alberta Adams, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Marvelettes, The Knack, Sponge, Aaliyah, Insane Clown Posse, Uncle Kracker, Mitch Ryder, The Romantics, Grand Funk Railroad, Marshall Crenshaw, RJ and the Rhythm Rockers, The Detroit Cobras, Stacey Pullen, Anita Baker, Wilson Pickett, Nolan Strong, Andre Williams, Joe Weaver, Stevie Wonder and Was (Not Was), Jack Scott, Little Willie John, Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, Jackie Wilson, Del Shannon, Danny Zella, The Larados, Johnny Powers, Nathaniel Mayer, the Falcons, Kenny Martin, Johnny & the Hurricanes, Edward Hamilton & the Arabians, Timmy Shaw, Johnnie Mae Matthews, and Gino Washington.
(Message edited by danjo444 on March 30, 2007)
(Message edited by danjo444 on March 30, 2007)
Post Number: 1403
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 11:16 am: || |
Take your baby to the Buzz Bar for great local music
Memorial Day weekend is the Electronic Music Festival. Downtown should be jamming all weekend.
Post Number: 1509
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 11:35 am: || |
I miss Joe. He was a warm, friendly guy and a talented entertainer.
Good list, Danjo, but I would add: Jack Scott, Little Willie John, Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, Jackie Wilson, Del Shannon, Danny Zella, The Larados, Johnny Powers, Nathaniel Mayer, the Falcons, Kenny Martin, Johnny & the Hurricanes, Edward Hamilton & the Arabians, Timmy Shaw, Johnnie Mae Matthews, and Gino Washington, among others.
(Message edited by Fury13 on March 30, 2007)
Post Number: 1510
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 11:46 am: || |
And... yeah, I would agree... Fortune was THE legendary Detroit label.
Post Number: 763
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 11:49 am: || |
The ideal thing would be to have a musical written for stage production, one like Dreamgirls with lots of music. Then have that musical have home theater in Detroit that people travelling here could know that they will be able to see on any given night.
If "Menopause - The Musical" could have such a long run, why not a Motown-themed Production? Maybe the Gem could commission such a thing.
Post Number: 31
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 11:50 am: || |
Right on Fury. And Thanks for the adds. Given our great musical history, this could grow into a long list indeed.
Post Number: 8773
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 11:57 am: || |
Motowner - If it over Memorial day the jazz fest should be going on. While it is called the jazz fest they have a pretty wide variety of music and usually have some Motown type artists.
There will probably be shows at other venues during this time that will have Motown performers. It may be a little more sterile in the Fox or something like that but it will be fun all the same.
Post Number: 8779
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 12:15 pm: || |
Ex - Here is a link to the performaces at last years Jazz Fest.
Also I believe that Johnny Trudell is now playing at Seldom Blues. I am pretty sure he has motown ties and covers a fair amount of their stuff. If he isn't at Seldom Blues when you are in town he may be performing elsewhere.
Post when it gets closer and I can certainly find some options for you.
Post Number: 146
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 1:07 pm: || |
There are some on that list taht would be awsome to see for sure. Jt1, your saying that the Jazz fest will be memorial day weekend (end of may), are you meaning Labor day (beginning of September)?
I do like the idea of a permanent production of "Motown" in the D. That would be awsome! Great Idea!
Post Number: 8785
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 1:10 pm: || |
Dammit, I always confuse the two. I will keep an eye out for anything upcoming over memorial day, not labor day.
Post Number: 1404
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 1:37 pm: || |
Jazz Fest is Labor Day Weekend. Electronic (DEMF or something like that) is Memorial Day. Tastefest is Fourth of July weekend, as is Windsor/Detroit current name unavailable.
Post Number: 795
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 2:08 pm: || |
Across the hall at Soulful Detroit, someone usually posts on who'se playing in town. Might be a good place to ask the question, too. Link's on the left <------.....
Post Number: 41
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 2:17 pm: || |
Berts in Eastern Market or possibly the "oldies" bin at Record Time
Post Number: 155
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 6:04 pm: || |
Sorry, folks. Motown music is dead in Detroit.
Nobody plays it like they used to.
Not even the Funks.
Your best bet is to just go to the museum and to listen to the old records. I'd be thrilled if someone could prove me wrong. But man, today's R&B is more like Rap & Bullshit. Everybody's too g'damned slick nowadays. Hammond organs are replaced with Roland craptrap, upright basses are usually some jerkoff poppin' all over creation, Alexander Zonjic thinks he plays jazz (ha!), and most of the clubs are jackasses in fancy (read: ugly) suits listening to live horseshit.
1964 is gone for good.
But I'm not too proud to beg for somebody to bring it back. Lock, stock, and barrel.
Bar owners, take note: Buy yourselves a goddam piano, hire somebody (Fred Scott comes to mind) to keep the goddam thing tuned, and don't let another SOB in the door with a rinky-dink keyboard or horseshit synthesizer again.
THAT AIN'T JAZZ!
Where have you gone, Earl Van Dyke?
Post Number: 281
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 7:10 pm: || |
"One of the reasons I was asking this question is, if theres not a place like Nashvilles Lower Broad, Memphis's Beal street, New Orleans Burboun street, How come theres not a place like that in the D?"
-----simple answer: Motown music is dead. Jazz and country are alive and thriving.
Post Number: 728
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 11:53 pm: || |
Yeah, there definitely is no current Motown sound. Kind of an odd and very ironic realization.
Post Number: 256
|Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 7:05 am: || |
There is a motown sound but, like with everything else, you old hacks are too stuck in the past to realize it has evolved. Exmotowner...DEMF is that weekend and electronica takes over. I would normally point you to the Buzz Bar or The Rhino in Harmonie Park on saturday nights. As for jazz...there is still no place like Baker's on 8 & Livernois. If you are looking for classic Detroit sounds good luck. Does the demographic population who grew up on the classics still go out? If you havent been home in 10 years, you are going to be amazed at what is going on in the city.
Post Number: 283
|Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 7:42 am: || |
hmmm---Would it be possible for you Mwg2s to explain exactly how the Motown sound has evolved?? Just curious.....
Post Number: 109
|Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 8:48 am: || |
the motown sound represented an "era" in soul, R&B, pop fusion. Detroit as a whole had to shut down completely. Because of that shutdown, most people are not aware of wats going on behind many closed doors throughout the city. "Rhino's re-birth in Harmony park represents this trend. It was originally located on a war torn street near the river that imploded like many dead areas that needed to be rebirthed. Now it cranks out many of the familiar sounds of its riverfront days, in a old brick storefront wonderfully restored.
The Motor City and Greektown casinos have a regular tribute shows honoring the Motown sound. Soon as summer comes, you can take that ferry boat fron hart plaza with several night cruses with live jazz an Motown Classics. The free summer concerts at Campus Mar have many jazz an Motown gigs,Along with jazz at the belle isle beach every sunday.
The city has had critical problems for decades,ripping the fabric of our legacy. but you cant deny that the canvas is becoming clear. eye sores have been reduced instead of increasing, restorations project dot the downtown landscape like never before.So its open game for all of use to open our own MOTOWN CAFE, SURPREMES lounge, TEMPTATIONS GRILL,MOTOWN WALK OF FAME, HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE WINERY AND BAR. Its up to us folks. WHO'S READY TO INVEST?
Post Number: 32
|Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 12:33 am: || |
Nathaniel Mayer did a 25 minute set last night at the Magic Bag. Pret-ty fun-ky !!
Post Number: 1511
|Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 5:57 pm: || |
Nathaniel Mayer did a 25 minute set last night at the Magic Bag. Pret-ty fun-ky !!
Yeah, he's quite an entertainer, isn't he? He's a buddy of mine.
Post Number: 215
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 6:17 pm: || |
The "Detroit Sound" now is a fragmented into three main genres: Indie Rock, Techno and Hip-Hop
In Detroit, we're spoiled by good Techno and other electronic music.
Check out Detroitluv.com for event information if you want to explore this world of new Detroit music.