Hello, Detroit--By Sammy Davis Jr.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Detroit Fact of the Week: 8/31/08--9/6/08

Campus Martius is Latin for "Field of Mars." Mars was the Roman god of war, so the military training ground, both in ancient Rome and here in Detroit, was called Campus Martius. The Point of Origin for the city of Detroit is located in Campus Maritius Park. If you've ever wondered where 8 Mile Road is 8 miles from, the answer is the center of Campus Martius Park.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stevie Wonder: An American Icon

Musician. Born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan. A premature baby, he was blinded by receiving too much oxygen in the incubator. He began playing the harmonica at an early age and was signed to a long-term contract with Motown Records in 1960. In 1963 he released his first album, Little Stevie Wonder: The 12 Year Old Genius, and its single release ‘Fingertips - Pt. 2’ became his first million seller.

During the 1960s, while attending the Michigan School for the Blind, he had many hit records in the classic Motown rhythm-and-blues style. On his 21st birthday, he renegotiated his contract and gained full artistic control over his work.

Throughout the 1970s he became proficient in the use of synthesizers and electronic keyboards, and he released a series of innovative, commercially successful albums featuring a fusion of progressive rock and soul, biting social commentary, and sentimental ballads. He signed a contract with Motown (1976) for $13 million, the largest negotiated in recording history at that date.

In the 1980s and 1990s he was increasingly engaged in children's and civil-rights causes, and he led the campaign to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. He was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. A Time to Love, Wonder's first new album in ten years, was released in 2005 and featured the hit single "So What the Fuss" with Prince and En Vogue.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Detroit Fact for the Week: 8/24/08-8/30/08

Detroit has the second largest theater district in the country with over 13,000 seats in just a two block radius. So if you like theater, plays, dramas, opera and the works than you might want to come to the city of Detroit and spend your next vacation here. If the theaters don't thrill you than there are 123 bars and restaurants within the one square mile of downtown Detroit. So don't believe the hype I'm giving but come to Detroit and see it yourself. Now if you are already from Detroit than go downtown and see all of this for yourself as you become marveled my the great downtown that our city has.

Resurfacing The Streets of Detroit

City of Detroit Street Maintenance workers hard at work on a humid summer day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Derrick Coleman--One fo Detroit's Best Athletes

Derrick D. Coleman (born June 21, 1967, in Mobile, Alabama) is a retired American basketball player in the NBA. Coleman grew up and attended high school in Detroit, Michigan and attended college at Syracuse University. He was selected first overall in the 1990 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets.

Throughout his career, the left-handed Coleman has been an effective low post scorer with a reliable perimeter shooting touch, averaging 16.5 points and 9.3 rebounds through his career. He enjoyed his best years as a member of the New Jersey Nets, where he averaged 19.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. However, despite those impressive numbers, Coleman is often regarded as a poster boy for unrealized potential. When Coleman entered the NBA, he was compared to elite power forwards such as Karl Malone and Charles Barkley, and expected to put up similar numbers. Instead, his career was overshadowed by his questionable attitude (lack of work ethic resulting in excessive weight gain, plus alcohol abuse and general disruptive behavior), and his penchant for injury which saw him play 70 or more games in only four of his 15 NBA seasons. A Sports Illustrated reporter once remarked that "Coleman could have been the best power forward ever; instead he played just well enough to ensure his next paycheck."

Coleman was drafted in 1990 after a successful college career that was also fueled by controversy due to his reckless behavior. However, he had a solid rookie season and went on to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 1991.

Coleman went on to improve during the 1991-1992 season, averaging close to 20 points and 10 rebounds a game. The Nets were an up and rising team as well, with young players like Coleman, Kenny Anderson, Chris Morris and Mookie Blaylock teaming up with solid veteran players like Sam Bowie, Chris Dudley, Terry Mills and Croatian Drazen Petrovic, the Nets top player who looked to be on his way to becoming an NBA legend. The addition of coach Chuck Daly, who took the Detroit Pistons to win two NBA championships, was enough to get the Nets a winning record and into the playoffs during the 1992-1993 season. The 1993-1994 season was the peak for Coleman and the Nets during his reign. The Nets made it to the playoffs for the third straight season, while Coleman averaged his second straight 20 points, 10 rebounds season and was selected to represent the Nets in the All-Star game along with teammate Kenny Anderson. It would be the only All-Star game that Coleman would ever play in during his NBA career. He played for the US national team in the 1994 FIBA World Championship, winning the gold medal.

The 1994-1995 season saw the Nets luck start turning downward. Daly left the team and new coach Butch Beard replaced him. Petrovic died in a terrible car accident during the summer of 1993, leaving a huge void in the leadership and shooting guard position for the Nets to fill. Many of the veteran players that were so essential to the Nets success either were traded away, left for other teams through free agency, or retired. Instead, the team was loaded with misfits and lazy players. Coleman was not much help in this department. Expected to step up as a leader and as the new leading scorer in place of Petrovic, Coleman had another 20 points, 10 rebounds season, but seemed to be gliding by in games and not giving a full effort. He had a turbulent relationship with Beard, who criticized Coleman for his lazy work ethic in practice and his ignorance of the conduct and team rules. At the start of training camp one year with the Nets, Beard advised his players to adhere to a dress code or be fined. Coleman outraged Beard by simply handing him a blank check to cover all the fines he promised to pile up. He also had a rocky relationship with teammate Anderson, who felt he wasn't getting enough scoring opportunities because of Coleman. His behavior caused him to be traded away to the Philadelphia 76ers at the beginning of the 1995-1996 season for center Shawn Bradley.

During a 1995 game featuring Coleman's Nets and rival Karl Malone's Utah Jazz, Coleman went so far as to call Malone an 'Uncle Tom'.

Coleman's numbers decreased more and more after his trade from the Nets, and while being a solid role player for the 76ers, the Hornets, and the Detroit Pistons, he was known more for his weight gain, lazy attitude, conduct problems and injury proneness. He also gained a reputation as a "clubhouse cancer", and during the 2000-01 season, when Coleman missed more than half the season through various injuries, the Hornets performed significantly better without Coleman in their lineup (12-22 with Coleman, 34-14 without him).

Coleman's career ended during the 2004-2005 season, when he was cut by the Pistons during the season. His Syracuse jersey number, 44, was retired on March 5, 2006. He is currently working as a developer and entrepreneur in Michigan.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derrick_Coleman

Steve Smith: Common Name, Uncommon Superstar

Steven Delano Smith was born in Highland Park, Michigan, on March 31, 1969. His parents are Donald and the late Clara Bell Smith, and his siblings are his brother Dennis and late sister Janice. Steve and his wife Millie have two sons, Brayden and Davis.

Steve attended my high school alma John J. Pershing High School--Home of the Doughboys and School of Winners from 1983-1987 in Detroit and Michigan State University from 1987-1991, where he became a First Team All American basketball player, and the Spartans’ all-time leading scorer, with 2,263 points. At that time he ranked 5th all-time in Big Ten history, and was also First Team All-Big Ten in his senior season.

Steve first entered the NBA as the Miami Heat’s First Round selection (5th player selected overall) in the 1991 NBA Draft, and since then has played with the Atlanta Hawks (1994-1999), the Portland Trail Blazers (1999-2001), and the San Antonio Spurs, where he earned a championship ring in 2003. Steve was also a member of the New Orleans Hornets (2003-2004), and competed with the Charlotte Bobcats and Miami Heat during the 2004-2005 season.

In 1994, Steve was chosen to represent the United States as a member of the gold medal winning ‘Dream Team II’ in the World Championships held in Toronto, and in 2000, Steve’s basketball ability was further recognized when he was chosen to represent the United States as a member of the gold medal winning United States Olympic Basketball Team in the 2000 Olympics held in Sydney, Australia.

Steve has always been an active member in his “community” by working with and for inner city youth organizations in Michigan, Miami, Atlanta, Portland, San Antonio, New Orleans, and Charlotte. In 1997, Steve, who believes you can never give too much, donated $2.5 million dollars to Michigan State University. This donation helped construct the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Academic Center, in honor of his late mother, Clara Bell Smith, who died of cancer during Steve’s rookie NBA season. This remains the largest single donation ever made by a professional athlete to an alma mater. The building was formally dedicated on September 12, 1998, and it remains a state of the art facility in this country. At Steve’s insistence, a portion of this generous donation also funds The Steve Smith/Pershing High/MSU Scholarship for Academic Achievement. In 2001, Steve donated an additional $600,000.00 to fully endow the scholarship. This scholarship provides, on an annual basis, high-achieving students from Detroit Pershing High School the opportunity to attend Michigan State University. In honor of Steve’s generous gift to Pershing High School, Pershing paid tribute to the basketball star by holding “Steve Smith Day” in September 2001, where they renamed the school’s gym after the 1987 graduate.

The Steve Smith Scholarship Fund is supported by additional money raised from Steve’s three annual charity golf outings. Together with the MSU Alumni Club of Mid-Michigan, the MSU Alumni Club of West Michigan, and the MSU Detroit Area Development Council, approximately $500,000 has been raised to help support the Steve Smith Scholarship Fund, MSU, and local charities in the Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids areas.

Steve's generosity has been recognized not only by the various charities, organizations, and institutions he donates to, but by the NBA as well. During 1997-1998 NBA season, Steve received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, and was later awarded the Joe Dumars Sportsmanship Award in 2002. His goodwill and compassion for others placed Steve into an elite group of athletes when he was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in 2006.

Steve served as a member of both the National Alumni Board and National Development Board of Michigan State University. In addition, Steve was a member of the National Board of Reading is Fundamental (RIF), a non-profit organization which was created to eradicate illiteracy in our nation's urban public schools.

On September 30, 2005, Steve returned to MSU to announce his retirement from the NBA after 14 seasons. He still remains involved with the NBA, however, as a TV color analyst for Fox Sports.

If anything else need be known about Steve, his character and/or his values, it can be easily found from his own words which he delivered at the January 1997 announcement of his donation to Michigan State University. His words, in part, were as follows:

“I have had great coaches, but none greater than my mother. I have had great role models, but none greater than my mom. I have had great teammates and fans, but none greater than Clara Bell Smith.” --Steve Smith

Sources: http://www.sssfund.com/about_steve/ and http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5316/is_200610/ai_n21399148

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Temptations

The most successful group in black music history was formed in 1961 in Detroit, Michigan, USA, by former members of two local R&B outfits. Eddie Kendricks (b. 17 December 1939, Union Springs, Alabama, USA) and Paul Williams (b. 2 July 1939, Birmingham, Alabama, USA, d. 17 August 1973) both sang with the Primes ; Melvin Franklin (b. David English, 12 October 1942, Montgomery, Alabama, USA, d. 23 February 1995, Los Angeles, California, USA), Eldridge Bryant and Otis Williams (b. Otis Miles 30 October 1941, Texarkana, Texas, USA) came from the Distants.
Initially known as the Elgins, the quintet were renamed the Temptations by Berry Gordy when he signed them to Motown in 1961. After issuing three singles on the Motown subsidiary Miracle Records, one of them under the pseudonym of the Pirates, the group moved to the Gordy label. 'Dream Come Home' provided their first brief taste of chart status in 1962, although it was only when they were teamed with writer, producer and performer Smokey Robinson that the Temptations achieved consistent success.
The group's classic line-up was established in 1963, when Eldridge Bryant was replaced by David Ruffin (b. 18 January 1941, Meridian, Mississippi, USA). His gruff baritone provided the perfect counterpoint to Kendricks' wispy tenor and falsetto, a contrast that Smokey Robinson exploited to the full. Over the next two years, he fashioned a series of hits in both ballad and dance styles, carefully arranging complex vocal harmonies that hinted at the group's doo-wop heritage. 'The Way You Do The Things You Do' was the Temptations' first major hit, a stunningly simple rhythm number featuring a typically cunning series of lyrical images. 'My Girl' in 1965, the group's first US number 1, demonstrated Robinson's graceful command of the ballad idiom, and brought Ruffin's vocals to the fore for the first time. This track, featured in the movie 'My Girl', was reissued in 1992 and was once again a hit. 'It's Growing', 'Since I Lost My Baby', 'My Baby' and 'Get Ready' continued the run of success into 1966, establishing the Temptations as the leaders of the Motown sound. 'It's Growing' brought a fresh layer of subtlety into Robinson's lyric writing, while 'Get Ready' embodied all the excitement of the Motown rhythm factory, blending an irresistible melody with a stunning vocal arrangement.

Norman Whitfield succeeded Robinson as the Temptations' producer in 1966 - a role he continued to occupy for almost a decade. He introduced a new rawness into their sound, spotlighting David Ruffin as an impassioned lead vocalist, and creating a series of R&B records that rivalled the output of Stax and Atlantic for toughness and power. 'Ain't Too Proud To Beg' introduced the Whitfield approach, and while the Top 3 hit 'Beauty Is Only Skin Deep' represented a throwback to the Robinson era, 'I'm Losing You' and 'You're My Everything' confirmed the new direction. The peak of Whitfield's initial phase with the group was 'I Wish It Would Rain', a dramatic ballad that the producer heightened with delicate use of sound effects. The record was another major hit, and gave the Temptations their sixth R&B number 1 in three years. It also marked the end of an era, as David Ruffin first requested individual credit before the group's name, and when this was refused, elected to leave for a solo career. He was replaced by ex- Contour Dennis Edwards, whose strident vocals fit perfectly into the Temptations' harmonic blend. Whitfield chose this moment to inaugurate a new production style.

Conscious of the psychedelic shift in the rock mainstream, and the inventive soul music being created by Sly And The Family Stone, he joined forces with lyricist Barrett Strong to pull Motown brutally into the modern world. The result was 'Cloud Nine', a record that reflected the increasing use of illegal drugs among young people, and shocked some listeners with its lyrical ambiguity. Whitfield created the music to match, breaking down the traditional barriers between lead and backing singers and giving each of the Temptations a recognizable role in the group. Over the next four years, Whitfield and the Temptations pioneered the concept of psychedelic soul, stretching the Motown formula to the limit, introducing a new vein of social and political comment, and utilizing many of rock's experimental production techniques to hammer home the message. 'Runaway Child, Running Wild' examined the problems of teenage rebellion; 'I Can't Get Next To You' reflected the fragmentation of personal relationships (and topped the US charts with the group's second number 1 hit); and 'Ball Of Confusion' bemoaned the disintegrating fabric of American society. These lyrical tracks were set to harsh, uncompromising rhythm tracks, steeped in wah-wah guitar and soaked in layers of harmony and counterpoint.

The Temptations were greeted as representatives of the counter-culture, a trend that climaxed when they recorded Whitfield's outspoken protest against the Vietnam War, 'Stop The War Now'. The new direction alarmed Eddie Kendricks, who felt more at home on the series of collaborations with the Supremes that the group also taped in the late 60s. He left for a solo career in 1971, after recording another US number 1, the evocative ballad 'Just My Imagination'. He was replaced first by Richard Owens, then later in 1971 by Damon Harris. This line-up recorded the 1972 number 1, 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone', a production tour de force which remains one of Motown's finest achievements, belatedly winning the label its first Grammy award.

Source: http://classic.motown.com/artist.aspx?ob=ros&src=lb&aid=52

Aretha Franklin--The Queen Of Soul

Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. Her astonishing run of late-'60s hits with Atlantic Records--"Respect," "I Never Loved a Man," "Chain of Fools," "Baby I Love You," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Think," "The House That Jack Built," and several others--earned her the title "Lady Soul," which she has worn uncontested ever since. Yet as much of an international institution as she's become, much of her work--outside of her recordings for Atlantic in the late '60s and early '70s--is erratic and only fitfully inspired, making discretion a necessity when collecting her records.

Franklin's roots in gospel ran extremely deep. With her sisters Carolyn and Erma (both of whom would also have recording careers), she sang at the Detroit church of her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, while growing up in the 1950s. In fact, she made her first recordings as a gospel artist at the age of 14. It has also been reported that Motown was interested in signing Aretha back in the days when it was a tiny start-up. Ultimately, however, Franklin ended up with Columbia, to which she was signed by the renowned talent scout John Hammond.

Franklin would record for Columbia constantly throughout the first half of the '60s, notching occasional R&B hits (and one Top Forty single, "Rock-a-bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody"), but never truly breaking out as a star. The Columbia period continues to generate considerable controversy among critics, many of whom feel that Aretha's true aspirations were being blunted by pop-oriented material and production. In fact there's a reasonable amount of fine items to be found on the Columbia sides, including the occasional song ("Lee Cross," "Soulville") where she belts out soul with real gusto. It's undeniably true, though, that her work at Columbia was considerably tamer than what was to follow, and suffered in general from a lack of direction and an apparent emphasis on trying to develop her as an all-around entertainer, rather than as an R&B/soul singer.

When Franklin left Columbia for Atlantic, producer Jerry Wexler was determined to bring out her most soulful, fiery traits. As part of that plan, he had her record her first single, "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)," at Muscle Shoals in Alabama with esteemed Southern R&B musicians. In fact, that was to be her only session actually at Muscle Shoals, but much of the remainder of her '60s work would be recorded with the Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section, although the sessions would actually take place in New York City. The combination was one of those magic instances of musical alchemy in pop: the backup musicians provided a much grittier, soulful, and R&B-based accompaniment for Aretha's voice, which soared with a passion and intensity suggesting a spirit that had been allowed to fly loose for the first time.

In the late '60s, Franklin became one of the biggest international recording stars in all of pop. Many also saw Franklin as a symbol of Black America itself, reflecting the increased confidence and pride of African-Americans in the decade of the civil rights movements and other triumphs for he Black community. The chart statistics are impressive in and of themselves: ten Top Ten hits in a roughly 18-month span between early 1967 and late 1968, for instance, and a steady stream of solid mid-to-large-size hits for the next five years after that. Her Atlantic albums were also huge sellers, and far more consistent artistically than those of most soul stars of the era. Franklin was able to maintain creative momentum, in part, because of her eclectic choice of material, which encompassed first-class originals and gospel, blues, pop, and rock covers, from the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel to Sam Cooke and the Drifters. She was also a fine, forceful, and somewhat underrated keyboardist.

Franklin's commercial and artistic success was unabated in the early '70s, during which she landed more huge hits with "Spanish Harlem," "Bridge Over Troubled Water," and "Day Dreaming." She also produced two of her most respected, and earthiest, album releases with Live at Fillmore West and Amazing Grace. The latter, a 1972 double LP, was a reinvestigation of her gospel roots, recorded with James Cleveland & the Southern California Community Choir. Remarkably, it made the Top Ten, counting as one of the greatest gospel-pop crossover smashes of all time.

Franklin had a few more hits over the next few years--"Angel" and the Stevie Wonder cover "Until You Come Back to Me"--being the most notable--but generally her artistic inspiration seemed to be tapering off, and her focus drifting toward more pop-oriented material. Her Atlantic contract ended at the end of the 1970s, and since then she's managed to get intermittent hits -- "Who's Zooming Who" and "Jump to It" are among the most famous -- without remaining anything like the superstar she was at her peak. Many of her successes were duets, or crafted with the assistance of newer, glossier-minded contemporaries such as Luther Vandross. There was also another return to gospel in 1987 with One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.

Critically, as is the case with many '60s rock legends, there have been mixed responses to her later work. Some view it as little more than a magnificent voice wasted on mediocre material and production. Others seem to grasp for any excuse they can to praise her whenever there seems to be some kind of resurgence of her soul leanings. Most would agree that her post-mid-'70s recordings are fairly inconsequential when judged against her prime Atlantic era. The blame is often laid at the hands of unsuitable material, but it should also be remembered that -- like Elvis Presley and Ray Charles -- Franklin never thought of herself as confined to one genre. She always loved to sing straight pop songs, even if her early Atlantic records gave one the impression that her true home was earthy soul music. If for some reason she returned to straight soul shouting in the future, it's doubtful that the phase would last for more than an album or two. In the meantime, despite her lukewarm recent sales record, she's an institution, assured of the ability to draw live audiences and immense respect for the rest of her lifetime, regardless of whether there are any more triumphs on record in store. -- Richie Unterberger

Source: http://www.aretha-franklin.com/

Monday, August 18, 2008

History of the Detroit Princess Riverboat

Originally named Players Riverboat Casino II, the Detroit Princess Riverboat was built in Jennings Louisiana in 1993 for use as a gambling boat. Located on the Mississippi River in Metropolis, Illinois, the casino ran as a Merv Griffin establishment for a number of years.

Eventually, Harrah's purchased the boat and brought it to Lake Charles, Louisiana where after running as a casino for a few years, they built a larger boat and stripped all of the gaming equipment off. The boat sat idle for three years and was nearly scrapped for parts and then cut up into millions of pieces.

Shortly before Harrah's decided to scrap the boat in May of 2004, we purchased it and began the long arduous task of bringing it from Orange, Texas all the way to it's final destination, Detroit, Michigan. As the boat is too tall to travel through the upper areas of the Mississippi River, it had to be brought around Florida, up the inter coastal waterway, past Maine and Nova Scotia, through the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and then through the St. Lawrence Seaway system.

After finally arriving in Toledo, Ohio on October 14th, 2004, a complete re-fit of the boat began to make it ready to operate as a restaurant. A full kitchen with eight convection ovens, ten steam cabinets, and ten movable heater cabinets, two walk-in coolers, a fully functional dish room, and serving kitchens on each level are only a sample of the many changes which were made to the vessel.

Now servicing as many as 1800 passengers on party cruises, the Detroit Princess calls the Detroit River home! We first opened our doors on June 18th, 2005 and have had many beautiful cruises since. Come out and take a ride with us and experience it for yourself!

General Information About the Detroit Princess
Built: 1993 - Leevac Shipyard in Jennings, LA
Overall Length: 222 feet
Breadth: 62 feet
Height: 88 feet
Top Speed: 10 knots (11 mph)
Gross Tonnage: 1430 tons

Guest Capacity:
1st Deck: 500 passengers
2nd Deck: 500 passengers
3rd Deck: 350 passengers
4th Deck: 150 passengers
Total Guest capacity: 1500 passengers
*in addition, the 4th and 5th decks have large outdoor viewing areas!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Culture of Detroit

The culture of Detroit, Michigan, has been closely associated with various forms of popular music in the 20th century, notably with Motown. The city's culture has also been associated with the automobile, as well as by the large role industry plays in the city's economy.

Music and performing arts
Music has been the dominant feature of Detroit's nightlife since the late 1940s. The metropolitan area boasts two of the top live music venues in the U.S. DTE Energy Music Theatre (formerly Pine Knob) was the most attended summer venue in the U.S. in 2005 for the fifteenth consecutive year, while The Palace of Auburn Hills ranked twelfth, according to music industry source Pollstar. Detroit's major performance centers include Orchestra Hall home of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Opera House, the Fox Theatre, Masonic Temple Theatre, the Fisher Theatre, and the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Through the 1950s Detroit was a jazz center with stars of the era often came to Detroit's Black Bottom neighborhood to perform.One highlight of Detroit's musical history was Motown Records success during the 1960s and early 1970s, founded in Detroit by Berry Gordy, Jr. and home to popular recording acts including Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross & the Supremes. Also during the late 1960s, Detroiter Aretha Franklin became America's preeminent female soul artist, recording on the competing Atlantic Records label.

In the late 1960s, Metro Detroit was the epicenter for high-energy rock music with (MC5 and Iggy and the Stooges), the precursors of the punk rock movement. Rock acts from southeast Michigan that enjoyed success in the 1970s were Bob Seger, Ted Nugent & The Amboy Dukes, Alice Cooper, The Romantics and Grand Funk Railroad as well as more recent acts like Marshall Crenshaw, Kid Rock, The White Stripes, The Von Bondies and Madonna. The Detroit area is also generally accepted as the birthplace of the Techno movement, which has grown from local radio and clubs to dance venues worldwide. The three musicians most frequently credited with giving birth to Techno are Derrick May, Juan Atkins, and Kevin Saunderson. Detroit hip hop rose to prominence in the late nineties with the emergence of Eminem. Other Detroit hip-hop artists include Insane Clown Posse, Aaliyah, D12, Royce Da 5'9" Teairra Mari, Obie Trice,Trick Trick, Rock Bottom, Street Lord'z and the late Blade Icewood, Slum Village.

The Renaissance Center's Winter Garden is the site of the annual "Fash Bash", a major fashion event traditionally held in August. Coordinated by the Detroit Institute of Arts, the event features celebrities and models showcasing the latest fashion trends.

In 1991, a cultural phenomenon began among hair salons which evolved into the Detroit Hair Wars. A showcase of fantastical hair piece creations, often using human hair as the main content, has since become a national trend among African-American hair-styling tours.

Festivals and events
Detroit has three major events that are associated with the automobile industry: the North American International Auto Show (January), Society of Automotive Engineers world congress (April) and the Woodward Dream Cruise (August). Annual music events in the city include the DEMF/Movement/Fuse-In electronic music festival (May), Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival (September), and the Concert of Colors, a summer music festival. The Comerica CityFest is traditionally held in the New Center area around Independence Day.

The Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival features a fireworks display over the Detroit International Riverfront and coincides with U.S. Independence day (July 4) and Canada Day (July 1). The Tastefest and Detroit Thunder Fest hydroplane race take place in July. Detroit Fashion Week happens in August. The America's Thanksgiving Parade, originally the Hudson's Thanksgiving Day Parade, is one of the nation's largest and has been held continuously since 1924.

The day before Ash Wednesday, or the festival of Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday, is more frequently celebrated locally as "Paczki Day" by the large Polish population. Many Metro Detroiters join in the festivity by indulging in jelly-filled donuts called paczkis.

Founded in 1907 by two Russian immigrant brothers in Detroit, Faygo pop remains a Detroit tradition. Detroit was also the birthplace of Vernors ginger ale, the longest-surviving soft drink in the United States, Better Made potato chips and the Coney Island restaurant.

The Bayview Yacht Club sponsors the annual Port Huron to Mackinac Boat Race as well as a number of other regional and local regattas.

Recently added events include the Motown Winter Blast in February and the Detroit River Days celebration in June.

Black culture
The City of Detroit has had a large and thriving black community since the 1920s, when many African Americans moved to northern cities to find work in the then-booming industrial sector. This Great Migration continued through the 1960s. Paradise Valley and Black Bottom were early centers of black culture in the city, which were later leveled to build a freeway and high income apartments. By the mid-1970s, African Americans formed more than half the city's population.

Many black churches are located in the city, including the historic Second Baptist Church, which assisted runaway slaves. A monument to the Underground Railroad was erected in 2001 at Hart Plaza downtown.

The Shrine of the Black Madonna of the Pan-African Orthodox Christian Church was founded in 1953 by the Rev. Albert B. Cleage. Rev. Cleage was an influential figure in the Black Power Movement both nationally and locally. One of the churches' institutions is the Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center & Bookstore, one of the nation's oldest black-owned bookstores.
The Graystone International Jazz Museum documents
jazz in Detroit.

In 1959, Berry Gordy founded Motown Records, one of the first black-owned record labels. Over the next decade, a number of top artists, including The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, signed with the label. The company relocated to Los Angeles in 1972, but the city has seen new movements develop since then, including disco, funk, and hip hop music.

Detroit has produced a large number of black athletes. Perhaps the most legendary is Joe Louis, heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. Louis is memorialized with a sculpture of a giant fist at the intersection of Jefferson and Woodward Avenues, as well as in the name of Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit has an emerging section of hip hop artists from the inner city, such as: Blade Icewood, the Street Lord'z, Tone-Tone, Y.B.I., Trick-Trick, Big Herk, and Rock Bottom
Detroit has a reputation as one of the finest centers of soul food in Michigan, with a number of highly-regarded establishments.

Detroit-- A City on the Rise History

Detroit (pronounced /dɪˈtrɔɪt/) (French: Détroit, meaning "strait", pronounced [detʁwa] is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the seat of Wayne County. Detroit is a major port city on the Detroit River, in the Midwest region of the United States. Located north of Windsor, Ontario, Detroit is the only major U.S. city that looks south to Canada. It was founded in 1701 by the Frenchman Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.

It is known as the world's traditional automotive center — "Detroit" is a metonym for the American automobile industry — and an important source of popular music, legacies celebrated by the city's two familiar nicknames, Motor City and Motown. Other nicknames emerged in the twentieth century, including Rock City, Arsenal of Democracy (during World War II), The D, D-Town, Hockeytown, and The 3-1-3 (its telephone area code).

In 2007, Detroit ranked as the United States' eleventh most populous city, with 916,952 residents. At its peak, the city was the fourth largest in the country, but since 1950 the city has seen a major shift in its population to the suburbs.

The name Detroit sometimes refers to the Metro Detroit area, a sprawling region with a population of 4,467,592 for the Metropolitan Statistical Area, making it the nation's eleventh-largest, and a population of 5,405,918 for the nine-county Combined Statistical Area as of the 2007 Census Bureau estimates. The Detroit-Windsor area, a critical commercial link straddling the Canada-U.S. border, has a total population of about 5,700,000.

The city name comes from the Detroit River (French: l'étroit du Lac Erie), meaning the strait of Lake Erie, linking Lake Huron and Lake Erie; in the historical context, the strait included Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River. Traveling up the Detroit River on the ship Le Griffon (owned by La Salle), Father Louis Hennepin noted the north bank of the river as an ideal location for a settlement. There, in 1701, the French officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, along with 51 additional French-Canadians, founded a settlement called Fort Ponchartrain du Détroit, naming it after the comte de Pontchartrain, Minister of Marine under Louis XIV. France offered free land to attract families to Detroit, which grew to 800 people in 1765, the largest city between Montreal and New Orleans. Francois Marie Picoté, sieur de Belestre (Montreal 1719–1793) was the last French military commander at Fort Detroit (1758–1760), surrendering the fort on November 29, 1760 to the British. Detroit's city flag reflects this French heritage. (See Flag of Detroit, Michigan.)

During the French and Indian War (1760), British troops gained control and shortened the name to Detroit. Several tribes led by Chief Pontiac, an Ottawa leader, launched Pontiac's Rebellion (1763), including a siege of Fort Detroit. Partially in response to this, the British Royal Proclamation of 1763 included restrictions on white settlement in unceded Indian territories. Detroit passed to the United States under the Jay Treaty (1796). In 1805, fire destroyed most of the settlement. A river warehouse and brick chimneys of the wooden homes were the sole structures to survive.

From 1805 to 1847, Detroit was the capital of Michigan. As the city expanded, the street layout followed a plan developed by Augustus B. Woodward, Chief Justice of the Michigan Territory. Detroit fell to British troops during the War of 1812 in the Siege of Detroit, was recaptured by the United States in 1813 and incorporated as a city in 1815.

Prior to the American Civil War, the city's access to the Canadian border made it a key stop along the underground railroad. Then a Lieutenant, the future president Ulysses S. Grant was stationed in the city. His dwelling is still at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. Because of this local sentiment, many Detroiters volunteered to fight during the American Civil War, beginning with the Iron Brigade which defended Washington, D.C. early in the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying Thank God for Michigan! Following the death of President Abraham Lincoln, George Armstrong Custer delivered a eulogy to the thousands gathered near Campus Martius Park. Custer led the Michigan Brigade during the American Civil War and called them the Wolverines.

Detroit's many Gilded Age mansions and buildings arose during the late 1800s. The city was referred to as the Paris of the West for its architecture, and for Washington Boulevard, recently electrified by Thomas Edison. Strategically located along the Great Lakes waterway, Detroit emerged as a transportation hub. The city had grown steadily from the 1830s with the rise of shipping, shipbuilding, and manufacturing industries. In 1896, a thriving carriage trade prompted Henry Ford to build his first automobile in a rented workshop on Mack Avenue. In 1904 he founded the Ford Motor Company. Ford's manufacturing — and those of automotive pioneers William C. Durant, the Dodge brothers, Packard, and Walter Chrysler—reinforced Detroit's status as the world's automotive capital; it also served to encourage truck manufacturers such as Rapid and Grabowsky.

The industry spurred the city's spectacular growth during the first half of the twentieth century as it drew tens of thousands of new residents, particularly workers from the Southern United States, and became the fourth largest city in the nation. At the same time, thousands of immigrants from Europe poured into the city, adding to competition for jobs and housing. Social tensions rose with the rapid pace of growth and pressure on neighborhoods.

With the introduction of Prohibition, smugglers used the river as a major conduit for Canadian spirits, organized in large part by the notorious Purple Gang. Strained racial relations were evident in the 1920s trial of Dr. Ossian Sweet, a black Detroit physician acquitted of murder. A man died when shots were fired from Ossian's house into a threatening mob of whites who gathered to try to force him out of an all-white neighborhood.

Labor strife climaxed in the 1930s when the United Auto Workers became involved in bitter disputes with Detroit's auto manufacturers. The labor activism of those years brought notoriety to union leaders such as Jimmy Hoffa and Walter Reuther. The 1940s saw the construction of the world's first urban depressed freeway, the Davison and the industrial growth during World War II that led to Detroit's nickname as the Arsenal of Democracy.

The city faced major challenges during the war as tens of thousands of workers migrated to the city to work in the war industries. Many of these migrant workers were blacks and whites from the U.S. South. Housing was difficult to find. The color blind promotion policies of the auto plants resulted in racial tension that erupted into a full-scale riot in 1943.

Industrial consolidation during the 1950s, especially in the automobile sector, increased competition for jobs. An extensive freeway system constructed in the 1950s and 1960s had facilitated commuting. Suburban migration and racial tensions led to a textbook case of white flight, which resulted in a painful decline for many inner-city neighborhoods during the 1960s and 1970s. The Twelfth Street riot in 1967, as well as court-ordered busing accelerated white flight from the city. Commensurate with the shift of population and jobs to its suburbs, the city's tax base eroded. In the years following, Detroit's population fell from a peak of roughly 1.8 million in 1950 to about half that number today.

The gasoline crises of 1973 and 1979 impacted the U.S. auto industry as small cars from foreign makers made inroads. Heroin and crack cocaine use afflicted the city with the influence of Butch Jones, Maserati Rick, and the Chambers Brothers. Drug-related violence and property crimes rose, and abandoned homes were demolished to reduce havens for drug dealers. Sizable tracts have reverted to a form of urban prairie. Renaissance has been a perennial buzzword among city leaders, reinforced by the construction of the Renaissance Center in the late 1970s. This complex of skyscrapers, designed as a city within a city, slowed but was unable to reverse the trend of businesses leaving the city's downtown until the 1990s.

In 1980, Detroit hosted the Republican National Convention which nominated Ronald Reagan to a successful bid for President of the United States. By then, nearly three decades of white flight, crime, drug addiction, and inadequate policies had caused areas like the Elmhurst block to decay. During the 1980s, inspite of redevelopment efforts, the city's old crumbling buildings became abandoned and unsafe structures which, in turn, harbored vice and crime and encouraged those who remained to leave.

In the 1990s, the city began to enjoy a revival, much of it centered downtown. Comerica Tower at Detroit Center (1993) arose on the city skyline. In the ensuing years, three casinos opened in Detroit: MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino, which have now added permanent resorts and Greektown Casino which is scheduled to open its permanent resort at the end of 2009 . New downtown stadiums were constructed for the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions in 2000 and 2002, respectively; this put the Lions' home stadium in the city proper for the first time since 1974. The city hosted the 2005 MLB All-Star Game, 2006 Super Bowl XL, 2006 World Series and WrestleMania 23 in 2007, all which prompted many improvements to the downtown area. The city's riverfront is the focus of much development; in 2007, the first portions of the Detroit River Walk were laid, including miles of parks and fountains. This new urban development in Detroit is a mainstay in the city's earnest desire to reinvent its economic identity through tourism. Along the river, upscale million dollar condos are going up, such as Watermark Detroit, some of the most expensive the city has ever seen. Some city limit signs, particularly on the Dearborn border say "Welcome to Detroit, The Renaissance City Founded 1701."

Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) By Marvin Gaye

Dah, dah, dah, dah
dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah

Rockets, moon shots
Spend it on the have nots
Money, we make it
Fore we see it you take it

Oh, make you wanna holler
The way they do my life
Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life
This ain't livin', This ain't livin'
No, no baby, this ain't livin'
No, no, no

Inflation no chance
To increase finance
Bills pile up sky high
Send that boy off to die

Oh, make me wanna holler
The way they do my life
Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life

Dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah

Hang ups, let downs
Bad breaks, set backs
Natural fact is
I can't pay my taxes

Oh, make me wanna holler
And throw up both my hands
Yea, it makes me wanna holler
And throw up both my hands

Crime is increasingTrigger happy policing
Panic is spreading
God knows where we're heading
Oh, make me wanna holler
They don't understand

Dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah

Mother, motherEverybody thinks we're wrong
Who are they to judge us
Simply cause we wear our hair long

Detroit's Downtown

Don't Look Back Detroit, Keep on Pushing

Detroit as the Temptations hae said, we have to keep on pushing and not look back. We have to leave all our troubles behind us and look forward to a brighter future for not only the citizens of Detroit but the city of Detroit. We have to keep on walking Detroit and keep on pushing forward as we leave our past behind. Stall Tall Detroit and look for a future of Greatness as we as Detroiters strive and survive together.