Floyd Cramer 1933-1997

Just got some great news tonight! My parents just got back from a concert in Alpena, Michigan and loved it! It was called "The Legacy of Floyd Cramer" Featuring Floyd's Grandson Jason Coleman on piano. Jason plays in the famed "Cramer" style. My mother really enjoyed it as she has been a fan of Floyd's since the 50's.

I grew up hearing Floyd Cramer's music, loudly I might add on Saturday afternoons when Mom was cleaning house. My mother has a very eclectic taste in music. She'd play Buddy Morrow's Night Train, Sarah Vaughan and of course tons of other classics. Floyd Cramer's "On the Rebound" was the song I remember her playing most.

As an adult I began revisiting the songs I heard as a little kid and now they are staples on in my vast I Tunes collection. Here is "On The Rebound (live 1965)" with Chet Atkins Tell me you don't do a little chair dance to this tune!

This video of "On The Rebound" is a classic as Floyd is playing alongside the legendary Chet Atkins founder of The Nashville Sound. Bear with the poor screen quality.. the audio is good! Sadly there is not a lot of live performances on Floyd online.

Floyd Cramer passed away December 31, 1997 six months after being diagnosed with cancer. My first thought was how sad.. no one could play piano like Floyd. Who could take his place?

Until... his grandson Jason Coleman began touring with The Legacy of Floyd Cramer. Gratefully Floyd's young grandson studied with his grand dad. So Floyd's music lives on for new generations.

From HillbillyMusic.Com

Floyd Cramer
It's a rare musician who perfects a signature style on his instrument, a sound so uniquely his that it becomes instantly identifiable and widely imitated. With a professional career spanning almost 50 years, Floyd Cramer was such a rare and gifted musician, his patented note-slurring piano style is just such a sound.

Exemplified by his moody 1960 instrumental smash hit, "Last Date," Cramer's signature sound harkens back to old time country fiddle players who added excitement to their music by sliding into the proper note of a melody from a half-step off. "It's an intentional mistake, but with a quick recovery," explained Cramer.

In the mid-1950s, pioneers of the pedal steel guitar enlarged on the technique. Cramer was already one of the most popular studio and touring musicians in Nashville's country music industry by 1959, the year he translated the fiddle/steel guitar technique to piano.

It instantly became "the Floyd Cramer style," a timeless technique that lends emotional coloration to any melody and remained his musical calling card ever since.

The soft spoken instrumentalist was born on October 27, 1933, in Shreveport, Louisiana, but raised in Huttig, Arkansas, a tiny sawmill town.

His interest in music emerged early, and his parents bought Cramer his first piano when he was only five y ears old. Never much for formal training or extensive practice drills, Cramer soon realized he had an innate gift for playing by ear.

Jason Floyd Coleman was born in Nashville, Tennessee on April 2, 1985. Blessed with talent inherited from his maternal grandfather, legendary keyboardist Floyd Cramer, he has played the piano since he was barely able to reach the keys.

Over time, Jason’s playing style has progressed and matured into an uncanny reflection of the signature stylings of his Grand dad, and he currently enjoys entertaining audiences by giving new life to Floyd’s beloved music.

At age five, he began taking piano lessons and continued for the next eight years. Though this formal training was important to his musical development and complemented his innate ability to play by ear.

Throughout his school-age years, he was constantly involved in church musicals and school choirs as both a vocalist and accompanist. After high school, Jason continued his studies at the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University in Nashville. In May 2006, he graduated Magna Cum Laude, at the age of 21.

Jason began to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps at an early age, singing when he was only two years old on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry at one of Floyd’s concerts. He performed twice with Floyd on national TV: at age four, he sang while Floyd played on "Nashville Now," hosted by Ralph Emery; and as a nine-year-old, he played a memorable Christmas piano duet with his Grandad on "Music City Tonight," hosted by Lorriane Crook and Crystal Gayle.

As a solo artist, Jason has been featured in a number of local and regional concerts, festivals, and radio shows in recent years, and he has also performed for countless benefit concerts, receptions, and other events in and around Nashville.

Undoubtedly, the highlight of Jason’s burgeoning musical career occurred in May 2004, when he was given the honor of playing for the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony recognizing Floyd’s induction. It was an unforgettable performance with Jimmy Capps and the Opry Band, Hank Locklin, and Maura O'Connell, all in heartfelt tribute to his Grand dad's life and legacy.

Thank you Mom and Jason! Oh yes and thank you Mr. Cramer RIP


Last night I was teaching 2 clients on the basics of web design and photoshop. They casually mentioned Biba and Barbara Hulanicki. Honestly I did not even know the name Biba! How did I miss this one? Unbelievable...

Barbara Hulanicki

This morning early I began researching this fantastic entrepreneurial powerhouse fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki. What a story! Barbara came from a humble roots and built an empire with her passion for fashion. What I really love about Barbara is she seemed almost psychic with her choices and didn't keep up with trends, she invented them! Barbara should be a household name like Mary Quant.

The First Biba Location

Barbara Hulanicki opened the legendary Biba boutique in London in 1964. Biba stocked the "total look" in which shoes, tights, and other accessories coordinated with the clothes. Biba clothing was extremely inexpensive, which made her a big hit with young women.

Barbara Hulanicki was exasperated by the disastrous street fashion in England, her husband Fitz encouraged her to design her own clothing. Biba was born and eventually expanded into a five story art deco building, filled with rock stars and the celebrities of the 60's.

Biba Empire

Biba was a lifestyle, a total look, which housed everything from clothes and make up and much more. Her third location was a large Department Store on Kensington High St. Big Biba, became the ultimate hang out for artists, musicians and the mod scene, the Rolling Stones,David and Angela Bowie, Marianne Faithfull, Julie Christie and Twiggy were just a few celebrity devotees.

Suzi Quatro filmed a video featuring Biba. Check it out!

In the nineties Barbara arrived in Miami Beach where she designed interiors for Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones and Chris Blackwell’s Boutique Hotel Group. She is credited with the resurrection of Miami Beach’s crumbling Art Deco district.

Today she has delved back into the fashion world, designing for Coccinelle, Habitat, Graham and Brown and a clothing range for a top British Retailer.

Barbara designed for Barbie (of course)! In the fab styles of the 1960's and she along with many famed designers such as Emilio Pucci, Pierre Cardin, Christian Dior,and Yves St Laurent created the fantastic look for the original Barbies. Ruth Handler and Mattel had the marvelous idea to get hip fashion designers to dress my favorite doll. Read More on the Topic Her earlier designs reflected the youthful styles of the Mod movement, but by the late Sixties, her designs changed to the nostalgic 1930s look, with midi and maxi hemlines.

From A to Biba

Barbara Hulanicki tells the story of the rise and fall of Biba the tiny, fashion boutique that grew into a vast iconic brand that epitomized Swinging London in the 60's and beyond. The Biba store was to became the home of hip 60s and 70s London. But in the early 1970s Hulanicki and her husband Stephen Fitz-Simon lost control after a series of bitter boardroom struggles and for Barbara, Biba was lost. This lively autobiography evokes the adventurous spirit of the 1960s and describes Barbara's amazing life and career.

Related Posts on RK



Leslie Nielsen Feb 11 1926-Nov 28 2010

So sad to write this story that one of my favorite actors passed away today. Hard to believe that Leslie Nielsen was really 84 years old. Leslie seemed perpetually young too me. His energy was so light and full of great humor. Leslie had a very long and prolific career. He made over 100 films, 1,500 television programs, and portrayed over 220 characters.

Leslie Nielsen started out in Hollywood as a very serious actor. In fact he was down right terrifying in some of the films where he played the heavy. Then came the movie Airplane! where Leslie played the dead pan doctor. He was hysterically funny and the audience was not expecting him to be so funny! After that his career exploded and he became ultra famous as one of the best comic actor/comedians of our time. He was so darn funny!

Next came Naked Gun and the rest they say is comic history.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Leslie Nielsen, who went from drama to inspired bumbling as a hapless doctor in "Airplane!" and the accident-prone detective Frank Drebin in "The Naked Gun" comedies, has died. He was 84.

His agent John S. Kelly says Nielsen died Sunday at a hospital near his home in Ft. Lauderdale where he was being treated for pneumonia.

The Canadian-born Nielsen came to Hollywood in the mid-1950s after performing in 150 live television dramas in New York. With a handsome face, blond hair and 6-foot-2 height, he seemed ideal for a movie leading man.

 Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, the son of a Canadian Mounted Policeman, Nielsen spent his earliest years living near the Arctic Circle, and later served as an aerial gunner in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He quickly became known as a serious actor, although behind the camera he was a prankster. That was an aspect of his personality never exploited, however, until "Airplane!" was released in 1980 and became a huge hit. Thank you for all the laughter...RIP Mr. Nielsen we miss you already...



Liddle Kiddles!

Here is one of my first collection obsessions! Liddle Kiddles These were the coolest tiny dolls that came in bottles, necklaces, cars, and eggs. They had very cute faces with bright eyes. Just loved them. They still sell tons of these on Ebay.

Liddle Kiddles were introduced by Mattel in 1966. They were tiny dolls, ranging from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches tall, with pose-able limbs and rooted hair.

Storybook Liddle Kiddles 

Here are the different groups and the names of the dolls in each. Links go to individual pages with more info about each series/doll.

Storybook Kiddles 1967 - 1968

Produced in 1967 and 1968, here were seven storybook kiddles in all. They were all 3 1/2" tall. They all came with adorable props. I had alot of Kiddles as my Mom loved them too. My favorites though were the Storybook Kiddles and the Kola Kiddles. They had really clever cute names too. They should bring them back as demand for them has never waned.

Storybook Kiddles

Alice Wonderliddle 1968
Cinderiddle - Poor & Rich 1968
Liddle Biddle Peep 1968
Liddle Middle Muffet 1967-68
Liddle Red Riding Hiddle 1967-68
Peter Paniddle 1968
Sleeping Biddle 1968

The Tressy doll was originally invented and patented by modern furniture designer Jesse Dean and his wife, Diana. Tressy was an awesome doll!

The first doll that could grow hair and shrink back to short hair.

We all wanted a Tressy doll! Tressy had a button on her back and if you pulled her hair while pushing the button her hair would get longer.

Tressy gave Barbie some competition for 3 years

These dolls are very rare probably because they had millions of little girls yanking their hair! They weren't made quite as sturdy as Barbie so they just did make the test of time. Every now and then though I see one up on Ebay. Just looked and hey they have a bunch up there!


Radio Birdman Reunion Tour

Radio Birdman's new release, Live In Texas (Order Form), was recorded during the North American phase of the band's last world tour in June 2007. The recording is sure to be of great interest to fans as it will provide a unique glimpse into this iconic band's intense final incarnation.

The sound is stripped down and raw, bringing a return to the band's basic twin guitar attack. The line-up features original members Deniz Tek (guitar), Rob Younger (vocals) and Chris Masuak (guitar), along with long standing member Jim Dickson (bass) and drummer Russell Hopkinson.

The idea to record was initiated by the staff of Houston's Radio KPFT 90.1 FM with the intention of having a quality 'live' broadcast of the band's two Texas shows, legendary Emo's in Austin and The Meridian in Houston, available for broadcast on their regular Radio Sessions At Sugar Hill show. The ensuing care taken in the mixing at Sugar Hill finds Live In Texas sounding clear and powerful with a loose and ragged edge of a band playing with furious intensity and driving song tempos hard and fast.

Deniz Tek
The set features a balance of new and old, with songs drawn from each prior stage of the band's tumultuous existence. New cover versions appearing here include The Who's Circles, The Kinks' Til the End of the Day and the set closer, Blue Oyster Cult's Hot Rails to Hell. As a bonus the sleeve art and booklet features spectacular unreleased live photos.

Fans can also look forward to next year's ultimate reissues of the band's 70's albums. Included in these reissues will be recent mixes from original master tapes of 20 plus studio out-takes as well as a superlative 70 minutes of their historic December 1977 Paddington Town Hall concert. All tracks are previously unreleased. It is expected the music will be accompanied by a DVD of vintage footage and initially come packaged as a limited edition box set.

Track Listing: (48:14 m:s)

1. Murder City Nights (Tek)
2. We've Come So Far, To Be Here Today (Younger/Tek)
3. You Just Make It Worse (Younger/Dickson/Tek)
4. Anglo Girl Desire (Tek)
5. What Gives? (Gilbert/Tek)
6. Circles (Townsend)
7. Burned My Eye (Tek)
8. Subterfuge (Younger/Tek)
9. Die Like April (Tek)
10. Smith and Wesson Blues (Tek)
11. More Fun (Tek)
12. Til The End Of The Day (Davies)
13. Hand Of Law (Tek)
14. Locked Up (Tek)
15. I-94 (Tek)
16. Hot Rails To Hell (Bouchard)


Penny Ikinger

My friend the amazing Deniz Tek will be playing as guest guitarist with Penny Ikinger and her bandat selected shows this coming weekend:

Venue: Sandringham Hotel, King St. Newtown
Time: Sunday afternoon 28 Nov 4 - 7.30pm

Penny has just released her new album "Penelope" on Citadel Records. Deniz was closely involved with the production of this landmark album, and contributed several guitar parts. Penny's music today is a unique and unforgettable blend of hard rock, pop, and psych. It features edgy experimental instrumentation underlining a very personal vocal delivery. *

The I94 Barman reviews Penny's album HERE


See Scott on Facebook

Happy not "black Friday" folks! Hope everyone had a lovely holiday. Lesley and I had a wonderful time at my brother's new house.

Ok back to my newest adventure in rock and roll history! I am working with Scott Richardson now and what an exciting performer with a wonderful to story to tell. Today I created Scott's first venture into cyberspace. Scott is now on Facebook! I just had a blast tracking down as many images of Scott and SRC which wasn't an easy feat. I need all the SRC fans that attended their gazillion shows to post their images on Scott's page. So if you love the mystical music of this fabulous band as much as I always have, please visit Scott's new page!

Scott Richardson on Facebook


As my readers already know I am obsessed by all that is 1960's vintage. One of my favorite icons of 1960's design is the aluminum Christmas tree, featuring ornate branches made of shiny tinsel like aluminum. It think the people who invented this odd looking tree (for the time) we sick of stringing tinsel 2 strands at time and not in globs that resembled spider webs as my mom used to say..

They are a very striking gorgeous, shiny symbol of the space age and in fact on television they were called "Space Age Christmas Trees" in the commercials.

The most popular color for sale was silver, but trees in other colors were made too -- pink, red, green and blue. Today, original vintage pink aluminum trees are rare and they are very expensive on Ebay that is if you can find one.

My family never had one, we didn't like them as children. No tinsel, no lights, a few ornaments fit on these trees, boring. My Uncle Ernie had the first one in my family. I remember their tree had photos of Ski-Doo Snowmobiles on it. When I asked him why, he told me that the family received the Ski-Doos as their gift. Hard to wrap a snowmobile I guess! Ernie was always ahead of his time.

As time went on I really started to love these space age looking trees. I still do not have one as my daughter liked a more ornate style tree. We did have flocked trees in blue, white and pink. Then I did have several white artificial trees and now have a tall skinny green with multicolored lights.

Here's a fun, unique holiday outing that will make you smile and brighten your day. The Aluminum Tree & Ornament Museum (ATOM), the world's only museum dedicated to vintage aluminum Christmas trees, reopened for this holiday season, celebrating 50 years of the aluminum Christmas tree.

The History of Aluminum

Dozens of trees and thousands of ornaments are on display in whimsical themes, with displays dedicated to the Wizard of Oz, (Right up my alley!) and Elvis. Numerous color wheels and revolving tree stands from the era are interspersed with artifacts from the aluminum trees' glory years.



Friday, 26 November - George Harrison’s magnificent 1970 solo debut, All Things Must Pass, is released today in a limited-edition, numbered 180-gram vinyl set in its original 3 LP configuration, with faithfully replicated original monochromatic album art, poster and lift-top box packaging.

Mastered at Abbey Road Studios from the original analogue master tapes, the deluxe vinyl reissue commemorates the landmark album’s 40th anniversary and is available at Record Store Day participating independent music retailers across the U.S.

A strictly limited number of vinyl box sets is available for purchase at GeorgeHarrison.com, along with an exclusive All Things Must Pass Deluxe Bundle, which features a brand new “I Dig Love” t-shirt design (choice of men’s or women’s style) and collectible pin set.

Order your box set or deluxe bundle through GeorgeHarrison.com to receive a free All Things Must Pass turntable slip mat (while supplies last).

All vinyl orders ship from the US. The last day to order for holiday delivery is December 10 (international) or December 17 (US domestic).

Totally cool for your Beatles collection!



Sean Connery as James Bond 007 is perfectly captured on this high quality poster. 
Hang this James Bond 007 Poster in your decor or give a great gift to a fan.

* Ready to Frame or Display As-Is
* Measures: 24W x 36H inches
* Poster Reads: The Name's Bond...James Bond 007

* Ready to Frame or Display As-Is
* Measures 24W x 36H
* Poster Reads: The Mabuhay Gardens 443 Broadway San Francisco 

Sit back, relax and join the Rat Pack as they play pool. 
This Rat Pack Pool poster is perfect for the game room, bar, lounge or pub.
* Ready to Frame or Display As-Is
* Measures: 62W x 21H inches
* Poster Reads: The Rat Pack



I hope you all have the most wonderful holiday. I am so grateful for all the love and support of my readers over the past two years and beyond. It was so lovely to meet so many of my readers at events I covered this year.

I love this blog so much and enjoy the lives that it touches. For your support and kindness I am forever grateful xxoo KIM

I leave you with a Retro favorite tune...Ladies and Gentlemen straight from youtube I give you SAM AND DAVE


BEBE Buell

From Publisher's Weekly:
 High-spirited teenager Bebe Buell didn't want to stay home in Virginia in the early 1970s; she knew she was destined for a faster paced life. After graduating from high school, she ran away to Virginia Beach to escape her father's strict military discipline. She returned home, but, with her mother's support, soon moved to New York and became a moderately successful Eileen Ford model.

However, even more appealing to Bebe was the world of rock music. She became a groupie of sorts hanging out with Todd Rundgren, Andy Warhol and Iggy Pop. (She's said to have provided some of the inspiration for Kate Hudson's character in Almost Famous.)

In addition to Bebe's sexual exploits with celebrities (the list is long; highlights include David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Rod Stewart), she served as a muse and actual wordsmith, recording with the Cars in 1980: "I was never on a quest for sex itself. In fact, to me, it's the hardest part of a relationship. I was always on a quest for rock 'n' roll."

As I love to read retro fabulous books about the rock generation I began reading this book for inspiration for future blog posts. Love biographies, especially from brilliant artistic women of history.

Of this genre my favorite book of all is "I know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou. A true story on Maya's life in poverty and eventual stardom in the arts. Maya knew why the cage bird sang.. Maya left her cage and I left mine behind too. Not an easy feat.

I picked up Bebe Buell's autobiography "Rebel Heart" to read Monday. I found this book very unnerving. On many different levels this book angered me. It is tough being a woman in business. This is where a strong belief in yourself and a good base in ethics is necessary.

After reading her book I felt that Ms Buell never quite figured out that she was stuck in a proverbial tar pit of poor choices. I wish she had met my wonderful therapist.


I really felt angry and wanting to scream at Bebe and then after sleeping on it I felt differently. I felt sadness for what seemed to me a rudderless existence. Closing the book I was left feeling that after all the drama, pain, tears and confusion described in detail, all that was left was a traumatized girl still looking for an unconditional love. Sadness inevitably followed.

It angered me that her ghost writer did not edit this book into something more self protective. Honest yes, painfully so. I cringed continually while reading it. Yes Bebe was a successful fashion model and I do give her credit for that work.

Not that my opinion matters. I felt sorry for her in that she never seemed to get the reality of what really matters... raising a well adjusted child. Her daughter was well cared for as stated in her book by her cousin Annie, Bebe's mother and Todd Rundgren. Bebe states she never missed a holiday.

As a single working mom I gave up my show biz job and settled down with a 8-5pm day job to give my daughter stability and a nice home life. I felt a combination of sympathy for Ms Buell and distaste for her actions if they are all true as written.
Over 150 reviews of this book on Amazon convey reader's opinions in more depth than I can share on this blog. I really was upset by this book and as such felt a need to work through it.
They say beauty can be a curse and this book absolutely confirms that...



Boxer Max Baer with Harry Bennett photo: T. Dewald

The most exciting thing about being a blogger is the tons of emails and comments I receive from my readers. Imagine my great delight when I received an email from Harry Bennett's grandson Skip. He wrote to me and we exchanged messages. I just had to share them with the many other readers who like me are totally into learning more about this larger than life man. I did talk with Skip on the phone as he resides very far away. I just listened mesmerized to Skip telling the history of Harry Bennett and his family. Thank you SKIP! Kim

One quick thing Skip told me: Harry never had Tigers in cages inside the Castle. He did have two retired Circus Lions! Not quite as scary as the hushed conversations on the wild beasts roaming the grounds of the Castle...

Hi Kim,
Its nice to meet you. My grandfather Harry Bennett was all that you have probably heard but some of the stories have been a little exaggerated over the years but by no means was he someone who anybody wanted to cross.

I got the chance to know him as i grew up in California, every year my mother and father would take us kids to see our grandfather who was at that time living in Palm Springs retired.

He never much talked about the past with us...but my dad (who is still living) was Harry's right hand man and took care of the horses that were kept on the island across from the castle before he married my mom, Billie Bennett one of Harry's 4 daughters.

So over the years they(mom and dad) verified the stories and I could sometimes ask my granddad about the insensitive stories, but it was always Taboo to talk about the tough stuff and I didn't start finding out about the tuff stuff until I was older so I started to get a different picture of my granddad as I started to read up and check for myself.

My dad was so close to him he knew a lot of the dirt and truths about most the stories and was always kind of afraid to tell, but did anyway.

Harry Bennett's Pagoda House on Grosse Ile Michigan

I have seen the Pagoda house from the land and water, if my memory serves me there was a tunnel years ago in that home also. It has a boat garage that accesses the lake and my dad and uncles worked on this home during the construction.

My dad's name is Harold, my uncle that is still living in Michigan is Edward, and there is a gentleman who for sometime has been writing a book about Harry Bennett his name is Thomas Dewald.

This man has a lot of the true information about the life and times of Harry Bennett. He has interviewed all of us and everybody that Harry knew that would talk to him .

One of the best stories, well I guess truths that I have discovered are that Henry Ford himself was as accountable as my grandfather for all the stories that are out there, it just was never going to come out in the media at that time,

Henry Ford was a demigod and he was getting too old to cover for my granddad somebody had to be the fall guy, only Henry Ford and my granddad were the only 2 that knew the real truth.

Why do you think my granddad never went to jail at the end? Nobody wanted the Ford name tarnished in the slightest. They did summon him back from California but never made anything stick, he went away quietly.

Don't get me wrong I'm not on a soap box about my granddad he was a bad man and had bad things done, my point is he had no back up other than Henry Ford (another bad man) himself. When Ford's health declined my grandfather only had Henry Ford to vouch for him everybody else sold him out and rightfully so. Again

I am not defending Harry Bennett and I have no proof other than I believe my dad and mom, I am just stating things I found out along the way from the people who were so close, closer than anybody. I hope this intrigued you a little and we can talk again if you like.

Yours truly,
Skip) Harry Angellotti
yes i was named after my grandfather....and his nic name was Skipper.

Second Letter

Hey Kim,

I am glad you took an interest in my grandfather, and as a matter of fact his taste in architecture and the things he furnished his homes with are what intrigued me at an early age also. I was born in 1951 I'm 59 years old.

My grandfather had a flair for the asian style as I do (I guess Igot it from him) even in his non-asian homes he had many statues and artifacts from Japan, bronze, ivory, jade. etc. One of my most favorite was a full size antique rickshaw converted into a movable bar in his dining room in Palm Springs.

The seats and foot area were converted to bottle holders and glass holders, you could actually pick up the handles and move it where ever the party was, the wheels rolled very smoothly and it was painted unbelievably ornate. I have no pictures of the pagoda house but it had to really be something in its hey day.

And I believe he only had one cabin (if you want to call them cabins) off Geddes rd. As far as being afraid of any one coming for him,I never saw that in him during the time I knew him. He was like a king in Palm Springs when ever we all went to dinner it was like we were with royalty.

I think the days if being worried about someone coming after him died with his exit from Ford Motor Co. I do believe there were other people more worried about him sending someone for them after the fact.

My favorite story of my grandfather is how Henry Ford discovered him and took a liking to him. My grandfather was a sailor and Henry Ford and William R. Hurst (as the story goes) were near the docks and from a distance were witnessing a dock strike and my grandfather happened by and was asked by the to men if he thought he could go down there with his buddy and break things up for 100 bucks and of course he took the challenge and the rest was history. He later applied for a job with Ford Motor Co. and already had an in by what had happened at the docks. Hope you like this stuff, we will talk again soon

NEW* Video Tour of the Castle!
1984 Photos of the Castle
Harry Bennett's Lodge HERE
Harry Bennett's Castle HERE
The Rise and Fall of Harry Bennett HERE


Brett Callwood to Discuss MC5: Sonically Speaking

Brett Callwood to discuss MC5: Sonically Speaking

Brett Callwood, music journalist and frequent contributor to the Detroit Metro Times, will be at the Ann Arbor Downtown Library on Wednesday, December 1, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. to discuss the North American release of MC5 Sonically Speaking: This is the story of my favorite Rebel Band of all time The Legendary MC5 (Motorcity 5).

The Beginning of the MC5
The authorized biography of the kickass Motor City 5. Brett's book is a compelling read that includes lots of interviews with surviving band members and quotes from many friends and associates of the band.

The 5 in Action photo: Robert Matheu
The book covers the 5's history from it's original roots downriver in Lincoln Park MI and takes them across America and around around the globe. Their massive influence over the thousands of bands that have followed is enormous. Dennis gets a huge amount of fan mail from young music from every country as you can imagine. Not proto-punk (what does that mean??) rockers, but in my opinion they are the zen masters of rock.

DKT/MC5 tour with guests Mark Arm and Deniz Tek (BRAZIL)
The MC5 were together for just 7 years in one of the most difficult times in American history. It must have been so tough to be so young and know that their music could bring about true change in America what a legacy! Change did ultimately follow. (Listening Rock Hall of Fame???)

The 5 infused improvisation and jazz into their music long before any other rock band. The 5 were heavily influenced by the jazz masters, Motown musicians such as the Funk Brothers and of course THE WHO. Of course countless others. They loved Sun Ra and Sun Ra loved them!

This had to be a tough story to write and Brett did a very good job considering he is so young and from England. After reading the book I felt this is great writing and a rare peak behind the scenes of a such dynamic band. All in all I think that every 5 fan will enjoy MC5- Sonically Speaking and I am happy to stock it in my Amazon Store.

I have spent countless hours collaborating with my dear friend Dennis Thompson on his blog and learned so much about his life from his own perspective and it is a fascinating ongoing story. Also I am grateful to have worked a bit with Michael Davis on his blog too. They are very different men but oh what a high performance team they became. Rob Tyner(RIP), Fred Sonic Smith (RIP) Dennis Thompson, Wayne Kramer, and Michael Davis.

I just want to add one thing! To their spouses, families and girlfriends over the years that made those fantastic stage costumes and stayed mainly behind the scenes. I wish to yell a giant THANK YOU! Without their contributions the 5 would never have been so stylish and cool! Also a big shout out to Brother JC Crawford because we are all still TESTIFYING!

Scott Morgan legendary musician, Emcee Stanley T. Madhatter, and I will be at the Ann Arbor Downtown District Library to support Brett and his book and to keep the legacy alive of this fantastic band of very talented musicians THE MC5! KOTJMF!


Author Brett Callwood Discusses His Book MC5: Sonically Speaking A Tale Of Revolution And Rock 'N' Roll Wednesday December 1, 2010: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room
Directions to the Library HERE

This event includes Brett signing and books will be available for sale. Or bring your copy (I am!)

My pal Carlton of Easy Action Records has the most excellent box set of the MC5 music which he graciously sent me for review last Christmas. What a gorgeous gift and a must have for the MC5 fans everywhere and a great education for the thousands of new fans that discover the MC5 too.

Read more on the 5:

Machinegun Thompson's Blog

Backstory: Kick Out the Jams Pt 1 by Dennis Thompson

Lincoln Park: 1968 Riot in Chicago by Dennis Thompson

Motorcity's Burning by Dennis Thompson

Michael Davis: History of the MC5 Interview

Fred Sonic Smith MC5 Man of Mystery by Dennis Thompson

Rob Tyner The MC5 Legend by Dennis Thompson



Mique Burnett-Craig RIP 1944- 2010

Can't remember who introduced me to Mique but the first recollection I have is meeting at one of her hair shoppes on Huron St at First in Downtown Ann Arbor. Some beauty school teachers had used me in a big hair show at Hudson's Department Store. They absolutely FRIED my hair to bits. It made me sick how horrible my hair looked and felt. Of course I had NO photos taken during that time.

Someone sent me to meet Mique as she was the one hair dresser who could save my hair. Off to Mique's I went... Loved the energy in her shoppe. Back in the day we smoked and drank while getting our hair done! Loud rock music blasted out of her big speakers and it was a party getting your hair done.

After one of my appointments Mique invited me to one of her annual April Fool's Day parties.
at the Road House near Whitmore Lake. Sonic's Rendezvous Band used to play frequently. The Rockets used to play there too and lots of other bands from the area as well.

Scott Morgan says that Mique was an Ann Arbor institution and she and Scott had lots of friends in common. Mique was lots of fun and was very supportive of the rock n roll scene and the bands from our area. Scott and Maureen went out to see Mique recently and chatted about old times and the fun we all had back in the 70's

A Traditional Farewell will be held 11 AM Monday, November 22, 2010 at Borek Jennings Funeral Home, Hamburg Chapel. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery. The family will gather with friends on Sunday 5-8 PM at the Funeral Home. Please leave a Message of Comfort to Mique's family by calling 877-231-7900 or visit her guestbook at www.borekjennings.com.

Mique LaRue Elkins-Burnette-Craig
Ann Arbor, MI

RIP Mique party on!


Otis Redding’s legendary status was due to his absolutely hot hot hot live performances. Otis was the most intense performer of the 1960's, Not even, James Brown, Little Richard, The Motown crowd and Jimi Hendrix could touch Otis Redding on stage!

Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix were both on the infamous Monterey Pop Festival bill. Otis lit up the audience with the intensity of his 20-minute performance and not by burning or smashing the band instruments.

On Dec. 10, 1967, a plane carrying Redding, his five-member band and the pilot crashed into icy Lake Monona on its way to two shows at a Madison Wisconsin nightclub.

The sole survivor of the plane crash, musician Ben Cauley, was rescued from the water after clinging to the wreckage for about 20 minutes.

Redding was just 26, Cauley, 20, when their plane crashed with five others on board. Cauley said he tried to save Redding, but couldn't.

"The plane was sinking right," recalled Cauley. "The waves was pushing me back when I was trying to get to him." Cauley said that the water was so cold that night that he started to go under. That's when a man pulled him out of the water. He didn't know until he boarded the rescue boat that he was the sole survivor. So sad for Ben to lose his friends and bandmates.

“Dock Of The Bay,” his only number one hit, was recorded a mere three days before his death on December 10, 1967. Released after his death, “Dock of the Bay” not only was his only Billboard Number One hit, it is also reported to be the first posthumous song to top the Billboard charts. Otis Redding was born in the small town of Dawson, Georgia.

At the age of 5, he moved with his family to Macon, Georgia. I lived near Macon at FT. Benning/Columbus GA. Some of my earliest memories of Otis Reddings' music were, "Respect" "Try a Little Tenderness", "These Arms of Mine", "Love Man" and "(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay" Full Bio Here


Dean Martin laughing...

Oh how I loved the Dean Martin TV show! My Mom loved it too so we often watched it together. You never knew what might happen on Dean's show. We especially loved Dean with Bob Newhart!

Dean loved golf more than work so in Dean's daughter Deana's book she spoke of how her Dad didn't rehearse on his show. He would show up and just wing it! OMG was it funny. When Dean loved another funny performer is was absolutely real when Dean cracked up with laughter.


Ernie Kovacs 1919-1962

 Legendary innovative television comedian, the epitaph on his grave marker reads "Nothing in Moderation." He is best remembered for creating many of the camera gags and camera techniques that are common today, influencing and inspiring such later shows as Laugh-In, Saturday Night Live, The Today Show, and television hosts like Johnny Carson and David Letterman. See the Map of the accident location

Headline After the Accident

During a rainstorm, he lost control of the car on a curve, and hit a telephone pole. Police found an unlit cigar just out of reach of his arm, and theorized that he lost control while trying to reach for the cigar. When Kovacs died, he owed the US Government several hundred thousand dollars in back taxes (he believed the tax system was unfair, and refused to file his taxes in protest).

Ernie's 1962 Chevrolet Corvair

William Frawley 1887-1966

William Frawley dropped dead on the street of a heart attack in 1966. Frawley, who had played neighbor 'Fred Mertz' in the classic TV show "I Love Lucy" (and 'Bub' on "My Three Sons") had been out to see a movie, and collapsed on his way back. Frawley attended a movie with a "male nurse" and on his way home he dropped dead near the Knickerbocker Hotel. His "nurse" managed to get him into the lobby of the Hotel but they were unable to resuscitate him. The corner where Frawley died was Hollywood Blvd and Ivar Avenue: See Map Here

By almost all accounts, William Frawley's off-screen personality was not all that much different from his on-screen one. A notorious misanthrope, with one brief failed marriage behind him and a fondness for the bottle, he lived in the same spare bachelor apartment for most of his years in Hollywood. Fred You Sexy Thing video is a HOOT!

Lenny Bruce (Leonard Alfred Schneider) 1925-1966

American stand-up comedian and unbelievably brilliant satirist, who invented controversal humor due to his use of so-called 'dirty words' in his nightclub comedy act. Bruce's dark humor and largely improvised shows often pushed the envelope of what was in 1960s thought of as respectable. Bruce's performances, bravery at breaking the norm, influenced many many comedians to follow.

In his later life, Bruce became addicted to heroin. In 1963 he was found guilty of illegal possession of drugs. Bruce died of an overdose on August 3, 1966, in his home located at 8825 W. Hollywood Boulevard, West Hollywood: See the Map Lenny Bruce on Find a Death 

Nick Adams Born Nicholas Adamschock to a coal-mining family in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, on July 10, 1931, Nick Adams' early life was hard-scrabble, as it was with many Depression-era families. Adams made his motion picture debut in the Warner Bros. western Strange Lady in Town (1955; with Greer Garson and Dana Andrews) and followed this up by landing a role in Mister Roberts (1955; with Henry Fonda), a strong beginning for his career.

He continued this streak in Rebel Without a Cause (1955; with James Dean) and Our Miss Brooks (1956; with Eve Arden). After a slew of movie roles and appearances on television, Adams was cast in the lead role in the ABC television western The Rebel (1959-1961). A total of 78 episodes were shot before ABC pulled the plug on the show in 1961.

2126 El Roble Lane, West Los Angeles: the home where Nick Adams (star of TV's "The Rebel") died of an apparent overdose in 1968. However, there were no open pill bottles, needles, or any other drug-related items found at the scene, so his death remains something of a mystery. Read the Mysterious Death of Nick Adams. See Map of his Beverly Hills Home Where The Stars Died Website Find A Death Read More on RK Who Killed Bobby Fuller? Supreme Loss Flo Ballard Story Patsy Cline's Plane Crash Sam Cooke Death at the Hacienda Hotel Marilyn Monroe Found Dead
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