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The Coat Puller

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YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST . . . Our Motown story this issue s a real scoop- The Sun has the first media report anywhere on the historic opening of the new Motown office here ... Of course, we tipped you off back in February when we asked the musical question: "Is Motown Back in Town?" Folks have been buzzing about it ever since, and now the word is finally official . . . We're proud to get the scoop, but why was it so easy? I mean, don't any of the other "news" papers want to report on Detroit's fantastic music scene, or what? I guess it doesn't fit into their image of this city as a crime-filled jungle . . . Another "scoop" that fell into our laps recently was the news of Aretha Franklin's new movie- she'll play Bessie Smith (see the Vortex) . . . Here's another: Stevie Wonder's long, long, o-awaited album is ready to hit the streets any day now (within a week or so). It's called Songs In the Key of Life and will be a double Lp plus, which means that it will have an extra little record inside with four additional songs on it. It's been delayed almost a year, and although official word at Motown has always been that a finicky Stevie Wonder just hadn't finished the record, the Coat Puller knows that unsettled details related to Stevie's new 13 million dollar contract also were a factor. Everything is fine now, and the Lp has been certified for months, with over a million orders already awaiting its release . . . Speaking of new records, the Lp that Herb Alpert produced on his A&M label for saxophonist Gato Barbieri s called Caliente and will be out momentarily . . . The new single by the I Band, "Jungle Walk," is already out on Warner Bros. . . . Detroiter Ted Nugent's new Lp on Epic, Free and Easy, will be out soon. His last album was his first , "gold" one, we are reminded . . . Speaking of Detroit folks, multi-instrumentalist Teddy Harris, trombonist Phil Ranelin and trumpet man Eddie Nucelli were at Tribe Records last week, doing tracks on the album-in-progress by the bad bassist Mr. Rod Hicks. It's called Disconnect at the Disco-Tech . . . CONGRATS DEPT.: Congratulations are in order all over the Motor City . . . To Detroit Life magazine, for a very good looking first issue focusing on the energy and the people that make the Motor City happen (look for it at your local newsstand - it's got Aretha Franklin on the cover) . . . To the Detroit Public Library and the Detroit Institute of Arts, for their successful joint Sixth Annual Open House, which had Woodward Ave. closed Sept. 1 5 as appreciative crowds went back and forth from museum to library, a double list of special features and events showing off two of the more complete cultural facilities on this continent . . . To the Detroit BiCentennial I Commission for their first issue of Promenade, which gives an interesting overview of Detroit culture (more info: 2241 776) ... To Selma, the Martin Luther King musical featuring Tommy Butler that had to be held over at  the Music Hall till Sept. 19 (go see!) . . . To James Tatum, for his well-received performance last week with the Philharmonic Orchestra in Philadelphia- Detroiter Tatum appeared in connection with the national meeting of the Opportunities Industrialization Center, and the Orchestra, under the direction of fellow Detroiter James Frazier, played Tatum's "Contemporary Jazz Mass" . . .

THE MUSIC JUST KEEPS ON COMING in three downtown outdoor sites through the month of September. Presented by the Detroit Council of the Arts, bands from classical to jazz to blues have been playing since July at lunchtime (11 :30 to 1:15) and times after office hours (5:30 to 7:30) free of charge at Harmonie Park. Kennedy Square, and St. Antoine Park. This month we'll see Tribe, the Harold McKinney Trio, Chicago Pete, Bobo Jenkins, and the Detroit Gabrieli Brass Ensemble . . . More music on Detroit 's east side now that "Ram" Torn Simmons, with help from the folks at Probity Productions, has organized a concert program at the Ramona Theater on Gratiot at 6 Mile. It jumps off Sept. 24 with saxophonist David Sanborn l and the John Payne Band . . . The best radio program you can hear currently is found Monday nights at 9 pm on 1 01 .9 FM. The station s WDET and the show is Leonard King's Full Circle . .

JUMPING AROUND TOWN . . . Vance Dennard presents the play To Lose An Angel one night only at the Masonic Temple, Sept. 16 . . . Ed Vaughn and the rest of the folks at Detroit's Pan-African Congress have a very interesting program lined up for the Black Family Day Festival at the Belle Isle Bandshell Sept. 19, 11 am to 8 pm. Games, hair-braiding demonstrations, martial arts exhibitions, drill team performances, and a spiritual unity rally are just a few of the things happening . . . Local photographers should consider the annual Michigan Photography Exhibition, which happens for the seventh time this year Nov. 8-28 at the Scarab Club, that mysterious-looking building behind the Detroit Institute of Arts. To get shown n the Exhibition you must enter between Oct. 25 and 30. Call 831-1250 for more info . . . The Grateful Dead return for a rare Detroit concert Sunday, October 3 at the Cobo Hall Arena. The Dead  you will remember, are the original San Francisco "psychedelic rock" band who made their very first appearance in the Motor City at the Grande Ballroom in. August of 1967, almost ten years ago...