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Posts of interest to local history buffs, written by local history buffs!

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AADL Talks to George Pomey

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 4:25pm


Local businessman and community leader George Pomey was a member of the illustrious [|1964 and 1965 Michigan Wolverine Basketball teams] that won back-to-back Big Ten titles, and took Michigan to the NCAA Tournaments. This March, he sat down and talked about those glory days.

Pomey remembered clearly his recruiting trip to Ann Arbor along with another teammate from his high school in Illinois; his warm relationships with his Wolverine coaches and teammates throughout his playing career; and their friendship over the years (they still have frequent reunions!). He also remembered the comparatively "primitive" sports facilities; playing to the capacity crowds at [|Yost Fieldhouse]; his brief coaching and radio/television broadcasting experience after graduation; and his continued involvement with Michigan sports.

On March 16, 1965 Pomey and Teammate Larry Tregoning were named 2nd team Big Ten all Academic, Pomey talked about the tough schedule for athletes, and his admiration for the current Wolverine team.

Pomey also brought along these [|photos] from the scrapbook his mother kept.

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AADL_Talks_To-George_Pomey.mp3 24.8 MB

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Going to the PowWow?

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 10:37am


If this weekend's [|Dance For Mother Earth Pow Wow] inspires you, check out the CD [b:1263970|More Kid's Pow Wow Songs]. The Library also has many other [|recordings of Native American music].

You can read a story about a young Jingle Dancer in [b:1167236|this book] by Cynthia Leitich Smith. Or, try the photo essay, [b:1084532|Pow Wow] by George Ancona, and [b:1154775|Pow Wow: A Good Day to Dance] by Jacqueline Dembar Greene.

[b:1212970|Cloudwalker; Contemporary Native American Stories] is a collection of six short stories about modern Native American children's lives and how they blend traditional Native culture with mainstream American culture. [b:1204281|Children of Native America Today] is a photo essay featuring 25 of the more than 500 native cultures of the U.S. as well as a section on urban Indians.

This year's Dance For Mother Earth is the 40th annual Pow Wow at U.M. Here's a [|link] to articles and photographs from past Pow Wows.

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Michigan Basketball & The Cazzie Years

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 8:38am

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[|Read all about it]! The University of Michigan Wolverines are in the thick of the NCAA’s annual contest to name the No. 1 men’s college basketball team. To celebrate this annual hoopla, the Ann Arbor District Library is offering an opportunity to turn back the clock and experience the triumphs of an earlier Wolverine team, the 1963 ~ 1966 squad. The ups and downs of the three-time Big Ten champions was chronicled in the Ann Arbor News, especially in the passionate reporting of Wayne DeNeff. These [|photos and articles] are available online through the Old News site, presenting the dramatic story of a great team.

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Philip A. Duey and the Original "Go Blue!"

Thu, 03/15/2012 - 8:19pm


Michigan's heading to the Big Dance this month and "Let's Go Blue" will be heard throughout the land as the Wolverines do battle in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. But there's an earlier fight song composed by the highly acclaimed [|Men's Glee Club] director Philip A. Duey that, according to the Ann Arbor News, wowed them at the premiere on Saturday, April 2, 1966. Duey got out of bed at 3 a.m. just a few days before the concert and "went to his piano and composed the words and music for the new song in two hours." Professor Duey and "Go Blue!" received a standing ovation and Duey was "besieged by congratulatory phone call and letters."

We've digitized a selection of Ann Arbor News articles on Dr. Duey who served as director of the Men's Glee Club from 1947 to 1969 and transformed the UMMGC into an internationally-renowned organization. AADL has a [|recording] of Duey's "Go Blue!" by the Men's Glee Club. [|Listen to an excerpt here]. Want to perform your own version? We've got the [|sheet music] in our reference collection.

Here are the lyrics to the original Go Blue! A bit more of a tongue-twister but maybe the magic of the Cazzie Russell years will rub off on the 2012 team if we all sing it together. Check out our [|Old News Feature] on the Michigan Men's Basketball glory years of 1963 ~ 1966 as they marched to three consecutive Big 10 championships and three memorable trips to the Big Dance. We've digitzed articles on the Bloody Nose Kids. Why the nickname? Find out in [|our podcast with George Pomey], a starter in those magical years who went on to coach for the Wolverines and do color commentary at the games. He's Blue through and through.

Go Blue! by Philip A. Duey

In old Ann Arbor town there are men of great renown,
They are ever out to fight and win the game.

On the court or on the field,
There's a will to never yield,
And to bring our Alma Mater ev'ry fame.

Here's a university whose name will ever be,
The greatest and the fairest in the land.

And we praise her far and near,
With our voices strong and clear,
For we know, where ever we go,
That none with her may stand.


Go Blue! Let's go, Blue!
We're here to cheer for you.

Go Blue! Let's go, Blue!
No matter what the others have got,
They'll never come up to you.

Go Blue! Let's go, Blue!
We're here to cheer for you.

M-I-C-H-I-G-A-N Michigan!
Go Blue!

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This weekend is the 40th Dance for Mother Earth Powwow

Mon, 03/12/2012 - 11:59am


Ann Arbor's [|Dance for Mother Earth Powwow] celebrates its 40th anniversary this weekend at Pioneer High School. The Powwow, hosted by the U-M Native American Student Association (NASA), is one of the largest university powwows in the nation. We've added to [|Oldnews] some of the [|articles and photographs from past powwows] that we found in our Ann Arbor News archive.

Grand entry is at noon and 7:00 p.m. Saturday, March 17, and noon on Sunday, March 18. Learn [|what to expect] if you're a first-time attendee. For more information, visit [|].

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AADL Talks To Wayne Kramer

Thu, 03/08/2012 - 2:05pm

While he was in town for the 40th anniversary of the John Sinclair Freedom Rally, Wayne Kramer, lead guitarist and co-founder of the seminal Detroit/Ann Arbor band, MC5, sat down to talk with us. Wayne discusses the early years of the band and the influence of jazz, Sinclair, and Detroit culture on their music. He also talks about his troubles in the years following the band's dissolution; his current work with Jail Guitar Doors and fondly recalls the concerts in West Park.

Read more about Wayne Kramer and the MC5 at and

Photo by Robert Matheu

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AADL_Talks_To-Wayne_Kramer.mp3 24.8 MB

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Culture Jamming: A Long View Back - A Panel Discussion With John Sinclair, Leni Sinclair, Pun Plamondon, David Fenton, and Genie Parker

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 2:35pm

On December 10, 2011, the 40th anniversary of the John Sinclair Freedom Rally, AADL invited former White Panther Party and Rainbow People's Party members John Sinclair, Leni Sinclair, Pun Plamondon, David Fenton, and Genie Parker to the Michigan Union for a panel discussion moderated by Professor Bruce Conforth of the University of Michigan Program in American Culture. These five panelists, central to the actions and ideals surrounding Ann Arbor's late-1960s counter-culture, reflect on what they called their "total assault on culture" during the late 1960s and early 1970s - what worked, what didn't, and what it means today.
View the video here or in other formats.

Photograph courtesy of Barbara Weinberg Barefield.
(Click image for a larger view.)

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Michael Davis, MC5 bassist, dies at 68

Mon, 02/20/2012 - 11:23am


Michael Davis, bassist for the seminal 1960s band, [a:MC5], [|died last Friday of liver failure]. The MC5's time in Ann Arbor as the propaganda wing for the [w:White Panther Party] under the management of radical poet and activist, John Sinclair, is documented in essays, interviews, and news articles at [|]. You can learn more about Davis and the MC5 in author Brett Callwood's 2010 book, [|MC5: Sonically Speaking, a Tale of Revolution and Rock 'n Roll] (we also have an [|interview with Callwood] from 2010) and [|read a tribute to Davis] at The band's legacy is perhaps most memorably captured in the timeless [|photography of Leni Sinclair].

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Ann Arbor Film Festival Archive

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 1:21pm


In celebration of the [|Ann Arbor Film Festival's 50th year], AADL has partnered with the AAFF to launch the [|Ann Arbor Film Festival Archive], an online collection of the Festival's history. Here you can browse through [|past programs] or [|flyers and posters] reaching back to the Festival's origins in 1963. The site also includes [|photographs], [|historical newspaper articles] from the Ann Arbor News and Ann Arbor Sun, and [|interviews]. (Look for additional interviews with past festival directors and visiting filmmakers to appear leading up to and following the 50th anniversary.)

If you have AAFF documents you would like to share - in particular, any from the few seasons we're currently missing - please [|contact us]!

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Celebrate 50 Years of the Ann Arbor Film Festival!

Wed, 02/01/2012 - 8:50am


Friday, February 3, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Join Ann Arbor Film Festival executive director, Donald Harrison, and other voices from the Festival's past, this Friday evening as we [|celebrate the Festival's 50th anniversary with the launch the Ann Arbor Film Festival Archive]. On the eve of [|the 50th anniversary of the AAFF], Donald will present some behind-the-scenes stories from the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America. AADL staff will also offer a sneak peek into Ann Arbor Film Festival Archive, which launches that night. This website will provide access to historical Festival programs, flyers, posters, photographs, articles from the Ann Arbor News and Ann Arbor Sun, and other documents from the Festival's past. Light refreshments will be served.