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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for April 2021: Martin interviews Michael Hurtt, co-author of Mind Over Matter: The Myths and Mysteries of Detroit’s Fortune Records.

Mon, 04/05/2021 - 8:50am

The wife and husband team of Devora and Jack Brown formed Fortune Records in 1946. Much like Sam Phillips did with Sun Records in Memphis, the fiercely independent Browns did everything in-house in Detroit.

The now legendary label self-recorded and released stacks of brilliant records. From its early days of pressing big-band and polka records, through its transition into R&B, blues, gospel, rockabilly and country, Fortune laid the groundwork for Motown and other more prominent Detroit imprints. While its releases sputtered out by the early ‘70s, and the company completely folded in the 1980s, record collectors from across the globe still seek out Fortune’s impressive and wildly eclectic discography of vinyl.

A hefty new book, Mind Over Matter: The Myths & Mysteries of Detroit's Fortune Records, by Michael Hurtt and the late Billy Miller, chronicles the entire history of this blue-collar label and humble storefront studio. Over 576 pages, this deluxe, full-color hardcover tome is essential for anyone interested in obscure but astounding records.

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Nerd Nite #72 - Exploring Nonconformity Through Graphic Novels

Mon, 02/15/2021 - 3:16pm

I used to think that comics were about stereotypical heroes who saved the day in spandex and capes. Then I discovered graphic novels, a more “niche” category of comic books that often defy traditional storytelling and explore unique perspectives: From quirky girls who hunt monsters at summer camp to badass lady-warriors who defend their castle with care and compassion, rather than with violence. I want to highlight some of these stories that rebel in their nonconformity, and how we can embody that in our everyday lives.

About Julie Cruz: Julie Cruz has lived in Ann Arbor for 8 years, but is a New Yorker at heart. Even though she has only visited twice. You may have seen her speeding past you on the street on her lime-green racing bike, flower-patterned leggings, and bright yellow backpack. She makes her living as a UX designer for a local startup, and does some writing on the side. Follow her on Twitter at @julieoncruise or check out her work at bit.ly/juliecruz.

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 5 - Carol E. Anderson

Wed, 11/18/2020 - 4:00pm

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ Elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we get to know Ann Arbor's own Carol E. Anderson. You will hear about her experiences growing up in a fundamentalist Baptist home, what it was like to live in Ann Arbor during the freewheeling 70's , and how to make your relationship last. Due to adult situations and language, viewer discretion is advised. This is the Gayest Generation.

We want to give a special thank you to Carol for speaking with us. Be sure to check out her memoir, "You Can't Buy Love Like That: Growing Up Gay in the Sixties."

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 4 - Maxi Chanel

Wed, 10/14/2020 - 1:38pm

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ Elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we get to know Washtenaw County drag legend Maxi Chanel. We’ll hear about her experiences growing up in Nigeria, what it was like to be a part of Ann Arbor’s soon-to-be-forgotten gay club scene, and the purpose of drag, which is all the more important during these grim times. Due to adult situations and language, viewer discretion is advised. This is the Gayest Generation.

We want to give a special shout out to Maxi Chanel and the Boylesque drag troupe. To keep up with their events, be sure to follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/boylesque.michigan.

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 3 - Bob Enszer and Rick Farrand

Fri, 09/25/2020 - 10:06am

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ Elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we sit down with Bob Enszer and Rick Farrand. We’ll hear about what it is like to be a closeted parent raising a lesbian child, the magic of falling in love later in life, and how small town communities came together to support those suffering with HIV/AIDS. Due to adult situations and language, viewer discretion is advised. This is the Gayest Generation.

Special thanks to Bob and Rick, as well as everyone who makes The Gayest Generation a reality. 

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 2 - Randy Hasso

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 9:07am

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ Elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we speak with Randy Hasso. He shares his experiences in Tunisia as a member of the Peace Corps, growing up on a pickle farm, and what it was like to care for AIDS patients in small town America during a time where even the President wouldn’t say the word AIDS publicly. Due to adult language and situations, viewer discretion is advised. This is the Gayest Generation.

This episode features the following music:
Prospects by Chris Juergenson

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 1 - Pat Buerkel

Thu, 08/13/2020 - 11:25am

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where hear LGBTQ elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where silence has lived for far too long. What if who we call The Greatest Generation, also happens to be the gayest?

In this episode, we speak with Pat Buerkel. She shares her experiences working on the line at GM in the 70’s, her lifelong friendship with a transgender trailblazer, and crossing “going to jail” off her bucket list. Viewer discretion, due to adult language and situations, is advised. This is The Gayest Generation.

This episode features the following music:

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AADL Productions Podcast: Lola Jones and Carol Gibson

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 1:03pm

Lola Jones and Carol Gibson are well-known to anyone familiar with Ann Arbor history. Over the past 30 years they have sought out and documented the history of the African American experience in Ann Arbor through a series of projects under the moniker Another Ann Arbor; it is largely through their work that the Ann Arbor African American story is a part of our shared community identity. Lola and Carol stopped by the library to talk with us one day about the work they have done over the years and where they are headed next. They shared with us some of the interesting people and events they have learned about and brought to the community in their television program, their documentaries, and their book. You can now watch one of their documentaries online at aadl.org in our video collection. A Woman's Town was produced in 1991 and tells the story of Ann Arbor through the voices of prominent African American women.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for February 2020: Martin interviews Jeff Guinn, author of The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison's Ten-Year Road Trip

Fri, 01/31/2020 - 12:51pm

Jeff's book tells the fascinating story of two American giants—Henry Ford and Thomas Edison—whose annual summer sojourns introduced the road trip to our culture and made the automobile an essential part of modern life, even as their own relationship altered dramatically.

In 1914 Henry Ford and naturalist John Burroughs visited Thomas Edison in Florida and toured the Everglades. The following year Ford, Edison, and tire maker Harvey Firestone joined together on a summer camping trip and decided to call themselves the Vagabonds. They would continue their summer road trips until 1925, when they announced that their fame made it too difficult for them to carry on.

Although the Vagabonds traveled with an entourage of chefs, butlers, and others, this elite fraternity also had a serious purpose: to examine the conditions of America’s roadways and improve the practicality of automobile travel. Cars were unreliable and the roads were even worse. But newspaper coverage of these trips was extensive, and as cars and roads improved, the summer trip by automobile soon became a desired element of American life.

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Author Event | Ebony Roberts: The Love Prison Made and Unmade: My Story

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 8:05am

Author Ebony Roberts is joined by Ashley Lucas, Director of the Prison Creative Arts Project at the University of Michigan, for a discussion of Ebony's new memoir, The Love Prison Made and Unmade: My Story. As a little girl growing up in Detroit, Ebony witnessed her parents’ brutal physical fights, often fueled by her father’s alcoholism. Her experiences as a child shaped her views on love and set the pattern for her future romantic relationships. She found herself drawn to men who cheated; verbally abused her; and disappointed her. 

When she met Shaka Senghor, a man in prison for second-degree murder, she felt an intense spiritual connection, but struggled with the idea that this man behind bars could be the love God had for her. Ultimately she ignored other people’s fears and took a chance. Through letters and visits, they fell deeply in love. Once Shaka came home, they thought the worst was behind them, but Shaka’s release was the beginning of the end.

The Love Prison Made and Unmade is heartfelt. It reveals powerful lessons about love, sacrifice, courage, and forgiveness; of living your highest principles and learning not to judge someone by their worst acts. Ultimately, it is a stark reminder of the emotional cost of American justice on human lives—the partners, wives, children, and friends—beyond the prison walls.