I enjoy and appreciate what you do with Detroit Memories. I grew up in Ferndale and danced all the time. I went to Walled Lake, The Chatterbox and many other places to dance. What I enjoyed the most was dancing on Club 1270 with Joel Sebastian and Lee Alan. I was so lucky to see at meet all the Motown groups that came on the show to perform. I still have some of the guest passes we use to pass out to good dancers that we would see at different dance events through out the city. I actually saw Joel and Lee at Walled Lake more than I did on the show!
Keep up the great work!
Of all the DJs on Detroit radio I can never forget Tom Clay. His theme song was
"That's All." I have no idea what happened to him after the payola scandal, but he deserves a place in our memory list.
White Lake, MI
EILEEN: Tom Clay is listed on the Detroit Memories website. It says:
You listened at night to WJBK's Ed McKenzie as Jack the Bellboy, then Tom Clay
who started the "Beatles Booster Club" and whose theme song was "That's All."
In 1971, he compiled the audio for "What The World Needs Now (Abraham,Martin and John)"
In October of 2009, my mom was rushed to a Detroit hospital. Although she survived several operations, she passed away in this past spring.
I just want you to know just how much the Detroit Memories Newsletters meant to me during these last few trying months. My mom and I reminisced while reading them, right up until she passed. Afterward, the Newsletters really helped keep all those wonderful Detroit memories alive with my family. We found them very comforting.
She was buried in Mt. Elliot Cemetery, historical sister to the Elmwood Cemetery. She and her family grew up nearby and used to play in the Elmwood as kids.
QUESTION: When I lived in Melvindale, near Detroit, I was working on a door frame inside a closet and I found a folded card with a cartoon picture of a boy blowing a flute. The writing says Elmo Topps Marvelo Magician Club. It also says to say please and thank you. It appears to have been made in the mid to late 1950's. Can you tell me anything about Elmo Topp? I think it may have come inside a loaf of bread, but not certain. Thank you.
ED: The card was a premium for Elmo Topps bread. The Ward Baking Company, makers of Tip Top Bread, created the character. In 1962, an Elmo Topps animated TV cartoon was planned but poor Elmo died on the drawing table.
Auntie Dee and Jimmie Stevenson
CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE
QUESTION: Who was the pianist on the Auntie Dee Show?
ED:Auntie Dee's musical director was Jimmie Stevenson. Known as "the man with the educated eyebrows," Stevenson not only played the piano for countless singers, baton twirlers and tap dancers on the show, he rehearsed with each and every act and decided who would make the cut. Stevenson also worked with kid show host Harry Jarkey on "Fun House," and made regular appearances on "Club Polka."
QUESTION: Is it true that people sometimes received $1.00
from Soupy Sales?
San Diego CA
ED: From time to time, WXYZ would move the camera
outside of the Maccabees Building, so Soupy could interact
with the public and create some crazy TV. On one occasion
he passed out single slices of Silvercup Bread to whoever
happened to be walking down Woodward. No lunch meat,
no jelly, just slices of dry, white bread. Another time he gave
a dollar to anyone who would take a pie to the face.
QUESTION: I was trying to find an interview that was done around 1973 on the
Lou Gordon Show with pro wrestler Dick the Bruiser. There's a Lou Gordon DVD sold by his son, Scott Gordon, with many interviews, but not that one. Hoping you can help or refer me to someone. It would be deeply appreciated.
ED: All of Lou's shows were eventually trashed by WKBD. If Lou's son Scott doesn't have a copy, it doesn't exist.
QUESTION: Can you give me more information about a TV show called "Ask The Professors" on WJR?
ED: The correct name of the program is "Ask the Professor." Airing for more than
50 years, it is one of the longest running radio programs in the country. Listeners would submit a list of ten questions to the panel of experts consisting of past and present University of Detroit professors, who, with tongue in cheek, attempted to answer the listener's queries.
If you stumped the panel, the prize was an autographed photo of the panel.
If the professors correctly answered the listener's questions, sometimes the prize was a photo of the professors posing with their backs to the camera, each identified by a reproduction of their signature.
Thank you to Gloria Taylor and her crew for all of their hard work.
They put on a terrific picnic. Hope to see more of you there next year!
From Arcadia Books
Written by Tim Kiska and Ed Golick
CENSORSHIP IN DETROIT
in the '50s and '60s
Ward Case Sr. and Jr.
My father, Ward C. Case Sr., was a business owner in Detroit in the '50s and '60s. He owned the Ward News Company, a one-man operation, and was a wholesaler of magazines and paperbacks. His customers were magazine stores from Mt. Clemens to Wyandotte. I worked for him part time from the age of
11 to 16 -- until the law forced him out of business. You see, he was a distributor of "girlie books." At that time, some people referred to it as "smut," but they were actually nothing more than Playboy-type articles and photos. I remember two of the monthly publications, Adam and Sir Knight.
Back then, there was censorship. Adults could only read or view what was acceptable to the local police. Every month, my dad was required to bring in each issue of every publication to the Detroit Police Department "Censor Bureau." They'd read the paperbacks and check out the pictures and decide which ones they'd allow on the newsstands.
His warehouse was our garage behind the house on Petoskey at Bourke, just off Livernois. Our young friends knew what was in there, but no one was allowed inside. My brothers and I counted and boxed the books or worked on his delivery truck on Saturdays. We all attended St. Gregory Catholic School (the nuns would have had a fit if they had known what was going on!). My mom was a Catholic and my dad, then in his 60's, was Protestant. As I got close to my high school graduation, I looked forward to getting into the business. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. After just seven years in business, my Dad was forced into bankruptcy by the strict censorship rules and other problems.
But there was some good that came of this experience: not only did I learn a lot
of valuable lessons about being a small business owner, I knew all of the roads of metro Detroit long before I had a driver's license!
Ward Case Jr.
Sun City AZ
August 12, 1922 - July 27, 2010
Former news anchor and editorial director
at three Detroit TV stations from the 1950s to 1990
A word about the passing of Jac LeGoff. He was simply one of the most decent human beings on this earth. He was modest, perhaps to a fault. While he was not always treated with respect, he never complained. To my knowledge, he is still the only Detroit TV personality to ever sign what was called a "lifetime contract" at Channel 7. He was truly a news pioneer. We've already missed him, now we truly mourn him.
Former news anchor, WXYZ-TV
May he be remembered for his ability, wisdom, and being the gentle man that he was.
Former Detroit radio DJ
READ MORE about Lee's memories of Jac, including his controversial firing from WJBK-TV.
Harvey Fuqua founded the R&B-doo-wop group the Moonglows, which signed with DJ Alan Freed. The group's first single was the 1954 hit "Sincerely."
Fuqua added Marvin Gaye and others in 1958 to a reconstituted group he called Harvey and the Moonglows. It had the 1958 hit "Ten Commandments of Love."
He started Tri-Phi and Harvey Records in 1961, recording the Spinners, Junior Walker & the All Stars, and Shorty Long.
Motown Records founder Berry Gordy later hired Fuqua to develop recording talent.
Something about metro Detroit from the 50s, 60s or 70s
you've been wondering about but didn't know who to ask? Send it to us.
We'll do our best to get you an answer from our team of experts.
QUESTION: I often see mention of Vernor'sFloats,but I never see reference to having Vernor's Boston Coolers, and that's how I remember Vernor's and
ice cream. Floats were A&W Root Beer or even Hires.
Little thing, but just wondering if I'm mixed up.
ANSWER: From Keith Wunderlich, email@example.com
Even Vernor’s own recipe books are a bit mysterious about Boston Coolers. When they describe how to make one, it sounds just like a float. The ingredients of a Vernor’s Float and a Boston Cooler are the same; Vernor’s and vanilla ice cream. What’s different is how they are made.
For a float, you simply add Vernor’s to a scoop or two of ice cream in a glass. A Boston Cooler, on the other hand, then blends the two together to make
a delightful milk-shake type mixture.
Back in the 1960s, Vernor’s also produced a Boston Cooler Ice Cream Bar. This was a totally different product than the Vernor’s Flavored Ice Cream that Sander’s made in the 1980s.
Another favorite was the Vernor’s Cream Ale. Instead of ice cream, heavy sweet cream was mixed with Vernor’s. Sometimes, flavored syrup was also added. So, you could have a chocolate or cherry Cream Ale. Yum!