ALLEE WILLIS MARCHES ON DETROIT



WHAT: As a special benefit for MUMFORD HIGH SCHOOL, alumna extraordinaire
 
ALLEE WILLIS conducts the MUMFORD HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND through a medley
 
of her hit songs in the lobby of Detroit’s FOX THEATRE, with cast members
 
from THE COLOR PURPLE joining in for a sing-along.
 
WHEN: Saturday, April 9, 11:00AM to 12:30PM, SHARP
 
WHERE: The Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201
 
 
 
GRAMMY, Tony, Emmy, and Webby award-winning/nominated songwriter, artist,
 
multimediaist, director, collector, party thrower—and native Detroiter—
 
returns to her hometown for a special benefit event at the historic and fabulous
 
Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit.
 
 
 
An alumna of Mumford High School, Willis will lead the school’s marching
 
band through a medley of her hit songs in the lobby of the Fox. The Saturday,
 
April 9 event takes place during a weekend run of The Color Purple at the
 
theater, and cast members from the touring company of the Broadway smash—of
 
which Allee is a co-author—will join in for a celebratory sing-along. Event
 
will go toward new band uniforms.
 
 
 
The Allee Willis-composed songs comprising the medley—to be played first
 
instrumentally by the marching band, and then with TCP company members singing
 
along—are:   “September,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “In The Stone,” (all
 
major hits for Earth, Wind, & Fire), “I’ll Be There For You” (Theme from
 
Friends),” “The Color Purple,” “Stir It Up” (Patti LaBelle), and “Neutron Dance”
 
(the Pointer Sisters).   The last two songs connect Allee to Mumford
 
beyond her having gone there—they’re featured in Beverly Hills Cop, and on the
 
soundtrack, which won Allee a GRAMMY.   The film, produced by fellow Mumford
 
alum Jerry Bruckheimer, made the school famous when Eddie Murphy wore a
 
Mumford t-shirt throughout.
 
 
 
Allee was inspired to work with the Mumford High marching band after being
 
invited to conduct the 350-piece marching band at her collegiate alma mater,
 
University of Wisconsin, for the halftime show at the 2010 Homecoming
 
football game.   “Allee Willis Marches on Detroit” is a dream come true for
 
Allee, connecting her songs and The Color Purple to Mumford and her beloved
 
hometown of Detroit—all in the city’s most famous venue.   She also looks
 
forward to working with Mumford students on an ongoing basis.   And, this project
 
builds on work Allee started doing with the school in 2008, when she was on
 
a national radio broadcast as Mumford became the first school in the
 
country to receive 400 hours of historic audio tapes related to African-American
 
history that she helped to restore with Pacifica Radio Archives.
 
 
 
Tickets are $50 each, with attendance limited to 200 guests (not including
 
the band and event facilitators).   Sponsorships are available to help
 
underwrite the event, and will go toward “sponsored” tickets to allow current
 
Mumford students to attend, generating proceeds for uniforms, and covering
 
production costs.
 
 
 
FYI “Allee Willis Marches on Detroit” takes place just before a matinee of
 
The Color Purple.   Event tickets do not include admission to the show.
 
Attendees may (but are not required to) separately purchase discounted
 
tickets for The Color Purple—in advance—by calling Fox Theatre group sales at
 
313-471-3099.
 
 
 
“Allee Willis Marches on Detroit” is supported by Nickelodeon’s The Big
 
Help Grant Program.
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Michigan’s Amazing People

Yesterday, we featured Kid Rock not only for his love of Detroit and Michigan, but for his giving spirit.  Do you know someone that is giving back?  If so, send us an e-mail at michiganisamazing@michaelflora.com and tell us about them.  It can be an individual, young or old, businesses large or small – anyone that is doing their part to make the community or a person’s life better.

Please tell us about your nominee and include your contact information in case we need more details.

We are going to begin featuring upstanding and outstanding citizens and businesses and would like all of the Michigan Is Amazing fans to tell us who is amazing to you.

Let all of your friends know, too!  Let’s celebrate all of the amazing people in this great state!

Kid Rock Gives Back

Kid Rock’s love for Detroit and Michigan has always been apparent, but this past Saturday at his 40th birthday bash at Ford Field, Detroit showed its love for Kid Rock by presenting him with the Spirit of Detroit Award.   In true Rock style, he returned the favor by announcing $25,000 donations to each of these Metro Detroit charities, COTS, Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Haven and Rainbow Connection.

Today in Michigan History

June 22, 1937

Joe Louis won his first heavyweight title.

After training vigorously for the opportunity to take on defending heavyweight champion James Braddock, Detroit’s Joe Louis stepped into the ring at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. After biding his time in the early rounds, Louis hit Braddock with what he called the DOA, “Dead On your A–,” which consisted of a left to the body and a right to the chin. The first punch knocked Braddock off balance. The second one took him off his feet. Braddock whirled and fell on his face. He later said the punch felt like “someone jammed an electric bulb in my face and busted it. I couldn’t have got up if they offered me a million dollars.” Joe Louis was the new heavyweight champion of the world.

Thank you Michigan Start Pages for this glimpse into our past.  See more here.

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Today in Michigan History

May 6, 1945

Bob Seger was born.

Born in Dearborn, Robert Clark Seger moved with his family to Ann Arbor when he was six years old. Seger learned to play the ukulele when he was five years old. At the age of fifteen, he began writing songs and performing locally with area bands. Between 1976 and 1984, Seger had fourteen Top Forty singles. In 2000, Detroit Free Press readers ranked him Michigan’s number-one entertainer.

Thank you Michigan Start Pages for this glimpse into our past.  See more here.

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R.I.P. Ernie Harwell

Here at Michigan is Amazing, we don’t like to share the negative.  However, we feel it’s important to pay tribute to a man that so many generations of Michiganders know and love.  Ernie Harwell was the voice of the Tigers for over four decades.

Tuesday May 4, 2010 Mr. Harwell passed away at the age of 92.  As he said in his final sign-off in 2002, “Now God has a new adventure for me.”  No other words seem more fitting.  Your voice will live on forever in the minds of baseball fans everywhere, but especially for those here in Michigan.

Rest in Peace Ernie…we’ll miss you.

To read more on Ernie, click here.

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Today in Michigan History

April 14, 1913

Gerald R. Ford was born.

Born Leslie Lynch King Jr. in Omaha, Nebraska, the future 38th president of the United States moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his mother to live with her parents following a divorce in 1914. In 1916, after his mother remarried, King was named after his stepfather, Gerald Rudolph Ford. After World War II, Ford entered a political career that led to the White House in 1974.

Thank you Michigan Start Pages for this glimpse into our past.  See more here.

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