Bill Kettelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog
He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart
RIP – to both Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes. Bernie, best known for his TV series “The Bernie Mac Show”, died of complications of his respiratory disease at the age of 50. A great stand-up, who appeared in such movies as Bad Santa and the Ocean’s 11 series, recently told Letterman that he was thinking of retiring so he could enjoy his life a little bit. Just goes to prove you need to live life to the fullest because you never know what will happen. Isaac passed on a mere 10 days before his birthday at the age of 65. He grew up in the cotton fields of Covington but was singing in church at the tender age of 5. He learned to play piano, flute and sax and started recording in 1967 with Stax Records. He is perhaps best known for his Academy Award nominated soundtrack for Shaft (the single “Theme From Shaft” won for best song along with 3 Grammys), of which he also had a cameo as a bartender in the film. He put out a number of
great records during these years and had continued to be active in recent years (he played the chef in “South Park” along with appearances in Stargate SG-1 and “Hustle & Flow”). It makes you think why these great people pass away when people like Castro and Charles Manson seem to live forever.
I found out Hayes had passed away when I stumbled into the 7th Annual River Raisin Jazz Festival. The headliner was Detroit native Ray Parker Jr and his band made the announcement and broke into an unrehearsed version of Shaft which rocked. Ray put on a great show of jazz, R&B and rock including such hits as “Jack And Jill”, “The Other Woman” and for the kids, “Ghostbusters”. I hadn’t realized he was so proficient, having 12 Top 40 Hits as well as writing songs and doing session work for Chaka Khan, New Edition, Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder. Despite the horrors of Detroit driving, I’m glad I made the trip.
While in Monroe, MI, I did partake of some of the local history. The city itself is named after our 5th President, James Monroe who visited the area in 1817. Along with being the home of La-Z-Boy, it is best down as Monroeis known for its ties to General George Armstrong Custer who spent much of his boyhood there with his half-sister and his brother-in-law. At St Mary’s Park where the festival was held, they have a giant bronze statue of Custer and they have a great exhibit dedicated to him at the Monroe County Historical Museum. The museum houses a nice display of artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries that pertain to Southeast Michigan and has a new exhibit dedicated to sewing. Through a grant, they are replicating up to 40 War of 1812 era women's garments along with 15 Native American women's trade clothing, and they are using the sewing equipment of that era to do this. Definitely worth a stop if you are in the area. Go to
www.co.monroe.mi.us for more information. Make sure to ask the staff at the front desk about the history of the area as they are all very knowledgeable. You can start asking about the history of the Yellow Ribbons (popularized by the John Wayne movie and the song by Tony Orlando and Dawn).
I also spent some time at the Monroe County Labor History Museum which is right around the corner. Not overly impressive though the current exhibit on child labor is important. The museum is more educational in function than having actual exhibits. If you would like more info, go to www.monroelabor.orgwhich does have some nice online exhibits.
This morning, I had singer Tori Sparks on the show who will be performing with the awesomely cool Emily Rose at the Lager House on Tuesday Aug 12th. It should be a great show, so go to www.torisparks.comand check out her songs, videos, etc. For those who can’t make that show, she will be doing an in store performance and signing at Border’s in Dearborn. She is touring the Midwest by herself, so help support this wonderful singer and check her out.
Some upcoming cool shows include Paramore @ Freedom Hill on 12th, Steely Dan @ Pine Knob (DTE) on 15th, Cute Is What We Aim For @ Magic Stick on 16th and the O’Jays will be headlining the African World Festival down at Heart Plaza this upcoming weekend (esp if you want to stay away from the Woodward Dream Cruise traffic). Also, Weezer just announced tour dates for the Palace.
That is all for now. Keep listening to Wild Bill on www.wxou.org or check out my myspace page at myspace.com/wildatheart_13.