Dr. J's Blog

Rock and Roll History, News & Views

Motown The Musical

Although no longer promoted as “The Sound of Young America”, the music and performers of Motown still reside in our hearts, especially those of us who grew up during the company’s heyday in the 1960’s and 70’s. It was a time when a young entrepreneur could start a record label out of a small Detroit apartment with dreams of making a mark in the music industry and have those dreams come true. And no one individual reached higher or achieved more than Berry Gordy Jr. Now his story and the music he helped create is debuting on Broadway in a flashy and exhilarating musical that will have theatre patrons dancing in their seats.

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Michigan Invasion 2013

 The Beatles spearheaded a mid-1960’s phenomenon that came to be called the ‘British Invasion’ wherein a wealth of rock and pop acts from the United Kingdom, as well as other aspects of British culture, became immensely popular in the United States. Besides setting rock and roll on its ear and selling millions of records, the Beatles were also a major influence in the formation of countless teenage bands across America, including hundreds in the state of Michigan. Forty-nine years after the “Fab Four” changed rock and roll forever, one of those bands, the Sixth Generation from Niles, Michigan, is planning an ‘invasion’ of their own at the birthplace of the Beatles; the city of Liverpool and its world-famous Cavern Club.

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Boomers Inspired Sixth Generation CD

The Sixth Generation formed in in the small community of Niles, located near the Indiana border in Southwest Michigan. The band was voted into the MRRL online Hall of Fame in 2011. They released their first CD album, “That Was…This Is”, in 2012. It contained their regional hit single, “This Is The Time”. What makes this somewhat curious is the fact that the album came out 45 years after the single charted on radio stations in Chicago and Southwest Michigan. Or maybe it wasn’t all that uncommon for a band whose 1967 single was on a one-song 45. The record actually had two sides, but both contained the same song! MRRL interviewed original member Ron Hamrick recently to discuss Sixth Generation’s new release and their unusual recording history.

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