Dr. J's Blog

Rock and Roll History, News & Views

"Think Rational!" The Rationals Finally Get Respect

Following in the footsteps of Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels, the Rationals became the second Southeast Michigan garage band to have a charting single on the Billboard Hot 100. In November of 1966, the 'Rats' spent three weeks on the national chart with their explosive cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect” after it had been picked up by Cameo Records for national distribution. The band had already had a regional hit with the song in Michigan on the small A-Square label during the late summer, almost nine months before Aretha Franklin had a # 1 smash with her version of “Respect” in 1967.

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Jack Scott: 50 Years After and Ten Cool Tunes

The first time I ever saw Jack Scott perform was at the Michigan State Fair in Detroit in the summer of 1959. Jack was a hot recording artist at the time with four Top 40 hits under his belt. He was appearing as part of Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars along with a bevy of other popular artists of the late 50’s.


I was a big fan of Dick Clark and a dedicated watcher of American Bandstand after school each day and during the summer. Dick had the latest records of all the artists on the ’59 Caravan in heavy rotation, and he had been promoting it nonstop on his show. When I learned that Clark was bringing his bus tour to Michigan, I convinced my parents to drive me to the State Fair in Detroit (I was just 12) so that I could see the show. It was my first-ever rock and roll concert.

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Hollywood Horror Film Features Michigan Garage Rock

Parasomnia, the newest film from director William Malone, is the first-ever Hollywood movie to feature 60’s garage rock from Michigan on its soundtrack. Bill Malone knows more than a little bit about Michigan’s vibrant garage band scene of the 1960’s. He lived it as the bass player and principal songwriter for the Lansing-area teen band, The Plagues. The Plagues recorded three British Invasion-influenced singles during 1965 and 1966 at Dave Kalmbach’s Great Lakes Recording Studio in Sparta, Michigan.

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