Doug Fieger’s Rolling Stones Connection

Doug Fieger passed away in Woodland Hills, California after a long battle with brain and lung cancer on February 14, 2010. The Michigan-born rocker was best-known as the lead singer and principal songwriter for The Knack. 

Because he first achieved national acclaim in Los Angeles, many people might not know that the dawn of his music career and first important recordings took place while Fieger was still a resident of Michigan. The early recordings, which include the two albums completed with his band Sky, also involve a rather unique connection with The Rolling Stones.

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Chuck Daugherty’s Adventures On the Airwaves

When Michigan native Chuck Daugherty was growing up, radio was a big box in nearly every home around which the family gathered to listen to their favorite entertainment programs. There were comedy shows like Amos ‘n’ Andy or the thrilling saga of The Lone Ranger. You could listen to live music on Benny Goodman’s Camel Caravan, enjoy variety programs such as The Andrews Sisters Show, and corral the kids with fare like Tarzan and Little Orphan Annie.

By the dawn of the Rock and Roll era nearly all of those programs were gone because of television. In Rockin’ Down The Dial, David Carson’s history of Detroit radio, he states that “Across America, radio had survived by reinventing itself and, with few exceptions, had become the land of records, news, and the announcers who personalized their style and became the medium’s new stars: the disc jockeys.”  

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Parasomnia Acknowledges Michigan Bands

Renowned Hollywood horror film director William Malone’s latest DVD release, Parasomnia, has a plot line that includes a significant nod to some of Michigan’s garage rock bands of the 1960’s. Malone, who was born in Lansing and played in a rock and roll band there in the 60’s, is probably best known for his 1999 big screen remake of the classic House On Haunted Hill and for 2002’s nightmarish FeardotCom.

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Remembering John Lennon

On a recent visit to New York City, Lynn-J and I had an opportunity to visit Central Park on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon in late September. Our main objective was to find Strawberry Fields, a 2.5 acre area in the park that was dedicated to the memory of John Lennon in 1985 and named after one of his most famous songs, “Strawberry Fields Forever”.

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Daniel's Den: 60's Teen Club

During the middle of the 1960’s, Michigan produced a great number of rock and roll bands. Inspired by the guitar-driven British Invasion groups and the irresistible dance beats of Motown, these young bands played a circuit of newly emerged teen clubs throughout the state. These included, to name just a few; The Hideout in Harper Woods, Band Canyon in Bay City, Mt. Holly in Flint, The Scene in St. Ignace, The Fifth Dimension in Ann Arbor, Sherwood Forest in Davidson, Club Ponytail in Harbor Springs, The Sceen in Lansing, and the Tanz Haus in Traverse City.

Among all of these popular venues, Daniel’s Den located at 2525 State Street in Saginaw stood out as one of the most elegant and well-kept teen night clubs in the state – every bit the equal of both the more famous Grande Ballroom and the Eastown Theatre in Detroit.

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Del Shannon’s Baker’s Dozen

The Rock and Roll Trio (John Len, Ron Witucki, and yours truly) decided to take on the songs of Michigan Rock and Roll Legend Del Shannon at our latest get-together. We agreed at a previous meeting to narrow down our favorite Shannon songs to a list of 25. This was probably a little more difficult for John and me to pick just 25, since I think I can safely say we are both major Del Shannon fans.

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Guy Mitchell Was Second Only To Elvis In 1956

Guy Mitchell’s name does not come immediately to mind when you think about Michigan rock and roll. But the popular singer had more # 1 hit singles during the first decade of rock and roll than a host of early Michigan Rock and Roll Legends inductees including Bill Haley And His Comets, Jackie Wilson, Del Shannon, The Marvelettes, Jack Scott, Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, and Mary Wells. 

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