96 Tears and Art Schiell's Recording Studio

On Saturday, October 1, 1966, ? (Question Mark) and The Mysterians made their network television debut on American Bandstand with host Dick Clark.  The band performed its hit single, "96 Tears".  Ten days later, on October 11th, ? and The Mysterians would perform "96 Tears" on another Dick Clark production, ABC-TV's 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. daily pop music show, Where The Action Is. The group also performed the song that fall on Swingin' Time, Detroit's popular teen music program hosted by Robin Seymour.

By the end of the month, the song would reach # 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Very few viewers on either of those days knew that "96 Tears" had been recorded in Art Schiell's small studio, located in the back of his home on Bay City's West Side. Watch ? and The Mysterians perform "96 Tears" on Swingin' Time in 1966. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS7qvxm3FbM

Looking at the small house at 405 Raymond Street in Bay City, Michigan, it's hard to imagine that it was once the home of the Schiell Recording Studio or that a hit record was made there. Although it's largely forgotten in Bay City and mistakes about it are found in most of the rock and roll historical accounts concerning the # 1 song "96 Tears", Art Schiell's studio represented an important first step to completing a seemingly improbable quest for the young musicians who recorded it there.

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Not Only Women Bleed - Sex, Drugs, and "Rock And Roll Music" in Digital

Dick Wagner is one of the all-time greats in the vast and varied history of Michigan rock and roll. Being a fan of Wagner since his days as the lead singer and songwriter of The Bossmen, the Saginaw Valley’s answer to The Beatles, I was looking forward to the publication of his long-rumored book that covered his remarkable career in music. Not Only Women Bleed: Vignettes from the Heart of a Rock Musician was published as an eBook early in January, 2012. One hoped that this would be the vehicle that would bring Wagner the national attention he so richly deserves.

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The Boy Who Shot Buddy Holly (in color)

“That’ll be the day, when I die” B. Holly

You won’t find Tom Cederberg’s name listed in any of the biographies or documentaries concerned with the life and career of Buddy Holly, but in the spring of 1958, the thirteen-year-old Michigander accomplished something unique in regards to Holly’s storied career. Just months before his tragic death, Cederberg shot the only known color movie footage of Buddy and the Crickets performing on stage in the United States.

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Free John Sinclair (Revisited)

“They gave him ten for two, what else can Judge Columbo do” – John Lennon

On December 10, 1971, fifteen thousand people filled Crisler Arena on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor for the Free John Sinclair Rally to protest the harsh ten-year prison sentence he was currently serving for offering two marijuana joints to an undercover policewoman. Although almost everyone in attendance was supportive of Sinclair’s plight, the main reason for the overflow crowd was the promised appearance of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

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Best Albums of 2011: Two Views

For the second consecutive year I’ve invited my friend and fellow music lover, Larry Van Cleve, to join me in making a list of the best CDs released during the past year. No one sent us any free CDs to review, so our lists are made up of what we bought, borrowed, and burned.

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Tommy James: Michigan's Favorite Son

The state of Michigan, which has done very little over the years to give recognition to its rich Rock and Roll heritage, is honoring Michigan Rock and Roll Legend Tommy James as a “Michigan Favorite Son” in a ceremony to be held in the Michigan Senate Chamber at the State Capitol Building in Lansing, Michigan on Tuesday, May 25th.

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Nugent Rocks The River Roar

Michigan Rock and Roll Legend Ted Nugent made a triumphant return to Bay City last night with a full-blast performance on the Dobson River Roar stage in Veterans Memorial Park. Taking the stage to Keith Richards' immortal opening riffs of "Street Fighting Man", Nugent's power trio kicked the evening off with a blistering rendition of the Amboy Dukes' classic "Journey To The Center Of The Mind". The crowd was on its feet from Uncle Ted's opening chord until the band's encore nearly two hours later.

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