Saturday, October 10, 2015

Newsletter takes a final bow

Dear Subscribers, 

Regretably, the Detroit Memories Newsletter will be on permanent hiatus.

I wish to thank all of our loyal subscribers who have followed Detroit Memories from its inception in 2003. However, it's time for me to move on to other pursuits...and to fully enjoy my retirement from the work-a-day world for travel and relaxation.

The Detroit Memories website will remain indefinitely, but will no longer be updated with memory submissions.

And the Detroit Memories Store will also remain open.

For those of you who wish to continue to be part of my occasional posts, you can find Detroit Memories on Facebook.

Best wishes for health and happiness...and for our great city of Detroit to be rebuilt into the grand place it once was!

Eileen Trombley Glick

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Making Changes

Dear Detroit Memories Newsletter subscribers:

Change is coming...but it's all good.

Soon I'll be experiencing one of life's "magic moments" as I step away from my 19.4 years of full-time employment with a Phoenix financial printing company (RR Donnelley)...all served working nights. The transition ahead will be a life changer for me, but I'm looking forward it.

Now, as a celebration gift to myself, I've decided to take a few months off from the Newsletter. I haven't yet set a date for its return since much will depend on my schedule and other variables. There's also a possibility it may not return at all. 

To those who skipped through the Newsletter to get right to this month's
Trivia Contest, you're going to be disappointed to read that there isn't one. Sorry!

Lastly, I need to mention that my trusty email software provider, GoDaddy, disabled the accounts of many AOL and Verizon subscribers (again) within the last few months. They tell me they're aware of the problem and are working on it. Meanwhile, I was able to reinstate all of the bounced accounts. My fingers are crossed that it doesn't happen again with this issue.

Warmest wishes for a happy holiday season and a healthy 2015!

Eileen Trombley Glick

Detroit Memories on Facebook

Monday, December 08, 2014

Holidays in Detroit

Photos from the '50s, '60s and '70s

and more


Coney Island Santa Cards

Nostalgic Detroit Gifts...For You or Someone You Know




The Great Gordie Howe


CLICK HERE for an update on Gordie's health
as of 12-3-2014

Gordie Howe
by Kim Fujiwara
Pencil drawing, "Number 9", 5x8. Circa 1983

Kim Fujiwara was born and raised on the northwest side of Detroit.
He attended the Center for Creative Studies/College of Art and Design.

The Art of Kim Fujiwara


Fans Red Wings faithful cheer on Gordie Howe

Stevie Wonder receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

Stevie Wonder's personal trophy collection already includes 22 Grammy Awards, an Oscar, the Kennedy Center Honors and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Now the iconic Motown star has a particularly prestigious one to add to the list: the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Wonder was bestowed the award — the nation's highest civilian honor — by President Barack Obama in a Nov. 24 White House ceremony, four days after a homecoming concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

READ MORE in the Detroit Free Press By Brian McCollum

LEGO architect takes on Detroit

Jim Garrett, of Redford, would argue that LEGO is not just for kids. Since 2004 Garrett has constructed 22 buildings, from small, two-story structures to the 11-ft tall Penobscot Building.

Twelve of those 22 buildings are replicas of real Detroit structures, including the DIA and the Main Library from Midtown and the Fisher Building from New Center. Most of his downtown Detroit buildings are on view at the Henry Ford Museum this month. 

READ MORE in The Detroit News

Detroit from Above

"From the air today, the decline appears to be slowing. The spaces once covered in rubble are cleared and mowed. Open green spaces, along with new community gardens and orchards, look almost bucolic against the downtown skyline. From my plane, I sense the potential for resurgence in these areas."
      Alex S. MacLean

READ MORE in the New York Times

"Eastside Kid" by David Bonior

Eastside Kid: A Memoir of My Youth, From Detroit to CongressFormer Congressman David Bonior spent 26 years representing Macomb County in the U.S. House, rising to the rank of Democratic Whip. But his origins were humble — he grew up in Hamtramck and East Detroit as the grandson of Polish and Ukrainian immigrants; an athletically gifted Catholic schoolboy who toyed with the idea of becoming a priest.

In "East Side Kid: A Memoir Of My Youth From Detroit to Congress," the first volume of his memoirs, 

READ MORE in The Detroit News

from the Detroit Memories Amazon Store

Don Schuster 1970 W4 Detroit Radio Air Check

Motown singer Jimmy Ruffin


May 7, 1936 – November 17, 2014)

One of Motown Records' most memorable voices is gone, as balladeer Jimmy Ruffin died at a Las Vegas hospital. He was 78.

Ruffin's most enduring hit has to be 1966's "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted," with its majestic, stately rhythm and Ruffin's deeply soulful, sorrowful vocal. He followed up that Top 10 hit with "I've Passed This Way Before" in 1967. In 1980 he enjoyed a comeback hit with "Hold on to My Love."

READ MORE by Susan Whitall in The Detroit News

Hard to Park: The 5 Longest Cars of 1975

At an average length of 233 inches (19.4) feet, the longest cars of 1975 might have just squeezed into one of the federally sized sparking spots, provided there wasn’t a concrete parking barrier in place consuming a precious foot or 2 of space.

READ MORE from Consumer Guide

GM designers start restoring sinkhole Corvette

READ MORE in the Detroit Free Press

Thursday, November 06, 2014

J. L. Hudson Thanksgiving Parade, Detroit, 1962


Holiday Shopping!


Click any item below for more info

(T-shirts, jackets, ballcaps)


Music 'Til Dawn vs. Nightflight 760

Recently I received a email from Les Martens regarding one of the memories that appears on the webpage. It said:

Music Til Dawn sponsored by American Airlines was not on WJR but on WWJ. I was the host from 1956 to 1960. (Nightflight 760 was on WJR.)

I emailed Mr. Martens with a thank you, and he responded with this:


Confusion it is, and I long ago gave up spending time or energy to correct it, but I stumbled on your links and couldn’t resist. Congratulations on your Detroit sites.  It was fun surfing, and clearly you’ve put in a lot of time and energy as webmaster. 

FYI, here’s the 1.01 on Music Til Dawn. The program was the brainchild of C.R. Smith, founder of American Airlines, who worked late and could find no decent music (classical) late at night, pre-FM. (American was dominant in Detroit; the original Metro terminal was named for Smith.) Marketing people told him the demographics for classical music were limited, but he correctly intuited that the audience he wanted, professionals and educated upper middleclass, were the people travelling by air at that time, and they would fly his airline. He was right. 

The show was set up originally in nine cities, each with a local host, in CBS O&O stations in the early 50’s. The CBS pattern was broken in Detroit when WJR wouldn’t come to terms on all night rates, so American Airlines’ ad agency made a deal with WWJ, which as the world’s first radio station, operated by the Detroit News, was not chopped liver. 

A couple of years after I took over hosting in 1956, WJR started Nightflight 760, with a format of travelogue type info by Jay Roberts with related pop music. Memories later confused the two shows hopelessly. 

Pre and postscripts on me may be in order, given your encyclopedic Detroit memories. At WWJ I moved on in the 60’s to daytime record shows, telephone talk shows and, finally, anchoring afternoon news and talk from 4 to 7pm, which expanded into their all news format after I finally got a law degree and started practicing. I did both for a few years. For 20 years I did the commentary on Detroit Symphony broadcasts.

Actually, I started at WJR. As a senior at Redford High in 1949-50, I was the last of the teenage emcees on Make Way For Youth with the Don Large Chorus on CBS. After me, they used a staff announcer; I was never sure if I was irreplaceable or the last straw. 

Good luck with the Detroit Memories scene. You’re doing great work.

Les Martens

LISTEN to the Music Til Dawn Theme Song on YouTube

Vernors Ginger Ale

10 Reasons Vernors Ginger Ale Is The Best... 
The Huffington Post |  By Kate Abbey-Lambertz

"If you live in Michigan, you might have had one of these to drink in the last few weeks. But if you live anywhere else, you probably have no idea what Vernors is."

Read how everyone else is discovering what we've known for years!

Better Made makes a national mark

Better Made has been making potato chips in Detroit for 84 years,
but there's new momentum taking the company nationwide.
The Los Angeles Times picked up on a new trend taking the snacks
to the next level. Michiganders who have moved away from home
still long for their old hometown chips.

Detroit Street Racing, 1964

This priceless clip shows semi-organized drag racing
on the streets of
Detroit’s West Side in 1964.

Marvin Gaye - I Heard It Through The Grapevine (A capella)

No need to adjust your volume...this awesome video takes a
minute to start and showcases the superb voice of one of
Motown's best artists, Marvin Gaye.

Tiger Stadium replica to be built...

in Branson, Missouri
Developers plan to break ground this fall on a series of replica
Major League Baseball stadiums for Little Leaguers in the
southwest Missouri tourism mecca of Branson.

Backers of the Ballparks of America project are banking on being able
to lure the growing number of youth traveling teams to the
two-thirds-scale versions of stadiums, including
Detroit's Tiger Stadium, which closed in 1999
and was torn down in 2008.

READ MORE in The Detroit News

WKNR MUSIC GUIDE ~ November 14, 1963

Rare Trio of Ford Family-Owned Lincolns

Owning a mint-condition Continental Mark II grants you some serious
Blue Oval brownie points. Owning one that originally belonged to a member of the Ford family – well, that’s something special.
But owning three Ford family-owned Mark II’s? Impossible.


Monday, October 06, 2014

Boblo boat Columbia shipped out of Detroit

SS Columbia 1967
Photo courtesy of Wayne State University

The SS Columbia, one of the beloved but battered Boblo boats, has left Detroit for what is likely the last time.

Shortly after 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 16th, the steamer left her longtime home in Ecorse, yanked away by tugs to Toledo. It is there that the nonprofit Columbia Project will lift the ship out of water, move it into drydock and get her shipshape again. Or at least shipshape enough to make the trek to New York state by next August. 

The Columbia Project has spent years working on a plan to return the boat to service in the Hudson River Valley — and will spend some $10 million to $20 million to do it.



WANTED: Detroit home movies, images and artifacts from the '50s-'80s


I’m a the lead producer working on a new Detroit Public Television production called Detroit Remember When: Detroit’s Iconic Brands.

We’re looking for home movies, images and artifacts that show names and products of Detroit’s past, especially during the baby boomer years - the late 50s through the mid 1980s… Sanders, Vernors, Strohs, Buddy’s, Little Caesar’s, Velvet Peanut Butter - the list goes on and on. 

There might be some brands you might be partial to that we’re forgetting!

Being this is television, we’re looking for the images that will bring back our collective memories.

And, we’re interested in hearing some interesting stories you might have about Detroit and the products you remember that were ‘our brands.' 

The program will air early next year, but we will be wrapping up production in the next two months, so we’d really like to hear from anyone with stories to tell and hopefully have some pictures to go with it.


Bill Kubota
Producer, KDN Films for Detroit Public Television

THEY'RE BAAAAACK! Detroit Memories T-Shirts!

Detroit Memories 
You Know You're From Detroit If...
More than 350 memories of Detroit's people and places!

Sizes S, M, L, XL and 2XL
$20 eachplus shipping & handling
$22 each, plus shipping & handling, for size 2XL
Your choice of White or Heather Gray shirt

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Dr. Bruce Stratton

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DETROIT'S OWN: Flamethrowers

by Ron Bergman
Bruce Stratton and I met while at junior high school in 1956.  Bruce had recently moved into Royal Oak from Detroit and, maybe this was fate, his new house came with an old Stella acoustic guitar. Bruce quickly learned some basic cords and riffs. I borrowed the guitar for a short time, loved playing it and decided to get my own guitar, a Fender MusicMaster.

We learned to play many of the instrumental songs of the day and initially played as a duo for friends. Then we teamed up with Fritz Lyons on drums and started playing at parties, school dances and local teen clubs.

We started writing our own songs to enhance our song list. Several of them were well received by friends, so we decided to publish and record.

The Detroit record scene was booming at that time, with Motown as the leader and about a dozen of smaller studios attempting to compete. We auditioned at Clix Records, in Troy, Michigan, and signed a record contract on August 27, 1960.

Our first record included "The Knights Caper" (the high school teams were the Kimball Knights) and "Suzette" (named after three girls named Susan who lived on the same street as Bruce) and was released on October 17, 1960.  The record sold fairly well locally, but were not distributed beyond the local area; however, Suzette and The Knights Caper received a three (out of four) star pick in Billboard magazine.

The highlight of our career was a performance at the first teen dance at Detroit’s Cobo Hall with WQTE-AM radio's Tom Clay. Also on the bill was Johnny & the Hurricanes and Jack Scott. WQTE referred to it as the battle of the bands, Detroit's Flamethrowers against Toledo's Johnny & the Hurricanes. WQTE had played "Suzette" multiple times prior to the Cobo Hall dance and WJBK featured it on their "Project X" where they introduced new music. The songs received airplay on WXYZ radio when we were appearing at free dances with DJ Don Zee (his tag line was “2 E’s if you please”). It was also played on WEXL during the "Our School Roundup" show.

Fritz was primarily a marching band drummer and did not have a full rock band drum set, so Bruce and Ron began looking for a rock band drummer. They not only located a drummer, Lowery Day, but also a bass guitar player, Paul Hinderer. These additions gave the group a fuller, more intense sound.

With this new sound, we decided to return to the recording studio. The second record featured "Intensity" and "Wippy Wow" and was recorded at Clix records on November 26, 1960. Clix records was primarily a country music label and the Flamethrowers rock and roll didn't sell well with the dealers that normally marketed Clix. As a result, Clix decided not to market the second record.

We decided to create our own label, Bel-Mar, and found a local company to press a small number of copies. The record was released on February 20, 1961 and sold only through local dealers.

The Flamethrowers disbanded when Bruce and Ron graduated from Royal Oak's Kimball High School in June 1961. 
UPDATE: Bruce's goal was to start a career in broadcasting. He completed his military service in the US Army and then went on to a very successful career in radio, including stints on Detroit Radio WEXL, WQRS, WOAK. He returned to the recording studio in 1987 and had a big hit on Sun Records with "Haunted House" and "Shake Em Up and Let Em Roll."  Bruce retired from the broadcast business and is now living in Corpus Christi, Texas.

After graduating from college, Ron had a long career as an electrical and firmware development engineer for computer peripheral equipment. Recently retired and living in Maui, Hawaii, he now has some free time to play guitar and is attempting to re-learn all the old songs. 



Motown's distinctive "M" logo became iconic decades ago, seen by millions around the globe on record sleeves, film credits, TV specials and Broadway.

The Detroiter who created it, former Motown art director Bernie Yeszin, died Tuesday, July 8, in Culver City, Calif. He was 73.


Bernie Yeszin Discography

Detroit Matchbook Cover Memories

Click photo to enlarge


Going through my Cub Scout Scrapbook, Pack 11, Royal Oak (1961-ish), I had to collect something and since everybody in the family smoked, I went for matchbook covers. I've scanned one page of some of the better ones and attached the file in case you want to include them in a Newsletter. 

Keep up the good work!

Dave Morey
Dondery HS, 1969


Motown 25: Yesterday Today Forever
 (3 DVD Set)
Available from Amazon


The Great Detroit:
It Was - It Is - It Will Be


I'm a film maker based in Detroit and have produced a documentary that examines our city from a positive perspective, "The Great Detroit: It Was - It Is - It Will Be.

My film includes 55 interviews and covers a little of everything, from how and why the city was founded, to why it became a manufacturing powerhouse, to Henry Ford's first plant, to the migration of people from the South to work in the plants, to the history of Motown and Techno to the plans for a brighter future. The film will entertain, enlighten and inspire.

It's available on Amazon for $10 plus shipping and handing.

Thank you.

Anthony Brogdon

WXYZ Music Guide for October 24, 1966

Friday, September 05, 2014

WKNR Music Guide for September 12, 1966

September Newsletter Sponsors

Western High School Class of 1960

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T H A N K   Y O U !

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to learn how you can become a
Sponsor or Supporter!


Nominated for two Michigan TV Emmys!

$16.98 plus shipping
(DVD, 50 minutes, widescreen format)

Soupy Sales. Johnny Ginger. Auntie Dee. Sonny Eliot.
Robin Seymour. Bill Bonds.
The list of characters who entered our living rooms through Detroit television is long and colorful. 

This one-hour documentary examines local TV from the late 1940s to the1990s. Highlights include rare footage with an amazing vocal performance by 14-year-old Ursula Walker, who today is a Detroit jazz legend;
profiles of Soupy Sales, Sonny Elliot, Bill Kennedy and other local celebrities; the story behind one of the longest-running TV series in America, Detroit’s American Black Journal; recollections from Mitch Ryder
and others, and much more. 

"Detroit Remember When: The History of Detroit TV"
was produced by Michael Collins, Ed Golick, Bill Kubota and 
Tim Kiska




You support this Newsletter and the Detroit Memories website
when you SHOP at

Sanders' national sales rise on strength of nostalgia, taste of home

The company best known perhaps for its bumpy cake has had a recent journey to success that’s been anything but.

Sanders bounced back from near-oblivion to a become growing national player in desserts and candy. 

The confectioner, also known for its ice cream and hot fudge topping, has seen double-digit sales growth over the last three years, fueled in part by native Michiganders buying the products they remember from their childhoods...

READ MORE in the Detroit Free Press

The Fallen Stroh Family


As with many of America's great fortunes, the Stroh family’s story starts with an immigrant: Bernhard Stroh, who arrived in Detroit from Germany in 1850 with $150 and a coveted family recipe for beer. He sold his brews door-to-door in a wheelbarrow. By 1890 his sons, Julius and Bernhard Jr., were shipping beer around the Great Lakes. Julius got the family through Prohibition by switching the brewery to ice cream and malt syrup production. And in the 1980s, Stroh’s surged, emerging as one of America’s fastest-growing companies and the country’s third-largest brewing empire, behind only public behemoths Anheuser-Busch and Miller.

The Stroh family owned it all, a fortune that FORBES then calculated was worth at least $700 million. Just by matching the S&P 500, the family would currently be worth about $9 billion.

READ MORE in Forbes

Cinderella Weekend

by Ed Golick
Detroit television in the 1950s was host to a mélange of local morning
programs aimed at the female audience. From the Lady of Charm
and Hello Girls to Ladies Day with Chuck Bergeson,
the daytime hours were full of programs with a decidedly feminine flair.

 One of the earliest local quiz programs on Detroit TV aimed at the female audience was Cinderella Weekend