“The D”/ Allee Willis Loves Detroit update: Steadily motoring….

I know, I know… It’s been pathetically long since my last update. That might be because of the 20-hour-days-minimum-six-days-a-week schedule those of us working on the Detroit record, video, and filmhave been adhering to, handstitching everything together as if we were Betsy Ross making that flag. There have been great, jubilant days…

Allee Willis

…as well as days that make you want to roll onto the freeway and pray an 18 wheeler puts you out of your misery….

Allee Willis

But that’s the life of an independent 99%-self funded artist and I wouldn’t change anything for the world. Well, I WOULD love someone to dunk me into a big ol’ vat of Lincolns…

Allee Willis

Old photo I know… If you can’t tell by the lack of wrinkles on my face you can certainly tell by it being the last time I ever wore a dress. But aside from that I leave each day totally uplifted by the spirit pouring out of the footage and sounds leaping off the record. Wish I could leak a teeeeeny tiny sample but let’s just say that no other city has had a song that sounded so insanely jubilant and looked quite so unique.

Allee Willis

I don’t wanna let too much cat outta the bag until we premiere the record and video in Detroit this SEPTEMBER. Now that the year-long jotting down of logs has ended the video’s about 60% finished. In the meantime we’ve also begun interviewing some of my esteemed friends and colleagues for Allee Willis Loves Detroit, the film. The bounty includes this young Detroiter:

Allee Willis

…and this young man who gave me my big break by having me write for his group, Earth, Wind & Fire:

Allee Willis

The celeb list in the film is long because people have a lot to say about Detroit (and apparently me). This includes many Color Purple people and a stunning array of Grammy, Emmy, Tony, Academy Award, and Pulitzer Prize winners, a smattering of whom we’ve filmed so far including RuPaul, Ricki Lake, Bruce Vilanch, Lesley Ann Warren, Marsha Norman, and Luenell with a whole slew yet to come.

Allee Willis

Not to say that the finish line of the feature film is in sight but we are crawling towards it with skinned knees, blisters on our fingers and faith in our hearts!

Allee Willis

As for “The D”, the record is about 95% done. Just in need of us moving out of my home studio – not to berate my little studio which back in the day James Brown called one of the best and funkiest sounding in LA – but so we have a shot at mixing in more opportune acoustic conditions so the 40 basses, 35 guitars and over 5000 singers don’t make everything too wobbly sounding as they bounce off the heads of Sammy Davis Jr., Groove On Brother, and other soulful onlookers here at Willis Wonderland.

Allee Willis

We’ve also been putting together a marketing deck so we can raise real money to get “The D”/ Allee Willis Loves Detroit finally on the road. As all of us normally peer through artists’ eyes we had no idea what we were doing here and this took some months of concentration not to mention putting any further record, video or documentary editing on hold.

Allee Willis

If you know of any deep pocket persons or company/institutions that should see our lovely and provocative marketing deck please let me know. And to drop a few coins of your own in the tank you can always go here.

In the meantime, go on wit yo bad self, Detroit!

Allee Willis

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Categories: "The D", Allee Live Performance, Allee Willis Loves Detroit, Animation, Art, Awards, Celebrity, Comedy, Creative process, Creativity, Detroit, Discography, Earth Wind & Fire, Film, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, LPs, Music, Party, People, Self expression, September, The Color Purple, video

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DEtroit Citay! 2013

Just got back from a quickie 2-1/2 day trip to the Motor City to go to the pre-release book signing party for Heart Soul Detroit, Jenny Risher’s fantastic photo essay book coming out in March that I’m in featuring 50 iconic Detroiters. Thrill of thrills sitting next to Martha Reeves of Martha and The Vandellas, one of my all-time favorite Motown groups, as we signed our pages.


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Categories: Afro, Awards, Badeya, Baby!, Book, Celebrity, Creativity, Detroit, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, People, Songwriting

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch ‘O The Day – Oscar-Winning LPs

 


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Categories: Art, Awards, Celebrity, Cheesy LPs, Fashion, Film, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, LPs, Music, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Honoring Lily Tomlin

On Friday I had the honor of sitting on the dais and speaking at the Pacific Pioneers Broadcasters luncheon honoring my friend, mentor and sometimes collaborator, Lily Tomlin.


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Allee Willis’ Kitsch ‘O The Day – Fluff Food

I must admit that contrary to my normal habits, I didn’t do much consumption of food at the Fluff Festival this past weekend in Somerville, MA.  I was too busy sweating like a little piglet, as I’m sure you can see from the back of my hat hair.

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Categories: Art, Awards, Brands, Creativity, Fashion, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, September, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Food O’ The Day – As far As I’m Concerned, Top Chef Master Mary Sue Milliken

I’m sure that Floyd Cardoz is a magnificent chef and I should’ve seen his win coming from that constant coming-in-second storyline all season. But having spent at least half of my adult life eating Mary Sue Milliken’s food, I went into the Top Chef Masters finale openly prejudiced that she would reign supreme.  But alas…

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Categories: Awards, Celebrity, Creative process, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, People, Place, Reality tv, Self expression, Street, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – I’m in the New York Times today!

Nice, big, fat story in the Times on me today + 12 photos. Thank you, Bob Morris, for seeking me out (no press agent involved here!) and writing such a heartfelt, spirited, and happily long piece. My house thanks you too (at least the part of it that made the photo)!

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Categories: Architecture, Art, Awards, Creativity, Fashion, Furniture and Housewares, Hollywood, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Music, Painting, Press, Sculpture, Self expression

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1976 Do-It-Yourself Oscar Kit

Oscar-do-it-yourself_5779

This is a product worthy of an Oscar for Best Kitsch, a fake wood cardboard stand-up “plaque” that looks suspiciously like the piece of cardboard that comes with any cheap picture frame, stapled on, staples askew, emblazoned with a cheap gold embossed sticker with three imprints, none of which have anything to do with the Academy Awards other than a trophy featuring a nude female athlete that kinda sorta is in that Oscar trophy pose. All of this is encased in a really cheap brittle plastic enclosure that’s tinted gold to make it look more “fancy”.

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Categories: Awards, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Soul O’ The Day – I’m Here and so is Oprah, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia and LaChanze

Last night on the Kennedy Center Honors on CBS Oprah Winfrey was the first one to receive her award. Not only did my song,“I’m Here”, co-written with Brenda Russell and Stephen Bray, from my musical, The Color Purple, get played during the montage of Oprah’s life but it was then sung to her live by Jennifer Hudson, backed by the choir at Oprah’s alma mater, Tennessee State University.

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Categories: Afro, Awards, Celebrity, Creativity, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, People, The Color Purple, video

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My Song Sung to Oprah on The Kennedy Center Honors TONIGHT, Tues., Dec. 28!

Sorry this is so last-minute (not as sorry as I am for that crazy smile on my face) but if you have a chance to catch or TiVo The Kennedy Center Honors tonight, Jennifer Hudson is singing my song, “I’m Here”, to Oprah when she gets her honor. The Kennedy Center Honors are on CBS, I think at 9 pm. I’m told it’s toward the beginning of the show but with this said, you never know how things are going to be edited and whether the song is going to be there or not. But I have a lot of friends who were there and said it’s fantastic. Of course, it’s a great honor to know that “I’m Here” is part of such an honor for Oprah!

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Categories: Afro, Awards, Celebrity, Creativity, empowerment, Film, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Lyrics, Music, People, Songwriting, The Color Purple, TV/Radio

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