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.

This wasn’t my first encounter with Ms. Reeves. In 2008, along with Congresswoman Joanne Watson, she awarded me my first Commendation from the Detroit City Council.

I was also in Detroit this trip to lay the groundwork for “The D”, the massive unofficial official Detroit theme song I’m going back in September to record with potentially hundreds of thousands of Detroiters.

As such, I met with Tyree Guyton, who created one of Detroit’s most precious jewels, The Heidelberg Project.

I seriously hope to collaborate with Tyree. I spent almost every Saturday of my youth climbing on piles of crushed cars and assorted junk, artifacts that influence my art style to this day and upon which Heidelberg is built. My father’s scrapyard was just down the street from Heidelberg so I treasure that area of the city.

I also did an unexpected Q&A with some seriously talented kids at Mosaic Youth Theatre.

They have the good taste to be doing some of my music at a program they’re doing at the Detroit Institute of Arts in March.

I may end up coming back for that because these kids were seriously great and evolved. And, of course, I’ll use any excuse to come back for this…

… Chef Greg and his insanely incredible tasting Boogaloo Wonderland!…

…which I LOVE so much I fly him to LA to serve them at my live shows.

Chef Greg’s D’Emilis Cafe is on Curtis and Wyoming, the corner I used to get off the bus on to go to high school back in the day.  I invited some family and friends there on Saturday before I had to get on the plane to come back to LA.

Chef Greg made me a peach cobbler for the plane.

Which was good because a bottle of water spilled in my backpack and drenched all my money which was still soaked when the food cart came down the aisle selling the crappy plane food.

So here’s to dry money and plenty of it, Boogaloo Wonderlands, and a bright future for the once and future city of the future, Detroit!  See you in September for some serious Dancin’ in the Streets!

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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 – Kellogg’s Cereal Microcamera & Shooting “Born In Detroit”

I spent most of Wednesday afternoon being photographed and interviewed for “Born in Detroit,” a book by Jenny Risher “celebrating Detroit as a unique place that’s cultivated an extraordinary number of singularly influential people.”

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Categories: Accessories, Book, Celebrity, Detroit, Drink, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, People, Photograph

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Jean Craig, Graduate Nurse Book + Knee Update

I’ve been blessed this past week to have great friends grace my bedside and nurse me through knee surgery, dressing up as nurses themselves for my amusement. Nancye Ferguson was one such nurse in training as I took my first steps a couple of days ago:

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Categories: Book, Fashion, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Medical

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – A Real Brady In The Bunch

As a collector of kitsch for decades now with a particular love for popular television shows, there’s nothing better than having the real thing who made the real thing in your presence. Such was the case when Susan Olsen, a.k.a. Cindy Brady, the youngest, cutest, blondest Brady in the Bunch, walked into Willis Wonderland last Friday afternoon. And she came bearing one of her signature Christmas cakes, which is how we came to know each other in the first place as she posted her kulinary kitsch koncoction in The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch over Christmas.

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Categories: Book, Celebrity, Dance, Drink, Food, Hollywood, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Music, TV/Radio, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Margaret Mitchell’s Mealtime Magic Meat and Poultry Cookery Book

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Unless you can’t stand to look at meat or poultry this is a cookbook that’s filled with thrilling visuals, not the least of which is of the author herself:

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Categories: Book, Celebrity, Detroit, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Recipes

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Mahalia Jackson Cooks Soul Cookbook

As Thanksgiving week is upon us I will never forget the trauma of being invited to Luther Vandross’s Thanksgiving Day dinner and having to leave before the smothered turkey was ready, only to arrive at my next destination and having a plate of salmon plopped in front of me. NEVER  put a fish in front of a Thanksgiving guest unless you warn them first if you ever want to see them again! In that particular case, I developed a sudden headache and left just as quinoa and tofu were about to hit my plate and headed back across town where the table was flooded with the best holiday soul food fixins my stomach ever had the pleasure of ingesting. I bring up this story not just because I’ve learned to make sure the menu is Thanksgiving appropriate before I accept an invitation but because Luther and I often discussed the fact that Mahalia Jackson had a cookbook and how great it would be to make a total Mahalia Jackson meal.

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Categories: Book, Celebrity, Fashion, Food, Hair, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Recipes

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – My Seriously Kitschy Birthday Gifts

I wasn’t going to do anything for my birthday this year. Too overworked and no extra coinage to throw around. But word leaked out and spread and all of a sudden these people, most of whom I’ve spent every birthday and momentous occasion with for umpteen years, showed up at my house:

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Categories: Art, bad art, Book, Brands, Bubbles the artist, Celebrity, Creativity, Food, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Party, People

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1950′s Good Housekeeping Appetizer Book

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By the number of post-its that I’ve stuck in this book, 41 to be exact, it’s obvious that I’m as much a fan of the recipes in this hallowed hors d’oeuvres bible as the typical housewife was in 1958 when it was published by Good Housekeeping magazine and the Hearst Corporation. The fact that thanks are given to companies like Frito, Borden, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, Lawry’s, the National Biscuit Company, Ralston Purina, Swift and the Shrimp Association of the Americas should be a great indication of the junk-tipped treasures that lie within. I have long followed the advice of this book when throwing small dinner parties, well, at least small parties for me, 10 to 20 people, and if you happen to be cooking this lovely Sunday afternoon or evening and haven’t decided on the menu yet I suggest you do the same.

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1968 Right On’s 100 Super-Soul Stars Book and Saturday Night with Earth Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder, 2010

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Categories: Afro, Boogie Wonderland, Book, Detroit, Disco, Discography, Earth Wind & Fire, Music, September, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1950′s Betty Crocker’s “Dinner for Two” Cookbook

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Featuring 425 “new” recipes plus a special “When-Company-Comes” section, this cookbook, published in 1958 by General Mills, was designed expressly for “brides, business girls, career wives and mothers of married children”. Divided into sections like Regional Meals USA, Pennywise Dinners and What Every Good Cook Knows, as is often the case with vintage cookbooks the quintessentially Atomic 50′s graphics and fonts are even better than the recipes themselves.

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Categories: Art, Book, Brands, Food, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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