Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Happy Mother’s Day!!

Mother’s Day has always provided supreme opportunities for kitsch. Be it flower arrangements, stuffed animal displays in front of gas stations for last minute pick-ups, or greeting cards – store bought and handmade equally qualifying – Mother’s Day is a kitsch karousel that never ceases to go round.

Almost everything I owned growing up in Detroit was thrown out when my mom passed away suddenly when I was 16 and my father remarried. Aside from a rubber doll I got for my first birthday whose head was tied on with a string and a Ben Casey bobble head with a hole in his heart, the result of me shoving a pencil through it after an unrequited love incident at 12, I had almost nothing to remind me of the sweeter life that preceded all of this. (Which is why it meant so much to me to get back into the house I grew up in a few weeks ago.)

About 20 years ago, after years of thinking these two medically deficient dolls were the only artifacts of Little Allee that remained, my brother shipped me my old steamer trunk that had been hogging a corner of his garage since I graduated college. I had always assumed it was empty but inside was a small cigar box that contained letters, post cards, hamburger recipes, and this Mother’s Day card I had made for my mom when I was God knows how old. I hope it wasn’t too old as my interpretation of the world was slightly naive.

I have no idea what country Mekoila is right above the S. Pole and I’m happy to see that I thought California was important enough to hog the entire West side of the United States. I have no idea if I actually thought that Michigan, where I drew my happy little self in, was really the east-most state or if I forgot to leave room for it when I drew this map that looks more like a cross-section of a cow with different meat cuts in it. I hope you can see the little thumb I gave Michigan for accuracy right above my left hand. And I’m happy that I took the time to draw myself in my favorite type of pleated dress in grades 2-6:

I’m the tall one in that photo with my two cousins, Sue and Marjorie Singer. And if memory serves, that’s actually a giant Mother’s Day rose tucked into my belt that I made out of a toilet paper roll and tissue paper to give to my mom a couple of years after I made this card. My mother’s name was Rose so that flower had a lot of significance in our family.

I definitely misspelled ‘You’re’ but I’m happy to see that I gave the rose much petal definition and that the leaves look like jubilant uplifted arms as it was a very happy rose and a very happy Rose that celebrated Mother’s Day that year. I did, however, completely cheese out on the poetry I included inside. I have no idea where I copied this from but I’m happy to see that I knew enough as a budding designer to carry over the rose logo.

Thankfully in my later years I progressed to the point where I didn’t need someone else’s words to express how I was feeling.

Never one to leave space empty for long, I ended the card with a picture of a present. Of course, my mom’s only present from me that year was this card but as a first grade teacher she always appreciated the effort I put into art.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. And Happy Mother’s Day, Rose, wherever you may be now.

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Categories: Art, Children, Crafts, Detroit, Families, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Painting, People, Photograph, Self expression

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Heads Up, Detroit!

Just got back from an amazing trip to Detroit where I was laying the groundwork for the big project I’m coming back in September to do there and the project for which I’ve just launched a fund-raising campaign in order to pull off.  Below are are a couple of great stories that came out about my exploits. Please, please, PLEASE pass the link to the Indiegogo campaign for “The D” around so your fearless Kitsch leader can spread all the kitsch and glory around Detroit in September and pull off the greatest sing-along/theme song/video/documentary known to mankind!!! (That may be stretching to a bit but that’s what it feels like in my head!). http://igg.me/at/WeSingTheD

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Allee Live Performance, Allee's live performances, Art, Creative process, Creativity, Dance, Detroit, empowerment, Film, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Party, People, Self expression, September, Songwriting, Travel, video

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Allee (stand) up and coming!

Heads up on some upcoming LA and DEtroit happenings:  THIS Saturday night, March 9, I’ll be reprising my “Neutron Dance” and “Stir It Up” sagas and sing-alongs at Eve Brandstein’s Poetry In Motion at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA. 8PM, tix here.  And a week from Sunday night, March 17, I’ll be performing an all new St. Patty’s ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This?” extravaganza at Beth Lapides’ acclaimed UnCabaret, 8 PM, at First and Hope in downtown LA, tix here. If u wanna laff, hit those links.

And if you happen to find yourself in Detroit the weekend of April 28, the official unofficial theme song I wrote for the city, “The D”,  is going to be debuted by the Mosaic Youth Theatre at The Detroit institute of Art on the 27th. And I am pleased to the Nth degree of Kitsch to also be a special celebrity presenter at Hump the Grinders famed 2013 Detroit Hair Wars at Cobo Hall on the 28th.  If this doesn’t say it all I don’t know what does:

Categories: Afro, Allee Live Performance, Allee's live performances, Art, Comedy, Detroit, Hair, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Neutron Dance, Songwriting, Standup, Stir It Up, Theater, What Have I Done To Deserve This?

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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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Have you ever seen a sandwich that could do the Boogaloo??

See a sandwich dance and sing and more at my LIVE SHOW in LA on THE 21st night of SEPTEMBER (and 22!)  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/258274 NOW!

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Categories: Allee's live performances, Badeya, Baby!, Dance, Detroit, Food, Music, Painting, Sign, Songwriting

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I’m on the radio LIVE tonight!

Talking about my upcoming live show in LA, 5/8-9, as well as the unbelievably fantastic trip I just had to Detroit and my future plans there. Oh, Mary! show. 7-7:50pm PST. www.latalkradio.com.  The show will be archived at www.latalkradio.com/Mary.php.

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Categories: Allee Willis' Super Ball Bounce Back Review, Allee's live performances, Detroit, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – What An UNBELIEVABLE Night at Mumford High!!

I wish I had time to write at length this morning because I can’t even tell you what a SPECTACULAR evening I had last night at my high school in Detroit, the greatest one of all, Mumford, about to be destroyed by the wrecking ball but still the most spirit-filled place in the city. Kids from the  choir, dance company and band performed some of my greatest hits while I told stories about how they were written. So many of my classmates showed up, some of whom I hadn’t seen since I graduated, some of my family, the ones who weren’t afraid to show some soul, leave the burbs and come into the real city, friends I’ve made on my last couple visits here and, of course, the wonderful and dedicated Mumford teachers, principal and former principal, and staff who helped so much to make this one of the favorite nights of my life.

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Categories: Afro, Allee's live performances, Creativity, Dance, Detroit, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, People, Place, School, Songwriting, The Color Purple, Theater, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Calling all Detroiters: Come to Mumford tonight!!

All the hits you can stand to hear!!! And the last time in an architectural treasure.

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Categories: Allee's live performances, Architecture, Dance, Detroit, Disco, Discography, Earth Wind & Fire, Educational, Friends theme, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Lyrics, Mumford high school, Music, Neutron Dance, Party, Place, Press, School, September, The Color Purple, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Making Off With True Booty

You all know of my love for the physical structure of my classic Deco baby blue high school in Detroit, Mumford, as well as my dismay that the wrecking ball is hitting it mere months after the concert I’m doing/hosting there THIS Thursday night. One of the MANY reasons the school is near and dear to my heart is also because it was made famous in the film I won a GRAMMY for, Beverly Hills Cop, when Eddie Murphy wore a t-shirt bearing its name throughout the movie.

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Categories: Allee's live performances, Celebrity, Detroit, Furniture and Housewares, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Place, School, Songwriting, Theater, Travel, Travel souvenir

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – I’m In Detroit!

Yesterday was a lonnnng day.  Detroit is only 4 hours away but it took 12+ to get there.  Thank you, American Airlines! I bitched about AA from 8 am. to midnight. The terminal at LAX SUCKS. Flights were delayed. That part was the weather’s fault, but everything else was on American Airlines.  Here are my tweets and facebook posts throughout the tortuous yet fun day as I was traveling with fellow aKitschionados Mark Blackwell and Laura Grover.  That’s Laura’s daughter, Esther Rose, who came to see us off.:

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Categories: Detroit, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Transportation, Travel

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