Gunning The Engine Toward Detroit!

Hard to believe that after working on “The D” a solid year and a half, my ever-growing crew of 15 and I are descending upon Detroit in less than a week to record the song, video and feature length documentary. We’ll be recording and filming groups of 50 to 1000 people at each of 40+ locations where people will be singing “The D”, dancing, and showing their Motor City spirit however they can. Nothing like this has ever seen attempted- not just the largest number of people ever on a record, but the largest number of people as the original artist on a record. A partial list of locations participating is at the end of this email.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been recording incredible Detroit born singers, songwriters, musicians, comedians, and actors here at my studio in LA – groundbreaking Motown songwriters and producers like Lamont Dozier, Paul Riser and Mickey Stevenson, former Supremes Mary Wilson and Scherrie Payne, singers Freda Payne, Marcella Detroit, Pam and Joyce Vincent, Diane Steinberg, daughter of legendary Detroit DJ Martha Jean The Queen, comedians Lily Tomlin and Angela Shelton, and musicians like Greg Phillinganes, Ray Parker Jr., Reggie McBride and Bruce Miller – with a lot more to come. Here’s some of the action in my studio over the past week:

Mary Wilson:

Lamont Dozier:

Lily Tomlin:

Massive thanks again to all of you who donated moolah to make this truly historic song, video, documentary and collaboration with the people of Detroit possible. As the scale of this project involves tens of thousands of people and a 20 day/ 40+ location shoot, not to mention postproduction and all else involved in finishing the project we are still actively seeking funding. I’ve started another online fundraising campaign at http://www.gofundme.com/3btivk. I haven’t made a big deal about this one. It’s just there for generous souls who want to be part of something truly inspirational. We are also seeking larger donor sponsors and/or angels. You can email me back with any inquiries about that.

Thanks to the following locations where we’ll be filming and recording “The D”. One of the sing-alongs at The Heidelberg Project, Saturday, September 21st at 3pm is open to the public.  A schedule will soon be published at http://www.alleewillis.com/WeSingTheD/.

The Detroit Historical Society and Museum
The Dossin Maritime Museum on Belle isle
Detroit Yacht Club
D-Hive
Mumford High School
Pasteur Elementary School
Martin Luther King High School and marching band
Wayne State University
College For Creative Studies
Eastern Market
Temple Israel
Academy of Rock
Rock Ventures/ Opportunity Detroit
Radio One
The Heidelberg Project
Mosaic Youth Theatre
The Whitney
The Fisher Building
Greg’s Soul In The Wall restaurant
Consumer Auto Parts
American Jewelry & Loan (Hard Core Pawn)
U Detroit/ Harmonie Park
Henry The Hatter
Lafayette Laundry
African Bead Museum
Lululemon at Eastern Market – largest yoga class ever in Detroit – 500 people
Michigan Opera Theatre
The Ford Piquette Ave. Plant
Campus Martius Park
The Alley project (TAP)
Detroit Synergy – biking event
Historic St. James Baptist Church
The Greening Of Detroit
Detroit Dog Rescue/ HUSH
Church of the Messiah
Deep River Y Choir/ Comerica Park
Russell Industrial Center
Ebenezer Baptist Church
Michigan State University Community Music School
Woodbridge Housing Complex

Now just about all that’s left is to board the plane to Detroit!!

Onward!

Allee

 

 

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Categories: Allee Live Performance, Allee's live performances, Art, Celebrity, Creative process, Creativity, Detroit, empowerment, Financial, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Party, People, Self expression, September, Songwriting, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! Part 9, The City By Car

Wednesday, April 6, had tremendous potential. (L-R) Mark Blackwell and Laura Grover, both of whom worked on putting the whole Detroit extravaganza together with me, and I were being driven around the city by Michael Poris, one of the architects leading the charge to rebuild Detroit. The Majestic Theater is one of his projects.

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Categories: Architecture, Creativity, Detroit, Earth Wind & Fire, empowerment, Financial, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, People, Place, School, Sculpture, Self expression, Sign, Songwriting, The Color Purple, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Income Tax Day and a Mr T. Bank

I pity the fool who doesn’t dig all the way down into his/her pockets on this, the most dreaded of days, Income Tax Day, and cough up what little is left in the coffers. Don’t get me started on this topic, how none of the greedy, disgusting suits have been prosecuted for turning the world upside down, leaving the rest of us to walk around with this same bewildered Mr. T look on our faces as the calendar strikes 4/15, or as it is this year, 17.

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Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! – A Benefit for Mumford High School

Next week I’m going back to my home town, Detroit, to conduct my high school marching band playing a medley of my greatest hits in the lobby of the theater I grew up in before a performance of my musical, The Color Purple, with the cast leading a sing-along.  It’s a fundraiser to buy new uniforms for the Mumford marching band because with over 40 kids in the band, some of them are still marching around in threads from when I were there.  Although I never made marching band as I never learned to play an instrument. I never learned how to read music either which should make my conducting this event most interesting to say the least!

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Categories: Detroit, empowerment, Financial, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, School, Self expression, The Color Purple

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Paging Dr. Casey!! I’m having knee surgery today…

Today I’m having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in my left knee. The operation, a relatively quick outpatient job, was supposed to occur on my right knee but after putting the surgery off for over a year and a half I favored the good leg so much that literally the day I finally scheduled the invasion the good knee went eeewwwrrripppp!!! and snapped just like the other one.  Calling Dr. Casey!!!

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Mr. Peanut Bank And Friends

Although I’m not a massive fan of actual peanuts, I’ve always loved classic 1950′s plastic Mr. Peanut memorabilia. I love how the plastic glows with depth from the richness of the classic 50′s colors he came in, in this case perfect baby blue.

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Categories: Brands, Drink, Financial, Food, Furniture and Housewares, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Toy

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Gold Bell Gift Stamps

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Were it not for Gold Bell Gift Stamps I never would’ve had a new blanket or clock radio to go off to college with. I’m not sure where these stamps  were given out in Detroit, where I grew up,  but it had to have been an A&P or Kroger’s as that’s where my mom always did her shopping. I loved licking and pasting in all the stamps she brought home and I collected those books like they were diamonds knowing that I could cash them in on the items of my choice.

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Categories: Book, Brands, Detroit, Financial, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Toast Wallet

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This 100% genuine  piece of plastic toast wallet looks just like the real thing right down to the butter starting to melt into the cushiony fake leather wonderfulness of it all. It feels like  a big marshmallow in your hands and makes pulling out endless streams of cash a slightly more pleasant procedure.

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Categories: Accessories, Fashion, Financial, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Giant Penny

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As you can tell from the photo, this “Lucky Penny” souvenir of Los Angeles is substantially larger than the real thing. It’s also so incredibly heavy that I suspect if I melted down it could pay for someone’s college education.   Although it’s dated 1920 it was made in the 1960′s. I’m not quite sure what the tie in was between a penny and Los Angeles but I’ve always felt incredibly lucky to live in LA so I maybe it’s just as simple as that.

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Categories: Financial, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Travel souvenir

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Long Beach City Employees Ceramic Money Pouch Bank

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Very nice of the Federal Credit Union of Signal Hill, CA to give these promotional money sack banks to Long Beach city employees but the gift would have been ever more meaningful if it came with a little cash jingling inside, something I’m sure the employees needed more than this lump of clay.

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Categories: Accessories, Advertising/ Promotion, Financial, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Toy

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