Spectacular live show, retired Motown stars, NPR, and Tavis Smily in an afro

All around it was a very good SEPTEMBER week here at Willis Wonderland LA as well as Willis W in Detroit.

Yes I know there is a Willis Street in almost every major city in the country. But this particular one is not only the exact spot my parents first met when they lived kitty corner from each in Detroit oh so may years ago, but it’s also the street that was taken over to make way for this intersection below, in a housing complex started by retired Motown singers and where we sang one of the sing-alongs for “The D” record and videos.

As the reliably magic day – the 21st of September – approached, NPR did a great story on the timelessness of my very first hit, “September”, co-written with Al McKay and Maurice White. Professors of Musicology even broke it down for analysis as to why it is so eternally happy and a song that will literally never end.

0It’s been decades now that every weekend I receive at least 5 videos of the song played at someone’s wedding or drunken karaoke spree or there’s a bar mitzvah boy spinning around his blond dream girl, anywhere and everywhere happiness is the intention. And indeed THAT makes me very happy!

Then I had literally one if the greatest days of my life in Detroit on THE BaDeYa 21st of September when I performed my very sold out “BaDeYa, Detroit!” show, featuring a 15 piece band put together from musicians and singers we discovered at the sing-alongs and while filming the feature-length-exceedingly-hybrid-documentary, Allee Willis Loves Detroit.

The show/party also included dancers from Mosaic Youth Theatre Of Detroit, one of “The D”/ Allee Willis Loves Detroit’s beneficiaries, spinning car tires over their heads, choreographed videographers leaping over drums on cymbal crashes and organ sweeps, as well as the obligatory obsessive amount of junk food I subsist on.

And then how much better does it get when you get Tavis Smily in an Afro (attempting to) shake his booty to ’September”’s sister, “Boogie Wonderland”, on Dancing With The Stars, all in the same week?!  Though he sported one of those chopped down naturals when a good footlong Billy Preston was called for.

I have been blessed with a wonderful (albeit challenging) life and am living my creative (albeit money challenged) dream right now and I thank all of you who made it possible! Remember to throw some gas money in the tank please.

BaDeYa!

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Categories: "The D", Afro, Allee Live Performance, Allee Willis Loves Detroit, Allee Willis' Ba-de-ya, Allee's live performances, Art, Badeya, Baby!, Boogie Wonderland, Comedy, Creative process, Creativity, Dance, Detroit, Disco, Discography, Earth Wind & Fire, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, LPs, Mumford high school, Neutron Dance, Party, People, Self expression, September, Songwriting, Theater, video

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BaDeYa, Detroit! – Allee LIVE in The D, FINALLY……

For the past few few years now on the “BaDeYa, say do you remember 21st night of September”, my blessed and magic day because it’s the first line in the first hit record I ever had, I’ve made a tradition of performing live, something that took me over three decades to get together. Other than last year when I was in Detroit conducting one of the 50 sing-alongs for ”The D”, the unofficial official theme song I cowrote for Detroit, in a laundromat with people essentially spinning around in dryers while singing.


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Categories: 365 Days Of September, Afro, Allee Live Performance, Allee Willis Loves Detroit, Allee Willis' Ba-de-ya, Allee's live performances, Art, Badeya, Baby!, Boogie Wonderland, Celebrity, Creative process, Creativity, Dance, Detroit, Disco, Discography, Earth Wind & Fire, empowerment, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Neutron Dance, Party, People, Self expression, September, Songwriting, Standup, Theater

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“The D” Officially Gassed Up and On The Road!

I really meant to be doing far more of these updates but the schedule is thankfully and gratefully so packed here in Detroit that I can barely get into bed before it’s time to get up and start singing again. The participation here has been insanely enthusiastic and wonderful.

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Categories: Allee Live Performance, Architecture, Art, Celebrity, Creative process, Creativity, Dance, Detroit, Discography, empowerment, Film, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Lyrics, Mumford high school, Music, Party, People, Place, Reality tv, School, Self expression, Songwriting, Theater, Travel, TV/Radio

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ONLY HOURS LEFT!!!

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As I sit here with LESS THAN FOUR DAYS LEFT for this fundraising campaign for “The D”,  I can’t help but think about all the amazing things that have come out of it so far and how great it’s going to be when I go back to Detroit to do my passion project of recording the official unofficial theme song of the city with thousands of Detroiters throughout the month of  ”September”.
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The outpouring of love and support from hundreds of you so far lets me know how many of my friends have my back.
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But I’d have more confidence I could pull this off with ADDITIONAL DONATIONS. I’ve worked on this for over a year and a half already, making decisions like holding off on performing so the money could stream to “The D”. But it’s obvious I cant pull off something this ambitious alone. And it’s not  the kind of project I’d want to pull off alone. It’s all about the power of community and friendships and how that ignites spirit.
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When left to my own devices my songs have always been about if your life isn’t working get yourself up and MAKE A CHANGE. “I’m just burning doing the Neutron Dance” means if the world explodes tomorrow I will at least have lived the life I want to live.”
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I relate to Detroit not just because it’s my hometown but because my entire career has been a series of starting overs, exactly what Detroit is faced with now. So I know the only way up is to not be afraid of going there and putting your imagination in the driver’s seat.  From there on it’s sheer nerve and chutzpah and that’s what’s very much alive and well in Detroit.  And why it’s so uplifting to go there. And why I know I will get the most spirited performance on earth out of these Motown babies no matter how I pull it off.
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Ultimately, Detroit will not only have a theme song, and videos and documentary commemorating it, but this is a way for all profits in perpituity to go to two Detroit art gems, The Heidelberg Project and Mosaic Youth Theater.
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Thanks to places in Detroit that have opened their doors to me like The Whitney – an elegant restaurant in the oldest house in Detroit on the first paved road in the world – and Vinsetta Garage –  a killer food joint in what was the baddest hot rod garage in the city of cars –  both of whom are hosting fundraisers  for “The D” when I go back to Detroit in a couple of weeks.
This kind of generosity abounds in Detroit. And that generosity and spirit pushes me to ask you once again to please support me and “The D”. Even $5 is a vote of confidence that keeps me going (not that hundreds don’t help!).
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And, of course, please help spread the word and share “The D” on Facebook , Twitter and the like.
And please remember to DONATE HEREhttp://igg.me/at/WeSingTheD
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To follow my Detroit adventures:
Twitter @WeSingTheD, @AlleeWillis
DONATE ON INDIEGOGO: http://igg.me/at/WeSingTheD
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Love,
Allee

Categories: Allee Live Performance, Allee's live performances, Art, Creative process, Creativity, Detroit, Discography, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Lyrics, Music, Party, Place, Self expression, Theater

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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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Doing “The Vagina Monologues” (!) and hitting the standup trail

Anyone who knows me knows that I invite change in my career like most people do with hairstyles. Perhaps because I haven’t changed the latter since 1983 I’m now tweaking the former like crazy since I finally took to the stage last year to do my sold-out-standing-room-only series of live shows, a brief snippet of which you can see here.

The day before my haircut in 1983:

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Allee Live Performance, Badeya, Baby!, Comedy, Hair, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Self expression, Standup, Theater

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Get Yo Hands Offa My Psyche… My First Stand-Up EVER Comin’ Right Up!

After almost four decades the torturous vice grip on my psyche has been chiseled open so that my little stage personality, the one that once cowered in a dark corner  but whose pleas to give it a chance never stopped rattling through my brain, has finally put on some clothes and come out to play!  FINALLY all the noise can stop!!

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Categories: Allee's live performances, Celebrity, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Theater, TV/Radio

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Photos from my live show – Badeya, Baby!, Nov. 9, 2012

On November 8 and 9, 2012 I reprised BaDeYa, Baby!, my sold out one-woman-show-with-25-people-in-it at NoHoPAC in beautiful North Hollywood, CA. Just as the shows that preceded it on September 21 and 22nd, it was a salute to my very 1st hit, “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire, the first line of which is “Do you remember the 21st night of September?”.  All the hits, sing-alongs, dancers, games, prizes, Boogaloo Wonderland sandwiches from my hometown Detroit, not to mention the big ol’ greasy foot massages conspired to make these evenings no normal singer/songwriter fare! So enjoy the show and the next time I do this I hope you BaDeYa with me!

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Categories: Afro, Allee Willis' Ba-de-ya, Allee's live performances, Art, Badeya, Baby!, Boogie Wonderland, Celebrity, Creativity, Dance, Earth Wind & Fire, Fashion, Friends theme, Games, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Mumford high school, Music, Neutron Dance, People, School, Self expression, September, Songwriting, The Color Purple, Theater, video

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Allee Willis’ Soul O’ the Day – Finally, VIDEOS From My Live “Super Ball Bounce Back Review”!!


On May 8 and 9, 2012, I took a giant leap in my evolution and broke through an almost 4 decades-long bout of stage fright, performing two sold-out performances of my Super Ball Bounce Back Review, a combo concert/sing-along/party extravaganza at King King in Hollywood.

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Categories: Afro, Allee Willis' Super Ball Bounce Back Review, Allee's live performances, Animation, Art, Boogie Wonderland, Bubbles the artist, Creative process, Creativity, Dance, Disco, Discography, Earth Wind & Fire, Friends theme, Games, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Lyrics, Music, Neutron Dance, Party, People, Pigmy Will, Self expression, September, Songwriting, The Color Purple, Theater, video

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Allee Willis’ Soul O’ the Day – The Color Purple Cast Party at Willis Wonderland, June 11, 2012

 


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Categories: Afro, Creativity, Furniture and Housewares, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Music, Party, People, Self expression, The Color Purple, Theater

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