Heaven Was Detroit
From Jazz to Hip-Hop and Beyond
Foreword by Dave Marsh, Contributions by Al Young, Jim Gallert, Lars Bjorn, Gary Carner, Larry Gabriel, John Sinclair, Bill Harris, W. Kim Heron, R. J. Spangler, Marsha Music, Robert B. Jones, S. R. Boland, Matthew Smith, Joel Martin, Michael Hurtt, Gary Graff, Herb A. Jordan, Peter Benjaminson, Melba Joyce Boyd, Pat Thomas, Susan Whitall, Mike Dutkewych, John Rodwan Jr., Scott Morgan, Willy Wilson, George Moseman, L.E. Grimshaw, Herman Daldin, Chris Morton, Rick Allen, Lester Bangs, Jaan Uhelszki, Howard A. Dewitt, Ben Blackwell, Danny Kroha, Diane Spodarek, Brian McCollum, Greil Marcus, Bill Holdship, Matt Deapo, Shane M. Liebler, Daniel Jones, Brian Smith, Hobey Echlin, Craig Maki, Rhonda Welsh, Thomas Trimble, Aaron Anderson, Jarrett Koral, Rebecca Derminer, Dan Carlisle and Ben Edmonds
Divided into nine sections, the book moves chronologically through the early days of jazz in Detroit, to the rock 'n' roll of the 1960s, and up to today's electronica scene, with so many groundbreaking moments in between. This collection of cohesive essays includes Motown's connection to the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement through its side label, Black Forum Records; Lester Bangs's exemplary piece on Alice Cooper; the story behind the emergence of rap legend Eminem; and Craig Maki's enlightening history on "hillbilly rock" — just to name a few. With a rich musical tradition to rival Nashville, Detroit serves as the inspiration, backdrop, and playground for some of the most influential music artists of the past century.
Heaven Was Detroit captures the essence of the Detroit music scene: the grit, the spark, the desire to tell a story set to the rhythm of the city. Fans of any music genre will find something that speaks to them in the pages of this collection.
About the Authors
"[. . .] Detroit finally has the consummate tome that brings together all the disparate strands of its towering musical legacy that have faded forever into the recesses of time. . . . Motor City nuts can only swoon."—Kris Needs, Shindig Magazine
"Impressively researched, written, organized and presented [ . . . ]"—Michael J. Carson, Midwest Book Review
"An incredible book. Comprehensive, panoramic, and makes a case for Detroit being the greatest music city in the US. Which it isn't. And that's how good this book truly is, raising the point —why isn't there a book like this for EVERY city in the US?"—Steve Wynn, singer/songwriter/guitarist of the Dream Syndicate
"The musical terrain surveyed in the nearly 70 pieces is as vast as the city itself. . . . Readers will find insightful writing on already famous artists such as John Lee Hooker, Marvin Gaye, Bob Seger, the MC5, Eminem and Kid Rock. But equal space is devoted to forgotten or overlooked arcana . . ."—Troy Reimink, Detroit Free Press
"Heaven Was Detroit captures the essence of the Detroit music scene: the grit, the spark, the desire to tell a story set to the rhythm of the city. Fans of any music genre will nd something that speaks to them in the pages of this collection."—Aisha K. Staggers, BookTrib
"Heaven Was Detroit is a valuable collection whose diversity is, like the city itself, one of its greatest strengths."—Joshua S. Duchan, The Michigan Historical Review
"M. L. Liebler curates an exhaustive collection of essays about Detroit music by a diverse group of music scholars, journalists, and musicians. Instead of relying on familiar narratives about Motown and rock and roll, this anthology engages a vast array of musical genres and sub-genres, while sharing the oft-surprising hidden histories of artists, institutions, and communities integral to Detroit's unique sound."—Kimberly Mack, New Books Network
"It seems there are certain places – my home town of Liverpool is one and Detroit is definitely another – that can't so much as cough without producing music that awakens the world. You'd think giving birth to Motown would be enough for one city, but Detroit's story didn't start there and it sure as hell didn't stop there. Now, thanks to M. L. Liebler's eloquent army of advocates, we can see a little deeper into this resilient city's soul. This epic book is everything Detroit deserves."—Paul Du Noyer, Founding Editor of Mojo: the Music Magazine and Author of Conversations with Mccartney
"M. L. Liebler's Heaven was Detroit is a fascinating compendium of thought on the dazzlingly complex music of the Motor City."—David Ritz, Grammy Award Winner, the Only Four-Time Winner of the Gleason Music Book Award, and Author of Before You Judge Me: an Idiosyncratic Look at Michael Jackson
"A ridiculously extensive genre-spanning overview of Detroit's contributions to music, featuring a chorus of authentic, distinct voices — there's something here for generalists and geeks alike. An essential addition to every music library!"—Michael T. Fournier, Author of Double Nickels on the Dime and Swing State