Category Archives: Rock nr Roll Palace

Part VI: Give the People What They Want

“”Give the People What They Want” is an old showbiz adage. The start of 1967 saw Russ Gibb seeking to learn the tastes of his audiences and to book accordingly.” “As a means to increase attendance, free passes were laid … Continue reading

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Grande Calendar 1966

“At the Grande, or any other venue of the day, it was all about a group’s drawing power. Acts that had a hit record could draw more paying customers. In 1966 The Woolies cracked the Billboard Top 100 with their cover … Continue reading

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Part V: Grande Opening Night Operations

Media coverage, posters, handbills and postcards were all part of Uncle Russ’ marketing mix. “In trying to keep expenses to a minimum, Russ limited print advertising to small ads run in the Detroit News, Free Press or college and underground papers. … Continue reading

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Setting the Stage at the Grande

“Entrepreneurs like Bill Graham in San Francisco sought to fill the new demand for these acts. In the summer of 1966 after returning from his latest trip to San Francisco, Russ Gibb began in earnest to replicate Graham’s successes”   … Continue reading

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Part V: Critical Mass ’66

“In addition to Russ Gibb, there came a pair of creative Bohemians, one from Michigan’s thumb and one from eastern Europe. Their respective journeys to Detroit were significant and important to the Grande’s formula.” The Sinclairs   For more.. get the … Continue reading

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Russell James Gibb

“… as the Grande Ballroom collected dust, two personalities arrived who would create a bright future for the venue.” One of the great pleasures I’ve had in writing this book has come from meeting and getting to know Grande impresario Russ … Continue reading

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Part IV: The Planets Align

“… as the Grande Ballroom collected dust, two personalities arrived who would create a bright future for the venue.” Gabe Glantz In addition to being a powerful attorney and classical pianist, Grande owner Gabriel Glantz was a real estate speculator … Continue reading

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Elvis vs. the Mambo Grande

“ “By the 1950’s it was the Latin Rhythms that were keeping the nation’s ballrooms afloat. Stars like Tito Puente in New York were hot well before Elvis hit #1 in 1956. Changing tastes were a challenge, but in Detroit … Continue reading

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Grande Jitterbugs and the War

The rise of Swing music helped sustain the ballrooms in Detroit during the depression and the War, in fact the Grande was famous for its swing dancers. Knowing not everyone had a car or money for the streetcars, I asked … Continue reading

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Jazz Age at the Grande

“The Grande Ballroom opened on the heels of sound on film at the peak of the Jazz age. With the stock market crash and the ensuing depression, a new form of popular music would arise..” For more.. get the book!

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