Author Leo Early At Detroit Sound Conservancy Conference Saturday Oct. 15

detroitsound3-poster-4-oct-2016-72pixLeo Early at Detroit Sound Conservancy 3rd Annual Music Conference

Sound scholars unite for two days / three events dedicated to Detroit’s musical legacies

Detroit, MI: The Detroit Sound Conservancy (DSC), a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the region’s sonic heritage, will host its 3rd Annual Conference on Saturday, October 15, 2016 in Detroit from 9 am to 6 pm. The all day event will be free and open to the public. A Fundraising Concert will follow in the evening and a Remembrance Ceremony on Sunday.

This year’s conference will be presented by Lawrence Technological University and the Detroit Center for Design and Technology (DCDT) (4219 Woodward). “The DCDT prides itself on aligning with local initiatives, programs and organizations who look to foster and expand the role that art and design play among the local community, growing industry and educational pedagogy,” says Karl Daubmann, DCDT Interim Executive Director. “With the DSC’s history of working towards increased awareness of Detroit’s musical heritage, along with their efforts in advocacy, preservation and education in the local community, the DCDT is proud to support our neighborhood partner in their endeavors to reinvigorate Detroit’s ever present musical culture.”

10:00 – 11:15: Panel 1, Gallery

Alyssa Mehnert, A Constant Stream of Requests: McKinney’s Cotton Pickers on the Radio 1927–1931
Veronica Johnson, What About Us? Community Archiving and Documenting the Legacy of Detroit Female Jazz Musicians
Marsha Music, On Land of the Blues
Leo Early, “Tuning the Grande Ballroom”

Location: We are going to be at the Lawrence Tech Detroit Center, 4219 Woodward

Parking: free street parking on Willis, west of Woodward Ave.

Parking garage near Great Lakes Coffee, 25 W. Alexandrine St., all day is $5

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Grande Ballroom 50th Anniversary – History Bus Tour w/Photos

This gallery contains 17 photos.

In remembrance of the 50th Anniversary of the Rock n Roll re-opening of the Grande Ballroom, author Leo Early led a group of 35 Grande fans on a music history tour of downriver and the west side of Detroit. On … Continue reading

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WKNR Top Hits for October 3, 1966 – Grande @50


You Tube WKNR Top 13 Playlist curated by Leo Early



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The Grande Ballroom Dodges Hurricane Matthew

As The Grande Ballroom Detroit’s Rock n Roll Palace continues to storm up the online sales charts I’ve received news from my publisher Arcadia\History Press in Charleston, South Carolina. They are meeting all orders for the book from retailers and yours truly before evacuating the city! This means there will be virtually no interruption in online orders or, if you are coming to the Grande 50th celebration, I personally will have a copy for you. History Press for the Win!




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Ann Delisi WDET – Leo Early Grande Interview audio

If you didn’t catch it live on September 24, listen below to my interview with the lovely, super cool and knowledgeable radio host and Deejay Ann Delisi.  Then, if you enjoy Ann Delisi’s Essential Music on WDET as I do, be sure to kick them a few bucks via the support link below. #thegrande



Support WDET 

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John Sinclair and the Psychedelic Rangers

As John Sinclair turns 75 today October 2, 2016 I was reminded of this story and picture that did not make the book. Sinclair was a master organizer and the Psychedelic Rangers was a group he put together to help run and control many of the free events the Sinclairs were involved with. The Rangers wore brightly colored “uniforms”, the color of which changed periodically, and helped with crowd control and traffic at a number of the free outdoor concerts. John’s badge reads “Official of Psychedelic Rangers -Sinclair”

John Sinclair and Psychedelic Rangers at the Grande – Photo: Steve Kott

The Psychedelic rangers want you! (Ann Arbor Sun – June 1971)



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On the Floor 1968 – The Grande Ballroom

Not every image of the 100’s I collected for the book was good enough to published. There are of course, many shots of the talent on stage taken throughout the years. However there are precious few that were taken with a camera pointed 180 degrees opposite. This is a favorite…


Grande crowd 1968 Courtesy Jeep Holland Estate


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Wayne Cochran – Grande Ballroom 1968

The regulars that Friday night in June of ’68 thought that perhaps a wedding band had gotten lost and was now setting up on the stage of the Grande. The polished shoes and tuxedos sure didn’t look promising and some folks started to leave.  A few were snickering and laughing at the horn section of what appeared to be a Las Vegas lounge act.  They chuckled only until the opening horn blast of the road tested Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders … Jaws suddenly hit the floor.

Having burned up the Southern chitlin’ circuit for years, Cochran had, in the previous year, already been to Detroit where he had earned the respect of the Soul Set at the 20 Grand.  There even Motown’s Smokey Robinson was counted among his admirers.  At the Grande the audience became unhinged and danced along with the blued eyed soul man’s rhythm and blues revue the rest of the night.

Here are some pictures from Ruth Hoffman that did not make the book.

mr_blue-eyed_soul_wayne_cochran _wayne_cochran_1 cochran wayne_cohc_stage _wayne_poster


For more.. get the book!



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Part VII: Two If by Sea ’68

Beginning in late ’67 Russ Gibb began to work with out of town agents to book a number of British bands. By 1968 a prime example was the Jeff Beck Group featuring Rod Stewart. Here is a photo of the band that did not make the book from Grande regular Ruth Hoffman.


For more.. get the book!


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Author Leo Early – Dearborn Music book signing – Saturday October 1


Arcadia – History Press publishing has been so excited about the online pre-order success of The Grande Ballroom – Detroit’s Rock n Roll Palace that they have arranged a pre-release book signing in partnership with Dearborn Music.

On Saturday October 1 from 2 to 4 P.M. we will have some of the first copies hot off the presses. Dearborn Music now has the distinction of being the first retailer anywhere to have the book in stock. Online retailers will not ship until the official publication date of October 3. This is an opportunity to get a first pressing copy autographed by yours truly.

This will be a lot of fun for me as Dearborn is my hometown and Dearborn Music is where I built my first record collection and where I continue to shop today. I believe I have spent enough at Dearborn Music to qualify to be a minor shareholder!

Hope to see you there !


Dearborn Music
Address: 22501 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI 48124



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