Where You Gonna Rock Tonight: Jimmy Franklin, Part 2

Jim Franklin composite of images, ca. 1962 In 1952 Jim Franklin played at WNAX radio. He returned to Detroit by 1956 and made two records for the Fortune label with other bands before striking out on his own. Part 2 of a 3-part biography.

Where You Gonna Rock Tonight: Jimmy Franklin, Part 1

Jimmy Franklin publicity portrait, late 1940s From 1948 to 1970, singer Jimmy Franklin made great western swing, country and rockabilly records in Detroit, before disappearing suddenly from the scene. Here is part one of two, wherein Franklin established himself among the best C&W entertainers of his day.

Victor Lewis, Country Music Promoter of Detroit

Victor Lewis, 1959 Country music promoter Victor Lewis got his start in Detroit, before moving to Nashville and producing concerts and movies across the U.S.A.

Cowboy crooner: Smilin’ Red Maxedon, part 2

Smilin' Red Maxedon (left) and unknown man, late 1940s During the 1940s, one of the best-known voices of Detroit radio was the mellow baritone of John “Smilin’ Red” Maxedon. He sang cowboy songs with reassuring ease over WJBK and WJR stations every day. In 1946 he began cutting records for the Detroit-based Arcadia company.

Cowboy crooner: Smilin’ Red Maxedon, part 1

Smilin' Red Maxedon, WJR radio During the 1940s, one of the best-known voices of Detroit radio was the mellow baritone of western singer John “Smilin’ Red” Maxedon. For several years, WJR radio’s clear channel 50,000-watt broadcast Maxedon's melodies every day.

Guest post: Fred Stanley and the Skillet Lickers

Bert Layne (left) and Fred Stanley, 1970s Ann Arbor writer and musician Fred Reif recently brought to our attention his friendship with the late Fred Stanley, who settled in Detroit twenty years after cutting a record for Columbia with members of famed string band the Skillet Lickers.

Forest Rye’s trail from Detroit to the ‘Grand Ole Opry’

Country-western bandleader Forest Rye entertained in Detroit nightclubs, and on radio from the 1920s through the 1950s. Rye was the first Detroiter (of many) to perform at the "Grand Ole Opry."