It was supposed to be a blog post. It grew into a book.
It’s been nine years since Detroit Country Music was published. Its first few chapters make it clear that country music in Detroit goes back almost a hundred years, arriving in 1939 with the release of a 78 rpm record titled “Hamtramck Mama” via the Detroit-based Universal label.
Since 2013, I’ve gathered more stories about the men and women involved with the label, as well as the Hot Wax, and Mellow labels. Combined, they represent an impressive body of work for the time (World War II) and the place (Detroit, Michigan). I churned what began as a series of blog posts (unpublished) into a new 130-page pocketbook.
Here’s the back cover blurb:
In 1939, a new record from a shadowy storefront on Detroit’s east side starts showing up in juke boxes all over town. It quickly becomes a smash hit, sending men scrambling to cash in, by creating Detroit’s first home-grown record company Here’s the untold story of an unlikely pair of tattooed hustlers: an ex-con, and a shell-shocked World War I vet, plus: juke boxes, the mafia, Hamtramck mamas, Wayne County grifters, the first all-female western swing act on records, the first rockabilly trio — all playing roles in sensational music originally pressed on 78 rpm discs that document the dawn of Detroit’s recording industry.
The contents include:
- quotes from interviews,
- record label scans, and