The Fox Theatre
Detroit, MI«archive page
Bettye LaVette was just 16 when she had her first hit, "My Man He's a Lovin' Man." In the 1960s, she toured with the likes of Clyde McPhatter, Ben E. King, and Otis Redding, and in the years that followed, she established herself as one of the great soul singers in American music. Her career has included a stint in the touring company of the Broadway musical Bubbling Brown Sugar, a W.C. Handy Award, and many recordings, such as 2007's Grammy-nominated The Scene of the Crime. A new CD, Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, is due out this spring on Anti- Records. Joining her are Alan Hill, keyboards; Darryl Pierce, drums; Brett Lucas, guitar; and Charles Bartels, bass.
Sir Mack Rice
Born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Sir Mack Rice moved to Detroit with is family when he was still in his teens. In high school, he was a member of the Scalders, a quintet that won the first talent contest ever held at Northern High School. After a couple of years in the Army, he joined the Falcons, a group that included Joe Stubbs, Wilson Pickett, Willie Schofield, Lance Finney, and Eddie Floyd. He was a mainstay of the great Memphis label Stax Records, and in 1965, he wrote the hit for which he is best known. He wanted to call it "Mustang Mama," but at the urging of Aretha Franklin, he changed the name to the one we all know: "Mustang Sally." His latest CD is Justice, on the Joy Road Production label.
Jearlyn Steele grew up in Indiana and first sang with her siblings (as The Steele Children). After she left home and moved to Minnesota, one by one the rest of the Steele kids followed. They started singing together again as The Steeles, and now music is the family business. Jearlyn also hosts Steele Talkin', a Sunday-night radio show that originates on WCCO in Minneapolis and is heard in some 30 states nationwide. Jearlyn Steele Sings Songs from A Prairie Home Companion is her most recent CD.
Plans change. Jevetta Steele first moved to the Twin Cities from Gary, Indiana (her childhood home) to become a criminal lawyer. Instead, she and her sister Jearlyn along with their siblings turned to performing. In the 1980s, she toured the world (including Broadway) in the musical The Gospel at Colonus. And many remember her Academy Award-nominated performance of the song "Calling You," from the film Baghdad Café. She has recorded several solo albums, including My Heart.
Theater organist John Lauter made his public debut decades ago, at age 16. Since then, the Detroit native has delighted legions of music lovers with his concerts and silent film programs. He performs regularly at a number of Michigan venues, including the Fox. And after that theater's spectacular $12 million restoration, John was at the Wurlitzer Fox Special for the 1988 grand re-opening.
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band is led by A Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky. A masterful keyboard player, composer, and improviser in any style, he writes all the script themes and underscores, and he has accompanied guests from James Taylor to Renée Fleming. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me.
Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest finger pickers in the world today. And he writes songs too recorded by Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers and others. Freewayman (Bluesky Records) is the most recent of Pat's nine albums.
Gary Raynor (bass) has performed with the Count Basie band, Sammy Davis Jr. with whom he toured for several years and the Minnesota Klezmer Band. He teaches jazz bass at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.
Peter Johnson (percussion) has played klezmer music with Doc Severinsen and jazz with Dave Brubeck. He was a drummer for The Manhattan Transfer and for Gene Pitney. He has toured the world, but he always comes back to home base: Saint Paul.
Andy Stein (violin, saxophone) definitely has far-flung musical leanings. He collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson, and he has performed with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Eric Clapton, Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan.
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).