The importance of music—specifically, rock and roll—cannot be overstated when considering this novel. From Iggy & the Stooges to the MC5, Beautiful Music is a veritable crash course in Detroit’s lasting legacy on the music scene; the clanging guitars and screaming singers changed the wiring of an entire generation.
October’s the thick, sticky middle of my stuff season. I long to see the leaves flaming and falling on the Leelanau Peninsula; In the mornings I want sour cherry preserves on my toast and in the evening, after dinner and a walk in the brisk, fragrant airs, I want donuts from the Franklin Mill.
To the extent that music was part of my childhood, I grew up predominantly on a mismatched diet of twelfth-century lute music (mom’s) and dueling banjos (dad’s).
Growing up Motown—a special section on Motown explores how artists such as Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson grew up within Motown Records, and how the company itself emerged in Detroit to become one of the most distinctive cultural industries of the twentieth century.
“Where Did Our Love Go? Contemplating the Life and Death of Motown and the Motor City,” by Suzanne E. Smith
In the conclusion of my book Dancing in the Street: Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit, I described the fanfare that surrounded the fortieth anniversary of Motown Records, which included a commemorative compact disc boxed set, an ABCTV documentary miniseries, and a special Motown halftime show at the Super Bowl.