Archives: Episode

Season 3 Finale: The Deindustrialization of Detroit

Some look at Detroit today and wonder how the abandoned buildings got here. What happened between The Arsenal of Democracy and now? How did a city of nearly 2 million people dwindle down to around 650,000? There are people that blame the 1967 rebellion for the urban decay the city has seen, others blame longtime…

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Season 3 – Episode 09: Lottie The Body, The Burlesque Queen of Detroit

Burlesque legend Lottie Graves-Claiborne wowed ’em on several continents, sharing the stage with numerous worldwide stars. But throughout her celebrated 90 years, Lottie insisted on highlighting the art of the tease. This week’s Detroit History Podcast focuses on a long life well-lived, and how Lottie the Body’s discretion painted a fine line between exotic dancing and mere titillating…

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Season 3 – Episode 08: Birds of a Feather- Bowling, Belgians, Beer, Pigeons, and the Cadieux Cafe

A historic cafe has morphed its way through generations of change, and still … still … there is the feather bowling. Feather bowling? Yes, feather bowling. One man, born in Detroit, found an important piece of his identity playing this unusual game of his forebears on the court at the Cadieux Cafe and he is an…

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Season 3 – Episode 07: The Politics of Fear

In 1952, famed historian David Maraniss’s father, Elliott Maraniss, was fired by the Detroit Times, the city’s Hearst daily newspaper. This happened on the very day congressional witch hunters showed up in the newsroom with a subpoena demanding he testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. The family’s ensuing odyssey in search of a normal…

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Season 03 – Episode 06: The Evangelista Occult Murders

Benny Evangelista found Detroit’s near East Side fertile territory for dispensing pay-as-you-go insights into the lives of his working-class clientele. He was known in the neighborhood as a “divine prophet,” which is how the banner headline of the Detroit Free Press described him after his decapitated body and the hacked remains of his wife and…

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Season 3 – Episode 05: Far from New Orleans, Long Before Motown, Jazz Became Detroit’s Pulse

The magnet of good-paying factory jobs and the nurturing influence of an excellent public school music program helped make Detroit a hotbed of jazz and the hometown of many internationally famous musicians. This edition of Detroit History Podcast takes a look at when and how and why Detroit’s music began to swing, and how generations…

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Season 3 – Episode 04: They Sat Down and Rocked The Boat: Walter Reuther’s Blue-Collar Revolution

He came to Detroit as a high-school dropout raised in hardscrabble West Virginia. The career arc that followed — from diemaker at Henry Ford’s Ford Rouge Plant to confidant of American presidents — marks Walter Reuther as a singular figure in in the U.S. labor movement. His vision of power-sharing and social progressivism drew the…

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Season 3 – Episode 03: From Midnight to Windsor, Detroit’s Underground Railroad

From Dr. King’s march on Woodward to Cobo Hall where he delivered an early version of his “I Have a Dream” speech, to Coleman Young’s election in 1973, to Malcolm X’s days of activism in the city, to the protests of police brutality this past week, Detroit has always been a hotbed for civil rights….

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Season 3 – Episode 02: How WABX Radio and Plum Street Put the Counter in Counter-Culture

In the late 60s, a thunderously enduring upheaval occurred in the musical and cultural landscape. Young Americans, knowingly or not, were overdue for something other than Top 40 music and crewcuts. The Detroit radio station WABX, ignoring old norms of pop music content and airing songs that lasted seven minutes or more, was the crucible…

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Season 3 – Episode 01: How the Spotlight Found Coleman Young

If anybody was taking bets in the early 1960s, Coleman A. Young would have been a true longshot for getting himself elected to just about anything. He held any number of jobs from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, and ran unsuccessfully for public office on three occasions. But his fortunes changed. His dogged…

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