FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
DAVID GOOD, 313-278-5271 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dearborn may be the hometown of Henry Ford, but an all-day rock ’n’ roll festival this month celebrates the city as the hometown of vintage bands like the Woolies, the Royaltones and Jamie Coe and the Gigolos.
The festival, called Dearborn Rocks, is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 20, in the Dome Room of the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan at Greenfield, Dearborn. The event will feature a concert by the keyboard duo Seeley & Baldori, followed by dancing to the music of the Jamie Coe Band.
Those performers, along with a roster of music experts, will highlight Dearborn’s homegrown links to the golden age of rock in the 1950s and ’60s.
“Dearborn Rocks marks the 40th anniversary of the high-water-mark of rock music in Dearborn,” said Nancy Siwik, who helped organize the event.
“That was in January 1967, when the Woolies had a No. 3 national hit covering Bo Diddley’s ‘Who Do you Love.’ We want to recognize the Woolies for their achievement and explore the other high points of rock music in Dearborn.”
Siwik is president of the Dearborn Historical Foundation., which is co-sponsoring the event with the Museum Guild of Dearborn as a benefit for the Dearborn Historical Museum. Proceeds from the sale of all-day tickets, priced at $25, will fund museum improvements.
Entertainment begins at 7 p.m. with a concert of rock, blues, boogie-woogie and jazz by Bob Seeley and Bob Baldori. Baldori co-founded the Woolies in the early 1960s with his brother Jeff and two Dearborn High School chums. Baldori since has played hundreds of dates with Chuck Berry and recorded two albums with the rock legend. Seeley is recognized as one of the country’s top boogie-woogie pianists.
Another cog in Dearborn’s rock history, Jamie Coe, will perform with his band at a Dome Room dance following Seeley & Baldori. Coe once fronted Jamie Coe and the Gigolos, who had a hit single here and in Great Britain with a ’60s cover version of Sanford Clark’s “The Fool.” The late Bobby Darin once managed Coe and produced several of his records.
Besides the evening’s entertainment, the event will offer an afternoon of interviews starting at 3 p.m. Subjects include Russ Gibb, onetime impresario at Detroit’s iconic Grande Ballroom; George Katsakis, saxophone player with the well-known ’50s band, the Royaltones; Dave Gorden, co-founder of the Legendary Greasytones, recognized as America’s first garage band; and Marilyn Bond, Coe’s first manager and author of “The Birth of the Detroit Sound:1940-1964.”
Following the interviews is a panel discussion moderated by Maury Dean, a former Dearbornite who teaches a college course in New York on rock music and is the author of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Gold Rush: A Singles Un-Cyclopedia” and “The Rock Revolution.”
Tickets will be on sale through the Ford Center box office (313-943-2354 or www.dearbornfordcenter.com) and at the Historical Museum’s McFadden-Ross House, 915 Brady, Dearborn. Call the museum office at 313-565-3000 for details.