Inkster Michigan Music
Born J. Reed, he wanted to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless and led a concert in his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan, in front of more than 1,000 people.
He was the youngest of Leo and Pat Speer's four children and grew up in the small town of Plymouth, about 30 miles north of Detroit, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan. He graduated in 1965, then joined the United States Air Force in 1967 and the US Navy in 1968.
After graduating from Michigan State as a teacher, he was hired by the Tigers and played for the team for two years before injuring his pitching arm. He taught criminal justice and sociology at the University of South Dakota and was admitted to the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology at North Dakota State University in Sioux Falls, SD, in 1994.
After returning to Inkster, Georgia Dobbins contacted a local musician named William Garrett, who had an unfinished blues composition called "Mr. Postman." Garrett allowed her to use the song on the album, for which she received a songwriting credit, and it became a hit. Rogers recorded the song as part of her album Return of the Marvelettes, which was produced by Smokey Robinson and featured covers of earlier Motown recordings. Coe had released several albums before, including his hit cover "The Fool," which was popular in the Detroit area. Later, the song was sampled by rap musicians on group recordings, most notably Jay-Z's song "Poppin '."
Franklin Speer, who shared the microphone, was also presented with a collection of classic rock'n "roll songs from that time. Inkster's most famous events include the opening of a new high school in the city, the first ever Inkster High School Music Festival, and the debut of an all-female band at the University of Michigan.
A Detroit-based company called Autorama hosted a car show, and Benny and the Jets kept their Detroit roots by performing at the Detroit Auto Show, supporting oldies and playing the auto show. Since joining the "Autorama" car shows, they have played in some of the largest arenas in the United States, including Madison Square Garden, the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and Madison Park in New York City, to name a few.
Ann Arbor had a great music scene, and many of the up-and-coming rock'n'roll musicians bought equipment there. Midway between Detroit and Ann Arbor, children could travel to both cities and shop at the same time, so they could easily travel back and forth between cities.
Benny remembers meeting one of his high school teachers there and attending one at Schoolcraft College in Plymouth, where there were after-school concerts in the lunch area. After graduating from Holy Redeemer, Bill went to Michigan State University, where he played baseball for two years before joining the US Navy. He continued his baseball scouting for the Detroit Tigers during his time as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and museum staff. The bimbo in Ann Arbor was a regular occurrence, but Benny shuttled back and forth between the two cities, as well as to other schools, such as the Schoolcraft and College of Plymouth.
After Motown moved to Los Angeles in 1972, Anderson and Rogers both left the business, with Rogers moving to Southfield, Michigan, and Anderson returning to Michigan to settle in his hometown of Inkster, while Anderson settled in Detroit, where he was a member of the Michigan State University football team for forty years. Georgia Dobbins and Juanita Cowart have settled into the entertainment industry and have remained in touch after the death of their husbands, but only joined the Inksters church choir. Don and Nancy married and moved from Michigan, where they were both active members of Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor. After the first left in 1963, they fought for several years, followed by a brief stint in New York City and then a few years in San Francisco before settling back in Michigan.
Wanda Rogers took on the lead singer role because Motown producers believed Rogers "voice was better suited to the role than Horton's.
It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Marcella Swaggerty, who passed away on September 30, 2018. OnPhyllis was David Belletini's beloved wife for 24 years and died in her sleep on October 1, 2017, aged 65. It is with deep sadness that we announce that Phyll has died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, which is the result of a heart attack on 31 August this year. Mar Cella and Mari grew up in Southern California and moved to Michigan in the late 1970s and early 1980s to get married as a married couple.
Her memory will be forever cherished by her husband David Belletini and their children Phillip and James, as well as all her friends and family.